An Open Letter to My Son : Running Your First Half Marathon

At 13 years old, you're just one day away from running your first half marathon.  You've always been an overachiever.  Potty trained before you were 2, skipping the baby babble and going straight to complete sentences.  You can't just solve a rubix's cube, you can solve it in under 30 seconds.  Kendama, guitar, card tricks, algebra, reading, drawing, the list goes on and on.  You've excelled in all you set your mind to do. 

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Except running. Because all those other things have come easy to you, but not running. Running has been hard.  It's been slow.  It's been chock full of complaints, struggles, and failures.  Running has beaten you down.  It has irritated you.  Running has made you hurt.  It's frustrated you.  Running has made you feel less than. It's humbled you.  And for this I say, thank you, to running.  I thank running for teaching you that it's not always easy to reach your goals.  Running requires discipline and endurance and grit.  These are all things I hope you've learned through running.  

You complained about waking up early during summer break to run, but you did it anyways.  We argued along the road many mornings, but it never stopped you.  During moments of frustration, you still endured.  So many times you wanted to give up, to turn around, but you never did.  You kept going.  May this be a lesson you take with you always.

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I hope that running will always stay with you.  I hope you find a love for running, as I have.  But, if you don't, that's ok too.  But I do hope you never forget the lessons learned during your training.  Because, whether you realize it or not, running has taught you so much about life.  It's taught you to never give up.  Wether you go fast or slow, what matters is that you are moving forward.  Never forget that.  Never forget that although there may be pain and it may be difficult, chasing your dreams is always worth it.  Life won't always be easy, but sticking to your goals and being true to yourself will always be worth it.  Never forget that feeling of accomplishment you get after a long or difficult run.  Let that stay with you and let that guide you. There is power in perseverance.   

Running alongside you all these weeks has not always been easy, but neither has being your mom and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. I am so proud to be running with you tomorrow and sharing 13.1 miles with you.  Crossing that finish line together will be a moment I never forget. I love you beyond words.   

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PS. I can't forget to give a shout of of thanks and appreciation to the hubs for all those early mornings of driving him up to meet us at the mountain so he could get his long runs in.  And to Valerie for all the rides up the mountain and encouraging him and me along the way.  To all our friends and family who've also encouraged him, it doesn't go unnoticed! XO 

Half Marathon Training with a Teenager

Last year, my then 12 year old son said he'd like to run a half marathon.  I thought he was just being funny or talking in the distant future, but no.  He was serious and insisted on it.  We researched some races and talked some more about it.  I gave him the good and the bad, but honestly, mostly the bad because I wanted to paint a truthful picture and the truth is that training for a half marathon is not easy.  He acknowledged that it was going to be hard work, but that he really wanted to challenge himself and run his first half marathon at the age of 13.  So, we did it.  We signed up for the Cedar City Half Marathon on September 8, 2018.  I explained that he would be training for a half marathon all through summer break and even into his first weeks of back to school but he was not deterred. 

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While he was still in school, we started with 2 mile once a week runs.  Then, last month, we started the actual 14-week training plan and he's been training pretty consistently for the past 6 weeks.  We have 8 more weeks to go and I couldn't be prouder of this kid! But please, don't get me wrong.  He is no super kid.  He is after all, a 13 year old boy and oh have we had our arguments.  It's been hard being mom and coach.  I feel like because it's been me giving him running advice, it's been hard for him to accept it and we butt heads a lot.  He's cranky at 6am and when I remind him that he signed up for this on his own, I get attitude.  I then have to remember he is still just a 13 year old kid and take a deep breath.    

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It's been hard, but it's also been rewarding.  I've been learning to be patient and let things go.  I'm learning to go at his pace and enjoy our time together regardless of our pace and whether I think he could do better or go faster.  I remind myself that I just ran my first half marathon 5 years ago at the age of 36! This kid is 13 and about to run his first half marathon.  I am so proud of him already! I'm not too mushy or sentimental, but I did cry after my 1st half marathon and after my 1st full marathon.  I'm pretty sure I will cry for the 3rd time again after I cross the finish line with my son in September.  But until then, there will most definitely be more cranky early mornings and arguments, and I'll just have to be ok with that.

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What races are you training for this summer? Any tips on running with a teen? EEK!! 

Self-Doubt Before Race Day | Rock N Roll Half Marathon Nashville

So, as I type this I should really be packing for my trip to Nashville, since we'll be out tonight.  My flight leaves at 6am tomorrow, so I have an early wake up call.  Anyhow, I'll get to it before I have  to get into mommy-driver duty! 

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I'm super excited to be running the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Nashville this Sat. Not so much because I love country music, hilly courses, and humidity, but because I'll be running alongside my BFF since high school! This will be her first half marathon and I'm thrilled I was the one who motivated her to sign up.  I was asking if maybe she'd like to run the 5K, but she surprised me and said she'd join me in the half marathon! You can imaging my excitement!!! She's been training for about 12 weeks and I've been supporting her via text messages and phone calls. This got me thinking about my own first half marathon and how my cousin, who's an avid marathon runner, came to run alongside me for my first half marathon.  I remember how happy I was to have someone with all of her experience running with me and supporting me.  It really helped make my first half marathon experience such a good one! As excited as I am to now be the one paying it forward and being the "experienced" runner, I'm also nervous about my own performance.  Hills aren't my jam, I mean, let's be honest, they aren't anyones jam! I'm also not as fast or fit as I was a few years ago and it's messing with my head (see what I did there?).  I've put in the miles and ran hills in my training, but I'm afraid I'll be seen as a fraud.  Like, yea I call myself a runner, but then I'm huffing and puffing at mile 10.  I'm afraid I won't be the best support for her or worse yet, that she'll be the one supporting me! Won't that be embarrassing!?! 

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I'm working on keeping a positive mindset and trust that I won't fail.  I need to trust that it's going to be a fun experience, no matter the outcome.  I admit, this is hard to do.  It's hard to feel your best, when you know you could do better because you have done better.  Ok, I know I am overreacting to a hypothetical situation and it's silly, but it's the truth and I can't be anything but honest.  Have you ever felt this way before? Be it running or another aspect of your life, I bet you have. I can also say from experience that things aren't usually as bad as you think they're gonna be.  Am I right? So, I am leaving it all here on the blog.  I'm typing it out here but then I'm going to think of how happy I'll be seeing my best friend, who I haven't seen almost 5years.  I'm going to focus on how awesome it is that I'll be running my 14th half marathon in 2 days.  I'm excited to visit and explore a new city and eat some pretty good food too!! And, I'm gonna go pack...

Who's been to Nashville? Any recommendations on must-see or must-eats? I'll be back next week to let you know how it went and if you are struggling with feelings of self-doubt too, stay strong and know you aren't alone. XO