To run or to cheer? That is the question.
This past weekend my Dad ran the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon. It was his 6th half, and 2nd time running one solo. The first time he ran without me in Chicago, he PR’d with a 1:58 finish. This time, his pace was a little slower since he was coming off injury. But he still did amazing, maintaining a sub-10 min/mile the entire race and finishing in 2:09! Even though he tends to run better without me there, I seriously missed being by his side.
That same day, my cousins Danielle, Ashley and Ashley’s bf Calvin ran the full marathon in support of the Hope Water Project, which raises money to provide safe, clean drinking water to the people of Pokot. It was Danielle and Calvin’s 1st 26.2, Ashley’s 2nd. Raising money to run is such an amazing motivator and reminds me of my own experience fundraising for Team in Training prior to my 1st marathon. Their fundraising and killer training got them across the finish line in 4:29, a major PR for Ash. As I watched them stride towards the finish line, I couldn’t help but yearn for the days when that was me.
Being fall racing season, I’ve watched lots of my friends tackle marys and half marys over the past month or so. Many of my Perfect Strangers ran the Chicago Marathon a few weeks ago. It was my first time missing that race in 2 years, and to say I missed the energy of that weekend was a major understatement. I tracked the hell out of all of them that day though 😉
I love being a race cheerleader. I really do. Watching others push the limits to cross the finish line is extremely inspiring. It doesn’t take much for me to tear up at the sight of a determined runner. Especially when it’s your own family member out there.
But despite how much I love spectating, Sunday reminded me that I don’t want to be on the sidelines much longer. I want to get back to earning those medals. To running those brutal training runs in the snowy winters and humid midwestern summers. To reconnecting with my running sole mates. To sweat out excess negative energy and leave it on the streets. I want the next finish line I see to be one that I cross.
Verdict: Runner > Cheerleader.
So I’ve decided it’s time to plan my next move. Typically the best way for me to get motivated is to register for a race. That way theres no turning back and running must happen. So that’s the plan. The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon which I’ve ran the last 2 years is in 2 weeks — no time to get ready for that. Turkey trots are right around the corner, so I think one of those might be a safe bet. They’re usually short enough and won’t require much training. I just need to figure out if I’ll be in Michigan or Indy. Then there are always short fun runs in December. My email is blowing up with reminders for the Santa Hustle. So the races are out there, it’s just a matter of picking one.
But after the short seasonal runs, I want another goal. A winter half? A spring full? I’m not sure what I want to strive for just yet. What I do know is that I want to run. To be a running mommy. To be healthy for my son. My husband. My family. Myself. I know training won’t be as “easy” as it has been in the past now that I’ve got a dependent little human on my hands. But once I set a goal, I plan on seeing it through. No matter what.
Until then, I’m always available to cheer 😉
Do you have any upcoming fitness goals? What races are you running in 2013-2014? Any words of advice for a running mommy?