Back in July, I did something stupid. I signed up to run a half marathon. Yes, I thought it wise to aim for a 13.1 mile run, when I had only begun running in JANUARY. I found a training plan to fit my needs and schedule and planned out 18 weeks of running, stretching, yoga and foam rolling.
What I didn’t realize is how much this running thing would consume my life. I slowly worked up to 25 miles a week. My weekends revolved around long runs. My evenings were always first for training runs, and second for cooking, cleaning, socialization and of course, my boyfriend. Aches and pains filled my dreams as my legs longed for me to just quit. Why did I think I could do this anyway? What made me so sure I could even go that far, much less in one shot?
My boyfriend, family, friends and my own self-confidence. That’s how I got through it. Sure, there were runs where I hated myself for signing up for this silly race. I wanted to collapse during more than one long run. Crappy weather: rain, cold, wind almost kept me from lacing up. But Chris never failed to push me out the door (sometimes literally). My family & friends never ceased to be impressed by my progress. I made new friends thanks to group runs, who helped remind me I can do it. And my own history told me it was not only possible, but that I’d shine.
It was tough. 18 weeks of self-torture. And I’ll do it all over again. The finish line experience is something else entirely. It’s incredible to be cheered on by that many people. It’s incredible to have your loved ones on the sidelines watching you accomplish this goal. I nearly burst into tears upon finishing. Tears of pure joy and happiness, tears of pride, tears of “I did it!”
And I can’t wait to do it again! I have already signed up for a few 8k and 5k runs, to keep myself motivated enough to train, and I’m looking into which half I want to aim for next year. Training over the Wisconsin winter won’t be easy, but I’ll make it work somehow!
What’s not so difficult: this smoothie. It’s easy to make, and even easier to eat. Reduce the milk and you have a spoonable smoothie bowl! Use it to recover after a long run, a great yoga class, or when you have some leftover pumpkin puree to use up.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- 1 C cold non dairy milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 C pumpkin puree
- 1/3 C oats (uncooked)
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp almond butter (optional, for added fat if you need it)
Add all ingredients into your blender and go to town on it! Make sure you blend until completely smooth. Serve and enjoy the fruits of your labor!