I never thought of myself as a runner. Back in high school I took physical education during summer school because I didn't want to sweat during the regular school year. I had a friend in my class who was probably around 300 pounds and he did not run. Instead the two of us would walk the mile together around the track. We had to do it in less than 20 minute and usually the two of us (the odd pair that we were) finished right around 19 minutes and 50 some seconds.
Then Annika was born and the curse of the slowed down metabolism hit. I was no longer going to be able to get away with eating cookies and candy for lunch while maintaining my size 2. I needed an exercise plan. In June the personal trainer at my work asked me if I wanted to train for a half marathon. I had never done a 5K or even a 10K but here she was asking me to do 13.1 miles of running.....at once.
Up for the challenge I took it. I followed this training schedule for both the half marathons I have completed. While I am not the fastest runner (I average in a half marathon about 10 1/2 to 11 1/2 minute miles) I was proud to say that I did it. I am actually excited to to another race since I've already built up my speed to this now and I'm sure I will get faster with training.
Now when I started the half marathon training schedule I was barely able to run for more than 1/4 mile without stopping to catch my breath. But each and every run I got better and better. I would make a goal for myself with each run, I'm going to make it out of our neighborhood and to the entrance of the next. Then I made it to the next neighborhood. Then the traffic light. Then to the traffic light and around the corner. By the time I completed my 10 mile run I was able to run over 2 miles without stopping.
I know some people believe they have to run a half marathon non-stop without walking but I don't. I have a perfectly good pace with being able to walk a bit. I've only done one shorter race over a local bridge that was 4 miles long and I did run that entire race on pure adrenaline and did 10 minute miles (plus that was the day Josh and I were going to buy a new car and I needed to get the race over with so we could go car shopping!).
Currently I am preparing myself to start the half marathon training schedule. Thanks to the extra cushion inside the stroller and the nice flat sidewalks I run on I now feel comfortable running with both the girls in the jogger. Annabel's head is perfectly still in it and she doesn't bounce around at all. As you can see they fall asleep while I run which is great because I get my "me time" to zone out and run.
If you are interested in a double jogging stroller I have this one which is pictured here. I also have an Instep single jogger but it is not the "Safari" one. I can't seem to find a link so they may not make it any longer. The Instep Safari single stroller looks a lot like my double so I'm sure it's good too.
During the week I have both girls while training because of our work schedules. On the weekends I have been taking Annika with me in her single jogger. I haven't done more than 5 miles with her and I probably won't increase my miles with her. I really don't think she can handle a longer run. While she does enjoy riding in the stroller and naming every single thing she sees I can see how it could be pretty boring. Soon I'll have to start running again on my own during longer runs which I don't mind but it's nice to be able to store my water bottles in the stroller! I usually wear this on long runs while I'm alone. I don't understand how people run without "fuel". I always have to have water and on runs longer than 5 miles I use GU Gels for energy. The chocolate and vanilla are my favorite. The chocolate is like a treat because it tastes just like chocolate icing. I think all the other flavors taste like plastic so I never buy them.
So 12 weeks before my next scheduled race I will start following this training schedule which is a level higher than the last I did for both my other races. I want to improve my time and try to finish closer to 2 hours (I did 2 hours 27 minutes last time). I plan on doing this race again as it was my first race every back in November 2010. I just need to sign up for it so I can't back out! Last time I did this race only a few weeks after my mom died and while my dad was in the hospital so it has a lot of memories for me. I was able to stick with my training schedule through all that was going on and finish this race with Josh waiting for me at the finish line!
If you have any other questions about running please leave me a comment and I will do a full post with all the questions and my answers!