Last year I reached a new limit with my running. I found a new level of speed that I never knew I had, leaving me faster and stronger than I have ever felt. I started training with a coach for the first time, who I hired to help me reach my goal of qualifying for the elusive Boston Marathon. Let’s just say my A-race did not go as planned, and I ended up with a knee injury that left me sidelined for 3 months. My running took a pause, and my husband and I decided to expand our family. I knew my Boston Marathon goals would have to wait until 2018 (for the 2019 race).
In January I started training with a new coach. I met Becki Spellman, an elite runner with Oiselle, at a running camp that Oiselle hosted for their Volee team last summer. I heard her philosophy on training, her tips on mental toughness, heard her talk about life as a mom, and got to know her as a person. On the drive home my teammates and I were rehashing the weekend, and I said I would die to have the opportunity to work with Becki.
I knew I was going to move away from my previous coach, but I didn’t really have a plan on who I was going to start with. Because I was planning on getting pregnant again in the near future, it was important to me that I found a female coach who had experience running through pregnancy, and has experience training through the complexities of motherhood. You guys, Becki continued training through her pregnancy with twins, and is kicking ass as an elite with two three-year-olds running around at home. Pretty sure she fits the bill to a T!
Heading into my pregnancy I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to keep running. With my first, I quit running at 30 weeks due to back pain, so I spent the last 9 weeks of pregnancy (I had my daughter at 39 weeks) walking, biking on the stationary bike at the gym, and swimming laps in the pool. With this second pregnancy, my goal was to make it past 30 weeks, and in order to do that I was going to also keep a focus on strength training. My hope was that I’d nip the back pain in the bud before it even started this time around. Let’s just say that Becki kept me running healthy and strong up until the day I went into labor. I ran 482 miles (who’s counting?), still averaging about 15 miles a week during the last few weeks of pregnancy.
I was cleared by my doctor to start running at 3.5 weeks postpartum. The second I received clearance I emailed Becki, who then sent me some postpartum core exercises to start doing as often as I possibly can, as well as a return to running plan made up of run/walk intervals. It was just this week that I started running 3-4 miles without walking breaks. The second I saw the words “30 minutes easy” on my training plan without the words “walking” attached, I was ecstatic and started making goals. I’m DYING to have a race I can keep in the back of my mind as my A-goal.
So, I wanted to make it official by putting it in writing for the world to see. I’m running the 2018 Eau Claire Marathon. My goal: 3:35. That would be good for a ticket to the 2019 Boston Marathon, assuming their entry standards don’t change after this year.
I also have some secondary goals, which include running a PR half marathon (goal: 1:40), and having the healthiest year yet, both from a nutrition standpoint and a fitness standpoint. Injury has taken me down in the past, so I’m going to make it my business to live my healthiest life and stay injury-free.
I am feeling like I have an opportunity for a fresh start, without having to actually start over.
Here’s to the next chapter!