When Dimity emailed and SBS called to let me know I had won a free entry for the Las Vegas Rock n Roll (Half) Marathon, I was floored. Beyond excited!
And then I freaked out. After 7 months of only playing soccer and running sporadically, how was I supposed to train for a 13.1 mile run in 5 short weeks? And all of this was during a transition from coaching my competitive and college soccer teams to coaching my high school team—and I had just accepted a new part-time job. My husband, as usual, told me I was crazy but supported my desire to make it happen. So I told Dimity and SBS, “Of course I’m in,” made the hotel reservations, and hoped that I could build enough of a running base to not keel over from exhaustion during or after the run.
Back in April, after having an amazing PR run at the Santa Cruz Half Marathon and many long discussions on the subject, my husband and I decided to try for baby #2. We come from a blended family, so my 3-year-old son technically has siblings: an 18-year-old brother and a 15-year-old sister who love him very much. And for 2 years after I had him, I was dead-set against having another baby. Anyhow, a switch went off and I decided he needed a sibling closer in age.
This is where the lack of training comes in. I was not going to continue to shell out race entry fees of $75, $100, $150+ for runs that I might not be able to participate in…and without those events as a driving force, I tend to exercise just enough to keep my fast food habit in check. So my daily runs dwindled to a few miles a few times a week when convenient. Also, after Santa Cruz, my body was hit with injury after injury: Achilles tendonitis in both legs, a partially separated shoulder with potential cartilage tear, split open eyebrow requiring 15 stitches, and an exhaustive list of other bumps and bruises from playing soccer.
But after months of trying with no pregnancy in sight and no easy medical answers, I needed something else to work towards. I signed up (and shelled out the cash) for a Super Spartan Race in January with a bunch of soccer playing ladies. Due to the nature of the event, the race coordinator was even amenable to some sort of refund if I did get pregnant, so there was still a safety net. And then I got the email to run in Vegas.
Running the Strip at Night provided the instant and necessary impetus to get my butt back on the road. I now HAD to get out and run! Despite a couple of speed bumps, I made it through an intense 5 weeks of preparation. I finished the Vegas half in a respectable 2:05:16 that included weaving my way through a significant number of the 44,000 people who started in a corral ahead of their projected pace, a pit stop to tie a unruly shoelace, and a potty break at the 11 mile mark (apparently I should have gone one last time).
And even though my post-race celebration didn’t include rooftop dancing at the Palms in my favorite heels, being able to spend the evening with my boys was priceless. Because whether I have my one spirited little boy, or surpass the Duggar family, I am and will continue to be a BAMR.