Role Mother (and marathoner) Melissa is trying out the Half-Marathon Heart Rate Challenge and documenting it along the way. Here, she talks about what keeps her motivated. (Check out her intro post, her first two-week check-in, full of run/walk/skip/stop/bend over combos, her thoughts on delayed gratification, and her setbacks.)

Melissa Fenton

These last weeks of heart rate training have been rough for me. I’ve been fighting a lingering virus of some sort, and experiencing a level of fatigue that goes beyond what just the typical effects of heat and high humidity would bring. For this reason, I have resisted doing any EAT math, or trying to figure out future race paces, or doing any type of pick-ups. Instead, I have probably regressed about two or three weeks in training. And guess what? I’m completely OK with that.

When I started to feel completely defeated, I headed over to the HR Training FB page and spent some time reading posts. Something wonderful and inspiring is happening over there! We are all progressing at different rates, all questioning workouts, some doubting, some greatly improving, and some regressing. But there are a few posts that I’ve read this past week that have brought me both a little hope, and a whole lot of satisfaction.

There is hope that I’m gonna “get” this some day, and satisfaction that this group of BAMRs, no, I take that back, every group of BAMRs is full of the most amazing, giving, and inspiring group mothers and grandmothers that I’ll probably even get to “know” in my life. SBS and D often talk about it during podcasts, how the mother runners they meet in real life or through these training groups are just plain outstanding human beings. And they are, we are. I read a post just yesterday that had a BAMR saving someone’s life at the gym. Let me repeat that. SHE SAVED A LIFE. A man next to her on the treadmill at the gym collapsed, and she went into nurse mode, administering CPR and using an AED. Coincidence she was the one running next to him? I think not.

And another recent post by a BAMR who has been having a difficult time with her HR training was the epitome of grace and giving yourself second chances. Not satisfied with how she had been progressing and admitting to her failings, she was going back to week 1. A big, huge DO-OVER. She was wiping the slate clean and just plain starting over. I applaud this courageous mother runner, and can only hope that in the next few weeks if I am still struggling, I will give myself the grace to do just that.

Finally, if you’re itching to get a race on your calendar, you’re not alone! I am anxious to not only culminate this HR training at the AMR Retreat Happy Girl Half Marathon, but I’m also ready to see what this winter racing season has in store for me, and how my HR training will make it a healthy, and happy racing season.

We’ll check in with Melissa every two weeks to see how she’s running and how she’s feeling, so come back to follow her progress.