How to run 100 Miles

(Image of 2011 Cooper River Bridge Run by Island Photography)

I’ll give you a hint. You don’t do it all at once! I started running again in late January, once I’d recovered from the birth of my second baby. We were living a block from 7 miles of deserted winter beach on Isle of Palms, the sand of which was forgiving terrain for my knees. I had the goal of running the entire Cooper River Bridge Run in April, which gave me almost 13 full weeks to get ready for the 10K course. All I really needed was a good pair of shoes, but the following came in really handy as well:

-My Bob double stroller. It was a gift from the In-Laws this past Christmas, and with two kids under 3, often the only way I could run was taking them with me. The workout was definitely a lot harder with the kids’ weight added to it, especially when the beach breeze was strong. But sometimes my husband (who was training to run it with me) came we just made it a family affair, and the 2-year-old would get out and run with her daddy. This made the time so much fun.

-The “Couch to 5K” app. I had my iphone strapped onto my arm with earbuds in and used this program to train. It works wonderfully. The program starts assuming you can only walk, each day alternating little spurts of running with walking, slowly building up over time. It plays my own running playlist, but paused the music to prompt running or walking when appropriate. By the end of a few weeks I was running (slowly) for thirty minutes straight.

-The Nike Plus iPhone app. This came in handy, too. I’d run it every time I trained. It used GPS to track my route, distance, and speed. I could even go back and look at my records for time per mile and distance, and see a map of my run color coded to where I was fast or slow! I loved the cummulative tracking, too, how I could see how far I’d gone all spring and when I crossed that 100 mile mark.

-A beautiful location. I have to say that getting to run on the beach for months was amazing. Every day I was out there things were different. The tides changed, the winds pushed the sand in what was sometimes moving poetry. The gulls and the smells and the mist. Many of my winter runs I had the beach to myself, though sometimes that was due to cold or freezing rain. I’ve since moved away from the beach, and a treadmill we purchased is being delivered this week. Hopefully, I’ll still be able to enjoy running on it.

And I reached my goal, even though my training was halted by a couple of illnesses and travelling. My husband and I both made it the whole race without stopping. It was a great feeling to cross that finish line together!

*I’m linking this post to New Nostalgia’s Anti-Procrastination Tuesday*

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