Running With My Heart

I am driving my husband out of his mind. To be fair, if I were to tell Ann Brennan of 2012 what I am doing right now, she would be going out of her mind as well. But it is okay, because I am having fun. I am getting the training done and I will run NCR Trail Marathon at the end of November without losing my mind.

So, what am I doing?

I am running with my heart. I have no training program. I haven’t used one since May. It started off innocently enough. I was struggling with the workouts in my plan. I was struggling to get them in at all but I was also struggling with the exactness of them. I felt pressure to get it right and in turn this pressure was discouraging me from getting out the door.

After two years of struggling to want to run at all, I decided it was time to find that desire again. I wanted to love running like I used to. I wanted to get a hankering to get out there and I had to find a way to get to that point.

The first thing I did was rope in a training partner who was also not loving the sport. I asked my son, Blaise, to train for theAnnapolis 10-Miler with me. All summer we went out together, getting in our miles and enjoying the time, talking and having fun. The run was almost secondary.

I have run for an awful long time so, though I did not have a plan, I did know what it would take to get across that finish line. And Blaise knew how to push me just enough to get better every week without making me lose the joy.

In August we finished the race just in time for him to head back to school and suddenly I worried again. How was I going to get my workouts in without him. He had been my secret ingredient.

So I improvised. I started running with the Fleet Feet running groups twice a week and inviting people to run with me on my long runs. That left me one day a week to run on my own. It turns out that was not hard to do. After all the consistency Blaise and I had built over the summer I had found the hankering.I actually looked forward to those runs again.

This weekend, I have a twenty-miler. My husband casually asked whether it would be my longest run before my marathon next month. When I told him I wasn’t sure, he didn’t get it. He follows a plan. We have followed plans all of our running lives. It is just the way you get it done. What I am doing seemed crazy to him.

But I know. I know that I may not have a plan, but I have a heart. I have a heart that is telling me that I am loving running again. A head that is telling me nothing hurts right now. And this far into the marathon season that is a huge deal. I am listening to my body and using my past experience to get there.

In March I will be running a marathon with Megan, my 19-year-old daughter. In May, she and I will be running 24-hours for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. For those, I will train with a plan. I have goals for the marathon. I want to go into the 24-hour run as fit as I have ever been and I will need my coach and his plan to get me there. But for now I want to run happy and to do that I will run with my heart.

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