First of all, I ran eight miles today!!! Yay!!! I was so excited to run but really really nervous. I was nervous it would hurt a lot and I wouldn't be able to and I was nervous I would be able to and my achilles would be back to square one after the run. But it was good! My achilles definitely isn't 100% yet, but it is tons better. I could feel it during the run and there was a little tenderness/soreness, but on a pain scale it was never over a two or three, and since I got done it feels pretty good and is not swollen (although I am still icing). So I am pretty excited and hopeful. Four days off felt like an eternity, especially with my next marathon under a month away now (!!!) and I was so happy to be out there running this morning.
I have lots more questions to answer (and will soon), but I got a really good one this morning that I have been thinking about and feel like answering now. As we were running this morning, Jenny asked me, "How far do you want to go with running?" I get a lot of questions from a lot of people, but when I get a question from Josh, my parents, Jenny, etc. I stop and think on it a lot more than most.
My short answer for her was "I don't know", and that is definitely at least partly true. I don't really know how far I want to go, or how far I will be able to go. I don't have any delusions of grandeur or anything like that... I know I am not making it to the Olympics or the professional level of racing. On the flip side, three years ago I had never run a mile. Less than four months ago I was THRILLED to have a sub-four hour marathon. And now I am hoping to qualify for Boston and have a sub 3:30 marathon in the very near future, and think I will have times even faster than that in me.
I am training hard, enjoying it and seeing great results. I am setting short-term goals and achieving them. I am planning races (marathons) because I love racing.
My "ultimate running goal" is to be a runner for the rest of my life. I have said it before and I mean it... I want to be the little, white-haired old lady lined up at the starting line for races, even if I am no longer fast. I always want to start my days with a run.
Beyond that, I want to get/stay injury free, and I want to keep pushing myself. I want to see how fast I can get this body to go. I want to find what my full potential as a runner is and reach that, whatever it may be. As of now, the marathon is my focus because that is what I really enjoy and where my running heart is.
So to answer "how far do I want to go" - I want to qualify for Boston (sub 3:45 marathon) and I want a sub 3:30 marathon. When I achieve those goals, I will set myself some more. I would love to be a part of the 50 states marathon club and run a marathon in every state eventually, but I figure I have loads of time to accomplish that.
I love running. I love what it has given me, what is does for me, and how it makes me feel. I love the personal challenge. I love the running community, the support I get from it, and all of the amazing people I have gotten to know because of running. I love running with my husband and I love running with Jenny and other friends. I love all of the awesome experiences I have had because of running, and look forward to many in the future. I love being a runner.
So how far do I want to go? I guess my real answer is, "as far as I can." :)
How far do YOU want to go?