I can't really believe it, but after yesterday morning's run, I am "done" with my training for the Utah Valley Marathon. I ran 9 miles yesterday morning - a three mile warm up, 3x1 mile (6:24, 6:26, 6:15) and then a three mile cool down. I was pretty happy to hit that 6:15 mile, especially after the tough track work out the day before.
I had six easy miles this morning and there is nothing left before race day but shorter, easy runs and some strides. I have a post coming soon with my hopes and goals for UVM and reflections on this fairly short, but pretty dang awesome, training period.
I got the below question in an email and thought I would answer it here.
"So the question is…. you must be a very competitive person by nature.
How did you go from not running at all to running the high mileage
you're doing now? How did you convince yourself that you needed to
qualify for Boston and keep setting personal bests? That's an amazing
turnaround…. what planted the seed? Why didn't you just settle (like
me) with running low mileage just to remain fit? Just interested how it
all started. I just cannot imagine myself running that kind of
First I need to say that I am not really a very competitive person. I am a very driven person though. I have always been that way - if I am going to do something, I want to do it well. Really well. Not better than anyone else, but to the very best of my abilities. I graduated from high school fifth in my class of about 500 kids, with a generous scholarship to college. I always had straight A's in school. Whether I was showing horses, playing violin, or babysitting, I was dedicated and committed to doing the best I could.
Again, I have never really had a strong desire to beat others, just to getting the most out of myself that I can. I have always wanted to be good at what I do.
When I started running just over three years ago, it was because I was looking for a new "tool" to help me lose weight. I never, ever imagined I would enjoy running, and I really never, ever imagined that I would be any good at it.
I have written about how hard that first run was, but how hooked I was from that very first day. For a while I settled in at running three miles a day, five days a week. I remember telling my dad that three miles was the perfect daily distance and I couldn't imagine running more than that regularly. Ha! That didn't last long.
Then I ran a 5k and found that I really enjoyed racing. Then Josh and I decided to sign up for a 10k and we both loved it. Then I ran on a Ragnar relay team (and trained hard for it). Then Jenny and I decided to train for and run a half marathon. Then I decided to train for a full marathon, thinking it would be a one-time thing that I crossed off my bucket list. Each time I fully enjoyed the new challenge, the training, the reward, and the sense of accomplishment. Each time I finished satisfied, excited, and ready to push myself a little further.
When I ran that first marathon in December 2010, I just knew I had found my distance. We had not finished the short walk from the finish line back to the hotel before I told Josh and my parents that I wanted to do another one. I couldn't stop smiling. I wanted to run another marathon because I loved the training. I loved the actual race. I loved the challenge. I wanted to train better. I wanted to race faster. I wanted to see how good I could be at the marathon distance. I truly enjoyed the 5k's, 10k's, relay races, and half marathons, but in my heart I knew that day that I am a marathoner.
I ran my first marathon in 4:15. After that, the first goal I set for myself was to run a marathon in under four hours. I signed up to run the Salt Lake City Marathon in April 2011 and stepped up my training. Sure enough, I ran a 3:57. I was on cloud nine. For the first time I realized that I could set goals, train for them, and achieve them. I remember thinking there was NO way I could shave another 20 minutes off of that time and qualify for Boston, but that thinking didn't last long either, and I decided to train for it and see what I could do.
Four months later, I qualified for Boston on my first attempt with a 3:32, and two weeks later I bettered my PR to 3:28.
Early this year I decided I wanted to try to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. Just like when I decided to try and qualify for Boston, I know that hitting that qualifying standard will NOT be easy, and that I may not succeed. But I want to try, and I am willing to put the work in to do my best to make it happen. I love the training. I feel great. I have the BEST support system. I am able to train without having a negative impact on the rest of my life. I am very much enjoying the journey.
When I set out on that first run three years ago could I have imagined that I would one day be running 90 mile weeks? When I was struggling to finish a mile without walking, and when I was dead last in our little group of neighborhood moms who ran together, and was slower than a 12 minute pace, could I ever imagined that I would be able to run miles in the 6-7 minute range? When I ran that first marathon could I ever have dreamed that just over a year later I would decide to set the goal to qualify for the Olympic Trials?
But the desire to push myself to be the best runner I can be has been there from day one. At first that meant running two miles without walking. Steadily my goals and dreams have increased along with my mileage and speed. I think a big part of it is my nature to push myself and my drive to do the best that I possibly can at what I put my heart in to. I also believe that running is a talent that took me a while to discover, but is God-given. That also makes me want to make the very most of it.
I am driven. I am determined. I am committed. I am faithful. I am a runner. I am a marathoner.
I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to encourage my kids and others to do the same. I want to see how good I can be at doing what I love. I want to squeeze the best out of myself that I can.
That's why I do what I do. :)
“When all's said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it's not so much which road you take, as how you take it.” - Charles de Lint
“Try and fail, but don't fail to try.” - Stephen Kaggwa
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” - Abraham Lincoln
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” - Helen Keller
and my favorite -
"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." - Ralph Waldo Emerson