A quick look back at some of my running timeline -
April 25, 2009 - First run of my entire life. 2 miles (with quite a bit of walking). Very humbling!
June 2009 - Ran a 5k in about 32 minutes
July 2009 - Ran a 10k in about 1:02
June 2010 - Ran my first Ragnar Relay
July 2010 - Ran a 5k in 23:33
September 2010 - Ran my first half marathon in 2:04 and change
December 5, 2010 - Las Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon - 4:15:50
On December 5, 2010, I fell in love with the marathon. As I crossed the finish line and walked through the finisher's area, I was overwhelmed with emotions. I kept thinking, "I did it! I really did it!" It had been hard of course, but I loved it. I never wanted to quit. I never thought, "I'll never do this again!" I never stopped running. Walking through that finish line area, I loved the ache in my legs and the feeling that I had really pushed my body hard. I loved the tired and sore feeling, and somehow it made me feel even stronger than before. I couldn't stop smiling. I had a huge sense of accomplishment and excitement - and I knew that for me, running a marathon was much more than checking off something on my bucket list. I knew I wanted to run more. I knew I was hooked.
Just as I found a part of myself on April 25, 2009 when I went on that very first run, I found a part of myself on December 5, 2010 when I finished that first marathon. Something inside my soul clicked. A piece of my future slid into place. I had truly enjoyed the shorter races I had done before then, but nothing compared to the marathon.
I started talking about "the next one" as we walked back to the hotel from the finish area, and I remember my Dad laughing at me. At that point I didn't have any bigger goals, but as I trained more and ran more marathons, the goals came.
My first goal was to run a marathon in under four hours. On April 26, 2011, I ran a 3:57 marathon in Salt Lake. That day I realized that I had set a goal, worked hard, and accomplished it. I trained and improved. It was an awesome feeling. I started to wonder what else I could do. Could I possibly qualify for Boston? Break 3:30? I trained hard all summer, and in September 2011 I ran a 3:32 and then a 3:28.
I set two PR's in the half marathon and full marathon in the Goofy Challenge in January 2012. I won a half marathon in July 2012. I broke 20 minutes in the 5k in August 2012. I ran a 3:17 marathon in Pocatello in September 2012 (even though I gave up over 4 minutes on the clock to stomach problems). There were other races in there (11 marathons total and several shorter races) - not all went well, but they all taught me something and they all are part of my journey.
I have learned a great deal in the last two years. I have learned about training, resting, fueling, shoes, conditioning, stretching, recovery, gear, over-training, pacing, planning, avoiding injury, coaching, and much much more. I have learned from other runners, books, magazines, friends, courses, experience, social media, elites, coaches, and trial and error. I have learned that I am tougher than I ever thought, and willing to work harder than most. I have learned that Josh, my parents, my kids, and a few special friends will always be there to love, support, and encourage me. I have learned that the running community is amazing and truly awesome to be a part of. I have learned that I love the marathon even more than I did two years ago.
It has been a wonderful two years. As I took a little time on this anniversary to look back and reflect on my marathon journey so far, it has encouraged and uplifted me. It has fueled my passion, commitment, ambition, and joy. Bring on the next two years and beyond. :)
|Vegas Rock n Roll, December 5, 2010|
|Pocatello, September 2012|