It wasn’t but 5 years ago that I ran my very first 1/2 marathon. It was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, here in lovely San Francisco on a beautiful fall day. I had never run that far in my life. It was thrilling to cross the line and even more surprising that I felt great doing so and even came in well under my goal time, under 2 hours.
But that wasn’t enough apparently. It wasn’t but the very next year, only a few months later, I was signing myself up, forking over my VISA to pay for more races. Then there was the series of injuries – stress fractures in both feet, that lead me to try some cycling and reluctantly, swimming. In 2006 I completed 2 more half marathons, and improved my time by a lot by the 3rd attempt. So of course, I really wanted more. Why not sign up for a triathlon.
In 2007, with the motivation and help from some friends, I signed up for not 1 sprint triathlon, not 1 Olympic triathlon, but my first sprint, my first olympic, my first HALF IRONMAN and a marathon. Again, I surprised myself with my results, finishing my first marathon under 4 hours?! My first Half-Ironman, the girl who can’t swim, well under 7 hours? Who was this foreign lady?
There’s a pattern developing here. In 2008, I continued, expecting to dole out awesome performances at Half-Ironmans and Marathons left and right. I learned a good lesson this year, if you don’t train right, it won’t feel good. But that didn’t stop me, I was committed. I still wanted more.
In 2009 I raced 2 Half Ironmans, a Full Ironman, a 6 day 113 mile trail run and quite possibly one of the harder 50k’s out there.
Still not satisfied.
Now I’m regularly logging 12+ mile trail runs on the weekends, finding things like half-marathons boring and Ironmans “doable”. Maybe I really need to back up a bit. I never ran in high school. I didn’t even do a sport! I played soccer and ran up until I was tossed into a rather intimidating sport-centric school as a lonely dweeb freshman. Sure, I was active. But I didn’t once compete. Not by myself, not on a team, ever. It wasn’t until age 21, in college, that I started to really run. I assumed that given my prior 20 years of not running, I was destined to always be slow and steady. And at first, I totally was. I never ran for pace, never expected much. Then I was looking for a job the summer after college and spent a lot of time running. And I tried running one day for 10 whole miles. That was daunting. Now I take 10 miles for granted. I signed up for that very first race a year later, never dreaming I could run that far or fast.
So now, where am I? I’ve done all these amazing things and it never seems to be enough. I’m always looking for some bigger, better, crazier challenge. Right now I can’t seem to find it. Maybe I do need to go run 100 miles, but that sounds like a lot of work. Now I expect it all to be easy and my times to be lickety split fast always and distances to melt in the horizon as I fly by.
Silly me! At least running 10 miles isn’t daunting any more. And I’m pretty darn healthy.