Running is such a journey. I am learning that so much more recently. It’s not one run, it’s not one race, it’s not one training cycle, and it’s a journey that will hopefully last a lifetime.
I thought it’d be fun today to look back on that journey, to show that it’s not one thing but a culmination of training that get us to where we want to be. I shared my running journey quite some time ago, but today I wanted to share with you all some of the big moments I have experienced over the years of my crazy running journey.
Let’s start back many years ago.
2006: This isn’t where my running began, but it is the first time I saw running as something other than a means to “stay skinny” or “absolute craziness.” I remember vividly a girl I knew running 6 miles a day and I thought that was insane. Running just wasn’t in my life. However, my husband began running around this time and immediately set his eyes on running a marathon.
2007: A year or so passed and I was having fun watching him run, but still thought he was absolutely insane. How could someone possibly run a marathon? I had never been an athlete so to me it was really hard for me to grasp the idea that anyone would want to do this for fun.
After watching a few races, my husband convinced me to slowly start running and participate in a 5k with him. I remember waking up at some time I would never have been up and running what at the time felt like the hardest race ever. The best part of the race at the time was coming back and getting back in bed.
2008/2009: After the 5k, I continued to run here and there but never put together anything of substance. He once again convinced me that I was capable of running a half marathon. I just wanted to complete it and my training wasn’t so well put together. I still remember crossing that finish line and feeling like I just did something impossible.
2009/2010: I still didn’t really get the running bug even after my first bigger race. I continued to support my husband has he kept knocking more and more time off the marathon. It had become such a passion for him and I loved being able to be a part of it with him.
The biggest moment of 2010 for me was when my husband proposed after the Boston Marathon. It was his first Boston and an incredible experience for me to watch. It was the first time I’d say I finally had an itch to push myself a little further when it came to running.
2011: I worked hard in training, it was more than I had ever done, and my goal was simply to complete it I figured that is all I could do.
I ran Chicago in 2011 in 4:40. I was hoping for quicker than that, but really didn’t care and was happy with completing it!
2012: I got the itch again. Quicker than I thought I would. I guess all those people were right when they told me you will tell yourself you’ll never run one again, but you will! I signed up once again for the Chicago Marathon. I once again didn’t set a goal time because I didn’t think because of a few setbacks, and because deep down I will still dealing with a lot of self-doubt. Chicago came and I ran a 4:38, not much different than my previous marathon.
2013: This was a pretty rough year when I came to running. I went through phases of not wanting to run, quitting running altogether, and then coming back around to it. After finding my love of running again, I started training for speed in hopes of one day qualifying for Boston. I ran my first 10k in 47:45 which was a huge speed improvement for me.
I was making great strides until I lost my job. I didn’t quite know how to handle it at the time, so I turned my focus into running lots of miles. It took up time and it took my mind off of it. Sadly, my body could only take so much and I ended up with a femoral stress fracture.
2014: Most of you know about my injury, so we will just fast forward to 2014. I slowly worked my way back to running after my injury and focused on my dream of qualifying for Boston. After we moved, I started my Hansons Marathon Method Training and finally chose to race the Kiawah Island Marathon in 2014 and finished in 3:29! I had my BQ!
2015: I wanted to continue improving; I was pumped up after Kiawah; however my body had other plans. It was exhausted and I pushed it back into training too quickly. As I began training for Chicago my body just wasn’t having it. After some time of rest, adjusting my training scheduled, and listening to my body I managed a 3:26 in Chicago. Not the goal I was going for, but I was happy with improvement!
2016: It’s only just begun but I’ve started 2016 out with a running coach, ran a 2 minute PR in the half marathon in January of a 1:37 and have my eyes focused on my very first Boston! There is no time goal, I’m letting my body dictate this one and take some pressure off, but I am so excited!
Even though you may have heard a lot of this before, my point in sharing is to show that running is a journey. There are going to be good days, bad days, days you doubt yourself, and days where you don’t want to run. They all culminate into a pretty beautiful picture when you look back at it. I often times find myself going back and looking at the past 4-5 years. When I find myself struggling I realize just how far I’ve come and that this is only the beginning.
I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years hold! The possibilities are endless and the goals are sky high!
When did you start running?
Did you ever deal with an “off” year?