About two years and a week ago, I ran my first half marathon in D.C. Since then I have run several more races, and last July I ran my first marathon.
My friends always ask me what motivates me to run, because in their minds there is literally nothing worse than running… let alone running for what they consider obscene distances. And to top it off, I’m often up very early or very late getting my miles in. Since I only run outdoors, my friends find this completely crazy (I think I’ve mentioned several times that I live in Baltimore, so the hours of the day where it is safe to run alone are limited to daylight).
The first race I ran, I ran because a bunch of people in my law school were running it. And I though… “if they can run it, so can I.” When I first started training, I was concerned. In high school, my fleet footed running days were cut short when I had a catastrophic fall in 10th grade. I tumbled down a flight of stairs during a face paced run, and before I even hit the ground I knew that it was going to be ugly. It took years before my ankle lost it’s puffiness, and my knees were never the same. So when I set my sights on this half marathon a little over two years ago, I was aiming high. And I thought I wouldn’t ever run a marathon. I watched those marathon runners struggle at the half I ran. In fact, most of them look flat out miserable and pissed off. And I believed that my knees wouldn’t be able to make it.
Then exactly 1 year after my first half marathon, I ran a half marathon and a 10 mile in two consecutive weekends. My cousin, my friend, and I all ran the two races. We all finished, but my cousin and friend were hurting after the second race. And me? I felt amazing… and that was the moment I knew that I could run a marathon. If I could do that… I could run a marathon. It wasn’t until late April last year that I decided to run the San Francisco Marathon. I made a training schedule for 18 weeks… it was going to be a tight training schedule to get ready for the race but I was ready. In May I ran a half marathon for training purposes, but wore relatively new shoes. During the race, my feet felt terrible and after the race I had to sit out for 2 weeks waiting for my feet to feel normal again. Then, the minute my foot felt better I shot out of my apartment for a run (even though it was 100 degrees outside) and I fell. I hadn’t fallen during a run since high school (I’m super super careful when I run) but my foot slid on some sand or missed the curb or something, but I fell!! And I had to sit out another week while the bruises and scrapes healed. And somehow despite all those little things, I ran my marathon with a smile on my face the entire time. It was the best day of my life.
I’ve run a couple races since, but I’ve been feeling burnt out. I got (REALLY) out of shape after November when I forced myself to take a break from running and now I’m trying to get back in the groove. I really don’t mind running alone, but sometimes I really just need someone to go with. There are only so many 10 mile runs you can do on your own in complete utter running silence before you feel like you need a buddy. And I recently cut all my hair off, so the short hair stuffed under a cap has become more and more irritated. My scalp is unhappy with the little points of hair poking it ruthlessly during our runs. And to add insult to injury? This year my seasonal allergies are the worst yet. I feel short of breath because of all the pollen I seem to be sucking in.
Anyway, last night I went out and bought myself tons of salad greens, some steak and chicken, and a small chunk of blue cheese to make myself plenty and plenty of salad. This officially starts my campaign to get back into insane running shape. I was in good shape when I ran the marathon, but I plan on getting back into that kind of endurance and stamina PLUS some!
So… my next two years of running will be better than the last!! I’m going to focus on quality time and quality races as opposed to the intense racing I’ve done over the last two years. (Did I mention I’ve run 10 races, all over 10 miles, in the last two years?!)