Until last year, running had always been a very solitary pursuit for me. I did all of my running by myself, partly due to scheduling conflicts but mostly because I didn't know any women runners who lived nearby and enjoyed running longer distances. I wasn't a member of any running clubs and never had someone to keep me company on my 20 mile training runs. As much as I loved running, it was never something that I was able to share with anyone else -- literally (as in running with someone) or figuratively (as in writing/reading/talking about my passion with someone else who actually cared).
Last June, I was searching the internet for others who had successfully battled tendinitis of the foot when I came across some running blogs. I had never been one who read or followed any blogs and didn't have any friends who wrote one, either.
I started reading about these women and their attempts to balance their passion for running and their struggles with eating healthy, raising kids, working (in or out of the home), grocery shopping, cooking, volunteering at their kids' schools, practicing yoga, keeping their houses (relatively) clean and keeping their spouses (relatively) happy. These women supported each other, encouraged each other, comforted each other and motivated each other.
They certainly don't all have everything in common -- some are married, some are single, some have kids, some are childless, some are young, some are old, some are overweight, some are thin, some are fast, some are slow, some are vegan and some live in the midwest. [Any vegans from the midwest??] But they all share a love of all things running.
I became inspired.
I started a blog.
I hired a running coach.
I registered for Boston.
I set a big goal to run a sub-3:30 marathon.
I turned 40. (Okay, this one wasn't something I chose to do or even wanted to do...but it seemed like a big deal to be doing all of this while turning a pivotal age where most runners are starting to slow down.)
I made new running friends who believed in me.
I put in the miles.
I hit the track.
I became comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I added cross training.
I developed a strict post-run recovery routine.
I started going to bed earlier in order to maximize sleep.
And last, but not least, I started to believe in myself.
|a jacket I literally had to work for|
|40th birthday celebrations|
|Putting in the miles|
|The site of many 800m repeats|
|learning to become comfortable running in freezing temps|
|I've looked at this many, many times during my runs|
I almost reached my goal in Boston when I ran a 3:30:30 and then finally did a few weeks later with a 3:25:25 in Newport, Oregon. I was so happy at that moment that I was ready to hang up my running shoes and walk off into the sunset.
But now that a couple of weeks have passed, it is time to start focusing on what's next.
I took a full week off with no exercise whatsoever and then decided to start the Insanity DVD's. I had bought them a year or so ago but had never actually done them. I am almost finished with my second week of the program and am really enjoying it so far. I thought it would be a good way to strengthen my core while also giving my legs a little bit of a break. As it turns out, my left knee has been really bothering me every time I have tried running so it is probably a good thing for me to be mixing it up a little these days. Sometimes I run 2 miles on the treadmill after the Insanity workout but even that short run bothers my knee so now I'm taking another week off from running.
I also am realizing that Hood to Coast is just two months away and, at some point, I will need to start training for it. Running HTC this year is not something that I was planning on doing. I ran it one time, about ten years ago, and had a great time but I was a last-minute addition to the team and only knew one person in my van. I knew I wanted to do it again one day and then the opportunity presented itself about two months ago when a friend offered me an entire team to buy. I jumped at the chance and am looking forward a fun, exhausting and unforgettable weekend with a mix of college friends, high school friends, friends of friends and my husband!!
I haven't yet thought much past HTC but my tentative plan is to run some shorter races in the fall and then pick another goal marathon for next spring...I'm thinking of Boston or maybe Eugene. And I'm definitely planning on setting another big goal for that race!
Has anyone done the Insanity program? Thoughts? Results??
Anyone else running HTC this year?
Has anyone else run the Eugene Marathon? Would you recommend it?