When I began to run a little over four years ago, I had three goals; 1) Run the ‘next’ race, 2) Run a marathon, and 3) Run in the Boston marathon. So, I trained for and ran my first 5k, and then, I trained for and ran my first 10k. I was “running the next race” (goal no. 1, check!). By the time I got to the half-marathon (13.1 miles), being a complete novice, I signed up for and ran the Mt Lemmon half-marathon, uphill at altitude. Man! That run was tough, I still remember. There was a little out-and-back right before the last 100 yards that finally broke me; I had to walk.
I found the strength to sprint the last 50 yards and finish the race. I was choked up – I did it. I ran this race on this mountain – something completely unfathomable to my former self. It was time for goal no. 2; the marathon.
Using the same app, I began training again with my new, unfamiliar tenacity. As the day approached to actually run the distance, I began to get a little nervous that I would be out there so long with no support – what if something happened?
I balked. I decided I needed to find someone to train with. I wasn’t totally thrilled to be joining a group though; what if I was the slowest one there? What would all these seasoned runners think of the new guy? But I decided the benefits outweighed my insecurities and that landed me with a running group that had a pretty solid marathon training program. I began again.
The target race was in December and we worked hard, sticking to a plan and making sure we didn’t push too hard, too fast, too soon. I made a lot of friends in that group and ran my first marathon with a stupid smile on my face, high-fiving the spectators as I sprinted across the line. My legs were wobbly and I shivered and shook in the now cooling air. Goal no. 2? Check!
Since then, I’ve taken a few detours and run several 50ks, a couple of 50 milers, and I ran from Tucson to Phoenix, 125 miles, to raise money for cancer research, but there’s a goal still on the table. My Super Bowl goal is still out there.
Recently, when my running shop friends encouraged me to race hard at a local 5k, I PR’d my 5k time by fifty seconds. That’s when it occurred to me that it just might be the right time. I’m moving into another age group and gaining 10 minutes to qualify for Boston, I have plenty of time to train.. Yep, it’s time.
I have a coach, I have confidence, I’ve learned a thing or two in the four years I’ve been running, and I know how to be patient.
I’m going to the Super Bowl!