I have never thought of myself as a particularly good runner……..it was something I did sporadically through my twenties and thirties and never got to the point where I felt the real joy or fun in it. Plus, I always saw races like a ½ marathon and a full marathon as events that are only done by “real” athletes….and I definitely didn’t feel like I fell in that category!!!!!!!!!
Then, a year or so ago…my friend and training partner at IF Carlota (the great organizer), arranged a weekly running group for women of all running abilities. We met at the Beach House and ran (in varying speeds…some women were training for Boston Marathon and others were new runners) to Ambleside and beyond…and I began to see that I could run longer than 1 hour and by running and talking with friends while running , it was actually enjoyable (big surprise).
Then this fall, my wonderful friend Leah decided to take things up a notch and train for the Vancouver Marathon with her friend Julie. I decided to do the LSD (long slow distance) training with them and see where it took me. Lucky for me, Leah is very organized and I benefitted from her route setting, and discussions as to what we should eat for fuel and drink when on these runs. I realized that by taking it slow and adding distance each week…that it wasn’t impossible to run for 2 or 3 hours at a time…..which seemed tough to do before.
It was always my intention to tackle the ½ marathon in May, before I did a full, but my sister decided that I had trained too hard with my running group and without telling me, (thanks Shar!!)… she signed me up for the full marathon. It was just the push I needed to actually commit to doing the marathon…and although I had a few sleepless nights as to whether I could actually complete the distance…I decided to go ahead and try.
The day of the marathon..turned out to be absolutely perfect. It was tough to complete, (but such a great feeling once you have finished). I started the race with my good friends beside me and even had my whole family of 5 (husband and 4 kids) out cheering me on during the course. Plus Kate and Justine from IF were also with me offering support (Kate ran the first ½ with me and then Justine the second ½). I realized that all the speed intervals that Justine (and later Kate)…made me endure every week, gave me the endurance to power through the hills and have the stamina for the distance (thanks girls!!!)
As a mom, who had a career in my earlier life (before child #4) it has been so great to actually set and achieve a goal…especially with my children watching me do it since often as a mom we rarely get to complete things. Plus I know that my doing a marathon has impacted my kids in a positive way, as they see that events like this are achievable (my 17 year old is already talking about when I do one next year…which I am definitely not ready to commit to one week out from the marathon…but who knows?!?!)
Ps and to my sister…thank you for signing me up for this challenge…and in return I have now signed you up for the Ironman…good luck, and I will be out cheering you on in the sidelines…your loving sis!!!!!