Where it All Began
Cherry Blossom 10 miler – 2008
My first road race! Prior to this race the only running experience I had was through sports and the longest I’d ever ran during “training” was 3 miles. To say I knew nothing about how to train for a race was putting it lightly. Not surprisingly, I was completely unprepared and spent the last 6 miles of the race in total misery. I made it across the finish line before the cut off time (barely), in serious pain from the chest down, and feeling more than a little disappointed. I wanted to swear off running for good, I wanted to shout “See! I told you so! I’m just not meant to be a runner.” But my boyfriend (future husband and Navyguy) was telling me “See, you can do it, you finished.”
There was something about crossing that finish line that completely changed my outlook on running. The only reason I ever ran was to prove to someone else that I could. But running a race wasn’t about making the team and the only one holding me to any kind of standard was myself. If I wanted to look back on this race and say I failed, I could. If I wanted to look back on the race and say I succeed, I could.
At the time I still had a tendency to look at life pretty negatively, so I was still convinced I failed, but that failure sparked a desire in me to do better. At the end of the race I promptly decided to never run again but after awhile (ok, like a few weeks ;)) I started to feel the urge to try again. I knew I could do it and I wanted to prove it to myself. This is the race that started it all and my love for races hasn’t ended since.
When I truly started to love racing:
Surf City Half Marathon – 2010
I had been running consistently for a year and I really wanted to push myself. This was the first time I was really able to run for myself and accept my abilities for what they were. I might still be “slow” but I’m proud of my pace because I know I’ve worked hard for it.
Finally Seeing Improvement:
St. Patrick’s Day 10k 2010 – 1:07:30
This was the first race I really felt like I could see myself actually getting faster. My goal was to average an 11:15 pace and I ended up averaging a 10:51! I was finally able to break through my mental barrier about how fast I could run.