I was scrolling through photos and found one of my old half marathon results. The result was the product of 2-3 months of running that involved (half-assed) following an online program. I remember the end of the race and how proud I felt not having any real idea of goals tied to an outcome except run your best & finish. I also remember thinking if I trained more maybe the last 10km wouldn't have hurt so bad, I also wondered how the hell people run that twice in a marathon?!
The summer of Covid brought me back the the pavement. This time with curiosity, how do runners train? How can I stay injury free? How do you get faster and run further? I was lucky to have my cousin as a coach to offer me help. This is hands down the BEST choice I made as a new runner - I truly entered the sport with an open mind and a let's see where this goes attitude.
My running went from 4 days a week to 5, I was running majority of my runs slower than ever and enjoying the hell out of them. I was in no rush to reach a certain goal or 'level' of running, just simply enjoying the process. The first year of running I had a few shiny new racks times under my belt;
Women's 10km 46:14
Calgary Half Marathon 1:42:24
Next came the Marathon. I had 1.5 years of base building under me - my tissues had adapted to the running loads, I was still injury free and committed to something I never EVER thought possible for me. My first marathon build took me up to 6 days of running and the longest runs of my life, completing my first few 20 milers. With nothing to compare things too I finished up the training and headed to LA.
LA Marathon 3:36:19
The results made me hungry for more. I want to run faster. I was continuing to learn more and still enjoying the training process but my race goals were getting bigger and so was my ego. The next year of racing was run from ego - they were by far the HARDEST races I've run hurt wise, I was in the best shape thus far as a runner and wanted to see how far I could push it. These were also some of the best lessons I've learned.
Kemah 10km 46:22
Octoberfest Half Marathon 1:41:30
Houston Marathon 3:47:55
Never wanting to feel that hurt again I finally decided to drop the ego, invite the yogi back in and listen to my body. My last race was run in a flow state, I applied all the lessons learned thus far and was able to pull together the smartest, strongest, feel good race yet. It was a reminder that you cannot rush fitness, put the work in day in and out, follow your process goals and good things will come (and they aren't always related to a time on the clock)
Woodlands Half Marathon 1:38:59
Know your why and enjoy the process :)
Peace & Love