Goals...we all have goals in life, yes? Striving, reaching, challenging ourselves. It is one thing that keeps us motivated when days seem like running on a hamster wheel. The Lord has blessed me with running. I always tell people that I have always been a runner but I just realized that this isn't true. A dear high school friend of mine keeps reminding me of a time when we ran together in high school and I wheezingly kept begging him to stop at friends' houses for water. Granted, dear Brett Wolfe-it was hot that day!!! His story always frustrated me because "I have always been a runner!". But he is right-I most certainly was not. I liked sports, was athletic, and had goals. I have always had the desire to run a marathon and started running recreationly late in high school and into the college years. I held the marathon dream close. I got married and kept running. I had 1 kid and kept running. I had 2 kids and remember thinking "what am I waiting for?". I believe I was scared to make the commitment because that meant my dream was out there. Others would know and I could fail. But I committed. I ran my first half marathon during my training and then tore a calf muscle 6 weeks out from the first marathon I committed to...that was a sad sad day but only fueled the fire more. I ran my another half in New Hampshire and then my first marathon in Massachusetts in July (CRAZY) and it was 7 laps around a lake. Not the most glamorous of races but I DID IT! It was hard, miserable, and amazing. I became addicted to running. I kept having more kids but running gave me a peace, moments with God away from the chaos of being a stay at home mom, an outlet to express my emotions safely as they are pounded into the pavement mile by mile. I have never once regretted going out for a run. Now I have 4 half marathons under my belt, 3 marathons, and a handful of other races ranging from 5ks to 10 milers...meager numbers compared to the runners I have been blessed to know over the years. I use to think my numbers were special until I joined running clubs and heard their stats. But I have also learned that as competitive as we runners are...you compete within yourself and not others: against your PRs, against your mind not wanting to get out of bed that morning, against the side stitch as you see the finish line, against your body telling you to quit.
So I ran a local 10K this past weekend and was the 4th woman overall to finish and won my age group (GASP-this has never happened to me before)! And after 4 races in 7 weeks, I decided to sit on my rear for a week and evaluate my "goals" for next "training cycle".
So here I am as an adult with my passion for running reaching an all new high. I feel like it has just been the past few years that have truly ignited something new in me and that is a passion for the competition side of running. It challenges my mind and body on a whole new level. I have realized I am capable of far more that I ever thought I was. I can not be afraid of putting my goals out there because a failure does not mean I am defeated. It means that I won't quit, that I can get back out there and compete again, that I can do my best, hold my head up high, and be proud of every step I accomplish. And I will see you at the next race! (BTW egats running races is expensive. I have been selling everything I can find in the house to pay my entry fees! and you would be shocked at the number of running shoes I have in my closet).
So as I sit on my rear (trying to truly recover from knee bursitis so I can hit the pavement again-no lectures Mom, please!!), I am debating a 10K next weekend, a relay race in June, a 4 miler, and praying that a dear friend of mine and I get into the Bridger Ridge run (a 20 miler in Montana) as our race to unite is this year...and I have come to terms with my ultimate goal and am going to put it out there for all to hear - I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I believe I can do it if I put the work in. I believe my time is now (basically because I am aging up a level which means I get 5 minutes added to the time I need to qaulify). This is scary - it takes commitment, it takes passion, it takes work. I could fail. I could try and try again. We have a move coming this summer. I have 4 kids. I could fail. I am blessed. I will try. Any marathon recommendations?!