Monday, May 30, 2011

Where it began...

A quick recap to bring you all up to date.

Let's start with my running story.  I was nearing 40 and there was the subconscious (because I would push it back down there whenever it rose to my conscious) knowledge that I was getting older and... ummm.... softer. Somehow I decided that running would fix that.  So I signed up for a 5k and bought a pair of running shoes (yes, I called them sneakers but that's because I grew up in New York).  It was winter in the Pacific NW so I hopped on a treadmill and started off.  The girl next to me was gliding along and looked like a runner - exactly what I was hoping to achieve.  So I assumed whatever she was doing was good.  I peeked at the settings on her treadmill and copied them.  What I did wasn't exactly gliding but I hung in there until after she had completed her (thankfully short) run and left the gym.  Then I immediately slowed it down.  But, I went back the next day and put it all back and tried again - determined to last longer.  Rinse and repeat for almost 2 weeks before I realized that something was wrong.  I had passed the everything is sore stage and now something HURT.  Long story short, I had created some nice stress fractures in my right foot.  Into a boot I went.  Fast forward three months and out of the boot - we're now 6 weeks away from the 5k that I had signed up for.  I'm a little stir crazy from dragging around that boot. So I go out running.  A few times.  Maybe a bit too fast and/or a bit too long.  Race day comes and I'm about 1 mile into it when I feel pain radiate up my right foot and I slow.  Yup - I fractured the same bone again.  Back into the boot.  Lesson learned.  I waited a good 6 months before trying again.  

Late one night I got an email from a coworker/friend.  It said something to the effect of "I know you wanted to start running and have been resting a while. Want to run a half marathon with me?"  I replied with a quick, "Sure!"  She sent back the link for registration.  I happily clicked through, filled out all of the information and paid.  I went to sleep with a smile on my face - I had a new goal!  A couple of hours later I woke up in a panic.  I realized that I had no idea how far a half marathon even was!  A quick google search increased my heart rate and a fine sweat broke out on my brow.  13.1 miles?  What was I thinking?  So... back to the computer and more googling led me to a running training group.  I shot off emails to a few friends to recruit others into this endeavor with me and went back to sleep.  Over the next few days I bribed and cajoled TWO friends into joining and we went shopping for running gear.  We showed up in our shiny new clothes and matching gear every Saturday morning.  We trained slowly and not only did the stress fractures never show up again but injury was kept to a minimum.  My less-than-auspicious start to running had evened itself out and now I was raring to go.  A few smaller races before the half marathon all went fairly well.  Race day itself?  Of course I had two goals - one public and one private.  I actually beat the private goal by 5 minutes!  Whoo hoo.  Somewhere after that I decided that if I were ever to run a full marathon I'd better do it soon.  So... I did.  And now... follow my story as I continue to set goals and challenges and (hopefully) meet them!  :)