4 Years Later…

So I actually wrote this blog up a couple weeks ago, but managed to get distracted. Still, it had some solid thoughts I still want to convey and as such, I decided to go ahead & post it with minimal edits.

Just so we’re all on the same page beforehand though: 5 weeks to BOSTON!!! *ahem* Moving on…

Things have been kind of crazy recently. I never quite imagined these past 6 months would include getting into the Boston Marathon (which it did), getting essentially my dream job to kick-start my career (yet it did), and finally to move across the country to start building this life (it did!).

It’s been interesting, and I’ve only succeeded moderately, at balancing work and training. And mentally agonizing about it to an extent as well – I want to do well at Boston (maybe not PR or re-qualify, but I want to try).  So those days that work or sleep (or both!) compete with getting a run in has left me feeling guilty more than once.

What I really needed, and finally got, was some perspective.

During my long run this several weekends ago, I traveled off the regular (beaten) paths I’ve been pounding and took a (much) less traveled route to a nearby regional park [see what I did there? 😉 ]. About 4 miles in, it didn’t seem like my best idea as I’d just had to hike up a crazy steep path.

But the view! To stand at the top of that hill and look around me, on an absolutely gorgeous day, seemed like something out of a movie. Then to go run down the other side? I admit, I giggled a bit and just reveled in the joy of being out running on a beautiful day.

trailsFeel the dew on your shoes (and hope they dry quickly), the grass brushing your legs, and that feeling of just exploring somewhere under your own power.

A chance to simply bask in a fantastic part of life.

I’ve been so focused on working and training and ultimately doing well, that I haven’t just enjoyed running for running. So what if I miss a workout or a few miles? Maybe this first Boston won’t be an amazing race or a PR. I am OK with that. Because I’m confident that I’ll make it there again and I’ll have another opportunity to be crazy dedicated to training.

When better to have this little ‘re-discovery’ to the awesomeness of just running than now? February marks 4 years since I ran my very first half marathon (February 27th to be exact at the 2011 Gasparilla Distance Classic).

The miles I’ve the run, the amazing races I’ve taken part in, the (quite simply) awesome people I’ve met, the life I’ve lived these past 4 years is something I could have never dreamed of when I decided to sign up for that race.

If you’d asked me 6, 8, even 10 years ago, this is not the person I would have imagined I’d be or the life I’d live. And that’s not a bad thing! Since then, I’ve gone so much farther, experienced so much more, and lived a life that I always thought was for other people.

Regardless of PRs and qualifiers and all the little things that we sometimes agonize over, I’ve accomplished what I originally set out to do. Forced myself to take on challenges I once believed I couldn’t overcome, to test myself and my limits to ultimately learn that I am capable of more than I ever thought possible.

Cliche as it is, the person I am now versus the girl I was 4 years ago are so vastly different (well, the crazy is about the same) that it’s hard to remember that ‘other’ me.

I’ve revitalized since that run & jumped a bit more into my training. Boston likely won’t be a PR, but it’ll be a strong marathon & I’ll have a blast seeing friends and family again. Sometimes we just need a little help to put things into perspective.

And maybe a few more trail runs with gorgeous backdrops.




One thought on “4 Years Later…

  1. First, moments when you regain appreciation for the path traveled are the best! I’m due for one soon, but I can relate to precisely what you are writing about.

    Second…Congrats to you on getting to Boston next month! It is an experience that will stick with you, no matter how you do. I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times before, but just take it easy on all that early downhill because you’ll need those legs later! I hope you get some time to enjoy Boston afterwards, as well. It is a great city!!

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