God I look young. No wonder
Swifty wrote a song about being 22.
I remember standing at the start not even realizing what was about to happen. I remember unpinning my bib, holding it (and the pins) in my mouth while taking off my long sleeve and proceeding to re-pin onto my tank top(all while running). I remember stopping to tie my shoe and falling over. I remember crossing the finish line, and not knowing how to feel. It all seemed surreal, like it went by so fast and then boom, DONE.
After my first I wasn't sure if I would run another, and I wasn't in any frame of mind to think about it (I was in the frame of mind to eat....all the food). Obviously I didn't stop there, I ran #2 & 3 within 6-8 months later. [Can read about 1-5 in--->this post]
Cleveland (#5) was a new race experience for me last year, it was my first marathon without a BQ goal. Although it was a super hot day, and I was 4 minutes slower than my PR I still loved it. It kind of sat with me for a few months, 'hey I really like the marathon'.
Wineglass (#6) was definitely a great experience. Huge PR, but more than anything I was happy to see my experience paying off. I was happy to see the lessons I have learned put to good use. At this point, I knew it was officially my favorite distance.
Deciding to run CIM 9 weeks after Wineglass, well...there was many reasons behind this. My love of the distance plus you all know how bad I wanted my 3:15, but the other reason was: I have changed.
Let me elaborate: In high school and college I was the about the power and speed, short distances and jumps were my thing. When I first started road races a few years ago, I got decent (by my standards) relatively quick at the 5k's and shorter distances. When I added longer distances in, the progress didn't come as quick but the experiences and lessons learned certainly did. Somewhere along the way I became a distance runner, something I swore I would never do. Somewhere along the way I became happier running 20 milers than going out and chasing 5k times.
|1st Marathon done, not quite in love yet.|
I am proud of the way running has changed my life(in so many ways) the last few years. Is it all because I ran a marathon (and then a few more)? No, running a marathon doesn't define you as a runner; but falling in love with the distance certainly has changed me. Doing what you love, yeah...that changes you. For some people that's 5k's, some it's half marathons, some it's marathons, and some it's not running at all. We all prefer different distances, and that doesn't make one runner better than another. Part of me ran my first marathon to prove something, I thought I needed to in order to be a 'real' runner. I can tell you for a fact that's false, distance doesn't define you. Making the choice to go out and run, that makes you a runner. I've learned a lot through all of the distances I have ran, marathons just stick with me the most.
Marathons have left me proud, humbled, defeated, happy, excited, driven, broken, and some of those all in the same race. I've had the good ones and the bad ones and still come back for more. Either I really love it, or I am a sadist. I'll vote for the former.
Marathoners: Do you remember much about your first?
How do you define yourself as a runner?
What distance do you just love?
For me: Marathons, and then 2nd place is tie between halves and 5 Mile