Greetings folks. I planned to do a whole 2011 series this week but frankly life just got in the way. So some of them may be belated, but I did want to do a little recap of my running year. The other, harder-to-quantify stuff can come later.
In January I started training for my first marathon.
In March I ran my first half-marathon and shocked myself.
On May 1st I crossed the finish line of my first marathon in Big Sur and it was one of the greatest moments of my life. I knew I was hooked. (note the unintentional post-race beer theme…)
A few weeks later I did Bay to Breakers – notice I didn’t say “run” – in two and a half hours. : )
In June, I met some amazing bay area runners and bloggers who now I count as some of my closest friends.
In July, I crossed the finish line of the San Francisco Marathon, a truly amazing race that I was blessed to share with many others.
In August and October, I ran three more half marathons, with various times and experiences.
The Giant Race – August
San Jose Rock & Roll Half – October
Nike Women’s Marathon – October
And then in late November, an opportunity presented itself to run the California International Marathon. I finished it on December 4th in 4:08.
Tally for the year:
- 3 full marathons
- 4 half marathons
- 1 12K
- 1 10K
- 1 5K
- 1,200+ miles
- 5 pairs of running shoes
- 4 lost toenails
- 2 boxes of GU
- A scary amount of $$ spent on running clothes
- An unquantifiable number of new memories
It’s really hard for me to look back on this year and truly dictate what a big role running played. It was the source of stress at times, of course, but it was so much more than that.
Running became an escape. It became something to throw the stress and hurt into and meld it into something positive.
It provided a constant in my life when nothing else was. Moving from Africa to America, moving cities, starting a new career, starting a new life. Everything seemed so transient. Running remained the same. One foot in front of the other.
It gave me a mental challenge: the marathon. The marathon is as mental as it is physical. Where your mind goes at mile 22 is a dark place that few experience. You know more about your deepest self after a marathon than ever before.
It gave me confidence. I used to believe I could never run a marathon and now I’ve run three.
It gave me some great friends. There are some new people in my life who I’m incredibly grateful for and blessed to call my friends.
It gave me new goals. I was ecstatic when I hit 1000 miles, then ending the year at a bit over 1200 momentarily makes me feel like I didn’t try enough when half my twitter beat 2,000, but then it gets me back to the main thing:
Running is one area where ironically, I don’t feel like I’m competing about anyone but myself. I compete for seats on the bus, better tasks at work, the soup special before it runs out. With running, it doesn’t matter how many miles other people ran. What matters to me is that in my first year of being a “runner” I did things I didn’t know I could do, and that’s what matters.
I look forward to 2012 and seeing what it brings. Thanks to everyone who’s been a part of my running journey this year. I can’t wait for the next chapter.
What were the highlights of your 2011?