First, apologies to those who have heard this story before…
I’ve always liked to run and was always, when placed against my peers, fairly decent at it. I ran well in high school and got pretty good (1:59, 4:35, 15:51, 27:55) but not great. My hope was to “be all I could be” when I got to college. Unfortunately that never materialized. I got better (1:57, 4:18eq, 15:30, 25:30), but never got great. I was envious at the times being run by those I competed against in high school. I wanted more, but by the time I graduated college it seemed my time had past…or had it? Running was always front and center and my world revolved around it. I loved the solidarity of it as well as the social aspect of it. I loved knowing my competitors but I loved to beat them even more. Still, I was not as good as I wanted to be. I graduated college in 2002 and ran for fun for the next 4 years. Then, in the fall of 2006, everything changed…
For some reason I decided to training for the Army 10 Miler. My goal was to run 54:00, but I ended up running 53:22 (5:20s). Impressed and wanting to see what else I could do, I decided to race a 10k a month later. It was here that I first donned the singlet of the Georgetown Running Company. I glanced around at the starting line and noticed others wearing the blue and white Brooks top. We smiled and nodded at one another. I knew no one. I ended up running a personal best (32:47) in hellacious conditions that included 40-degree temps, wicked wind and horizontal rain. When the weather stopped and I regained my normal body temperature I made the pledge to double my commitment to the sport I had placed on the backburner for nearly half a decade and see what I could do. That was about four years ago.
To be honest, I accomplished the goals I set out to achieve, but with running and racing we keep moving the goal post when we realize we can achieve more. This is what I’ve done, but when would I stop? A few years ago, I enacted the “2011 Plan” in which I would continue with the intensity until the fall of 2011 and then stop down. I would still run, maybe race, but I wouldn’t throw the same amount of effort into training. Perhaps I’d do something else with my free time. Start a business? Start a family? Who knows? I was fine delaying all of these “life things” knowing I had given it all I could when I had the chance. Like Sean Astin said in The Goonies “this is our time”…or more appropriately here - “this is MY time”.
And so it is. I’m not done yet. I still need to see what I can do in the half and the full. This is my time.
The worst of the summer SHOULD be behind us.
I just received a new job, which SHOULD keep me local.
I SHOULD have enough in the bank to get me to Chicago.
And, I SHOULD be running again by this weekend.
I have 9 weeks. If things go well next week and my pain is behind me, I am to enact a truncated training regime to get me ready for 26.2 miles.
I am getting ahead of myself though. Today I rest and lick my wounds.