Two years ago, I decided to challenge my buddy to a half marathon. He ran fairly regularly. I, on the other hand, never ran. This was going to be a couch to half marathon situation. I found a 16 week plan for people who run 2-3 times a week. Being that it was 16.5 weeks before the race, I decided I would run 2 or 3 times that week, and start the training the following week. That first run was May 24, 2015. This is my runniversary.
That first run was a total of 3km, and I was dead. Ten days later I attempted my first 7k run (4mi). I remember stressing about how I was going to finish that, and the high I got from it was unbelievable. It took a long time for me to sign up for that half marathon because I was so terrified I wouldn’t be ready. To prepare myself, I threw in a 10k race about midway through the training to gauge where I was at. To my surprise, I finished with a 45:52 and 11th overall.
The big day came and I had a blast. My goal was to run a sub 1:40 for the half. I missed it by 1:41, but I still considered that a victory. I didn’t stop to walk, but as soon as I crossed that finish line I told myself I NEVER needed to do that again. I could not comprehend those that continued on to finish the full marathon. I ran a couple of easy 5k runs over the next two weeks, and then I quit running for 3 months before picking it back up again.
Fast forward 2 years from that first 3k and I am sitting here just days away from attempting to run a sub 3:00 marathon. It really seems all surreal. I never started out with big goals. I continued to put one foot in front of the other and look for the next challenge. I kept saying I would never do certain things (ie. run a marathon), and eventually those things came to pass. It all happened so naturally.
As I look back on the last two years, I can’t believe how much has happened and how quickly it’s all happened. It’s kinda cool that this race in Ottawa is happening this week. I am under no disillusions that it means anything. It’s a cool coincidence and if I hit my goal, it will make a great story, but one thing I’ve learned over the last two years is that nothing is given in running. Everything has to be earned. Yes, there are things that come together in the moment, like great weather on race day, but even the best weather is no substitute for putting in the work.
To be honest, I don’t know what comes next. A lot rests on the race this weekend. What I do know is I am thankful for all that running has taught me. For all that running has given me. For the friendships I have made through running. And for all that is to come.
Happy Runniversary to me 🙂