Hey guys! Happy New Year :)
It’s been a while since my last update, because I’ve been so busy. Let’s see what’s happened since October last year…
I ran the San Jose 1/2 Marathon. It did not go well. My left knee started hurting and I hobbled my way to a 1:38:49, my worst half marathon performance to date. The knee pain came out of the blue, and I was really surprised and bummed by it. I didn’t know whether to drop out of the race or push my way through it. In the end, I decided to finish what I started. I’m lucky it wasn’t anything too serious. Later on that day, George and I flew to Vegas to begin a week-long trip throughout Utah’s national parks. We hit up Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and Arches National Park. So beautiful and so orange.
Then I came back to SF and began training for the CIM in December. I had run the CIM twice already, so I was already familiar with the course. It’s a speedy little course, with a net negative elevation and rolling hills along the way. The weather was perfect (well, a little chillier than I would have liked). I was still a bit traumatized from the San Jose 1/2 Marathon, so I wanted to run really conservatively. My parents, my sister, and George all came out to Sacramento to support me. Before the race, I just felt so darn grateful to have everyone there and so thankful that I was able to return to the sport of running. It had been over 2 years since my last marathon, and the last 5+ years were riddled with injuries, so I was just so genuinely grateful to be able to run again. It’s so corny, but I let the feeling of gratitude take over me and help carry me throughout the race. For so many of my past races, I was entirely focused on my time and my place. I had reached a point where it was either going to be a PR or a disappointment. Let me tell you – that is no way to run and definitely not a way to live.
I ended up running a 3:06:16, which is respectable, but nothing impressive. Pretty much smack-dab in the middle of the times I’ve run in the past. But it was a really enjoyable race. I thought of all the people who had supported me in my running pursuits throughout the years, all the frustrations that I’ve gone through, the “identity crises” that I had when I wasn’t able to run, and so much more. I ran a comfortable 7:07 pace and tried to enjoy every moment.
Afterwards, I had come to terms with the runner I had become. I was no longer “elite.” I was no longer going to put the same pressure of high expectations on myself. I was going to close that chapter in my life and enjoy running as a recreational runner.
But then, I didn’t.
Once I came to terms with this new phase in my running-hood, I realized there was more I wanted to do. There was still so much I wanted to accomplish. I couldn’t just close that chapter without giving it a true 100% effort. It’s so strange. I don’t think I could have come to that realization without first accepting that I was no longer going to be the same competitive runner I once was.
I don’t fully understand what happened in my thought process or maybe I just can’t put it into words – but then I felt a strong urgency to give it another shot. George helped me with it, encouraging me to do everything I could and devote all of 2019 to pursuing the Olympic Marathon Trials.
And so, here we are. I’m 7 weeks into training, and it’s going so well. I’m working with my friend Ben as my coach, and he is seriously the best. He puts together a customized workout plan for me, helps me lift weights once a week, and also meets with me for a weekly 1:1 check-in. I’m very exhausted most of the time, which is why I’ve been so MIA on Instagram and on the blog. I’m now working out 9 times/week:
- 6 days of running
- 2 sessions of Body Pump
- 1 session of weightlifting
It’s so fulfilling, because I’m finally feeling like I’m doing everything I can to chase my dream of an Olympic Trials Qualifier (OTQ). And whatever happens in 2019, I can look back and say that I tried my best.
So, what I’m really saying is, it took me coming to terms with never being an elite runner again, to fully veto that idea, turn 180˚ and say, “The Fearless Runner is back and better than ever!”
I think the CIM did help me reconnect with the joy of running, and the years of injury helped make me a smarter, more patient athlete. In a way, I’m very different than who I was in 2014. I’m much more appreciative of what my body can do, and everyone who has helped/is helping me along the way.
2019 has been a roller coaster already so far, and I want to record every detail along the way. Come along for the ride, because the journey is half the fun ;)