I never, in my life, thought I’d run a marathon.
I’m not one of those naturally athletic, all things trim, uber healthy sort of girls. You know the type…cute as sh*t, totally rockin’ the ponytail, born with ASICS on her feet.
Me? Yeah, um… I’m more of a vodka-tonic swilling, carb-o-hydrate lovin’ gal myself.
That’s why no one was more surprised than me when in May 2013, I burned down the finish line of my first marathon. (4:42:20)
I remember crossing the finish line thinking, “No way, man. This running thing is definitely NOT for me. I think I’ll stick to half-marathons for the rest of my ever-lovin’ life. They seem to be a little more BK friendly.”
Yeah. It took all of 4 weeks to forget how messy THAT was.
So, I went back to the drawing board. I hired a personal trainer. Joined a gym. Added swimming and rowing to the mix. I literally trained my tail off in hopes of shaving 26 minutes from my time on Marathon No. 2. (No sale.)
I ran No. 2 in October 2013. (4:37:52)
After marathon No. 2, [and too many injuries to list here], I finally wised up and hired a coach. I spent 6 months following his plan like it was the Holy Grail, the Bible and the coming of Jesus Christ himself. I started running intervals. I ran 1000s of hill sprints. I swam, biked, rowed and added functional strength training to the mix.
And you know what? His brand of crazy worked.
I ran marathon No. 3 in June 2014. (4:10:00)
That’s also when I knew… it was time new challenge.
In addition to training for marathon No. 3, I spent most of 2014 training for my first half-Ironman event. I chose Austin, Texas, for two reasons: 1) It fell on my 38th birthday and 2) It was at the end of October which gave me a reasonable amount of time to learn to swim without dying and bike without crying.
In ten months’ time I burned through 11 latex swim caps, 10 pounds of protein, 9 mani-pedis, 8 tubes of chafe cream, 7 pairs of goggles, 6 ugly swim suits, 5 finish lines, 4 pairs of Brooks, 3 missing toenails, 2 crazy coaches and an air fracture boot with some bling. (This sport is not for the weak or the cheap.)
I also survived learning to swim. Learning to ride a road bike. Learning to squeeze my fat ass into a wet suit and not be suicidal. Clipping my feet to an 18 pound 2-wheeler that could rip me down a hill at 50 m.p.h. if I’d stop choking the brakes. Having someone tell me what to do every day for 10 long months. Having the doctor tell me I can’t do jack shit for 4 long weeks. The fact that no matter how hard I trained, my ideal weight eluded me for the better part of year.
When all was said and done… I finished my first HIM in October 2014. (6:42:02)
Which leads me to today…
After four rounds of chasing the beast, I finally clued in I’ll probably never qualify for Boston or Kona. (Although I do hold out hope that God will give me Kenyan legs in my next life.) I’ve also realized that I don’t really love, love, love to train.
What I love most is this:
Living in the land of scared sh*tless. Doing everything others said I’d never do. Telling the truth. Giving mediocre the bird. Having fierce conversations. Helping others to not only set fire to their tent in the “hell maybe” camp… but to go all in on living the life, (and chasing the goals!), they choose, too.
So consider this your invitation to join me. Come say, “Hey!” on Facebook. Play along during one of my movement challenges. Become a member of my Sole Sisterhood. Share your sole sister story. I promise, whatever it is you’re chasing in this life… I’ll run right off the cliff with you.
P.S. My kingpin goal this year is another Half-Ironman in Boulder, Colorado. If you’re new to all things tri stick with me, it’s going to be one hell of a ride. xo
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