I have such mixed feelings about this race that its taken me over a week to write this post on it.. Being that this race was the first one I ever ran, it holds a special place in my heart. That first race five years ago was such a great experience and I so wanted this year's race day to live up to it.
I've been nostalgic all week trying to remember how I felt going into thefirst race I ever ran, five years ago this weekend. Although I had a blog, I didn't blog that much about it, but I do remember feeling nervous excitement about the unknown. Previous to the race, I had not run more than 10 miles ever. The anticipation was all-consuming.
A year ago, Nov 9, 2008, I ran my very first race - the Big Sur Half Marathon. As I revisit the blog posts I wrote about the day before the race, and my race report, I realize how much I've learned about running over the past year. Although I had been casually running for about three or four years prior to Big Sur, I'd never run beyond six miles. I'd never even considered trying to run more than six, let alone racing. I remember the year before in 2007, a friend of mine registered to run the San Jose RnR Half. She had asked me if I wanted to run it too and I didn't have the slightest interest in it because I didn't think I had the ability to run beyond a 10K.
About a year later, around August '08-ish, I suddenly got inspired to run one. I can't remember what compelled me, but I remember just going online and registering for Big Sur - without even talking to anyone about it. My friend Veronica was also wanting to try a Half, so she signed up for the race shortly after me. Thank goodness for her because I knew NOTHING about racing. I knew nothing about training for a race, hydrating, GU, tapering - totally clueless. V's roommate is a marathon runner so she would share her words of wisdom with V, who would then share them with me.
My favorite memory of our training was the 10-miler in the pouring rain. That, till this day, was the most exhilarating run I've ever done. After experiencing that, I believed I could run a half-marathon.
After Big Sur, I knew I wanted to run another half, but I waited seven whole months before running my second one, don't know why I waited that long. A few weeks ago, I read a blog post by Chic Runner about her runniversary. I was amazed to see that she ran her first half shortly before I did and since then she's progressed to be a marathon runner - pretty much a pro! That's where hard work, dedication and a love for running will take you. I was so inspired by this post that I have it "Starred" in my Google Reader to refer back to when I need future inspiration.
In exactly four weeks I will be running my third half-marathon in Vegas. Although I have battled annoying injuries for most of the year, I feel so much more prepared going into this race - maybe not as much physically, but definitely more prepared mentally and emotionally. A year later, I belief more in myself and what I know I am capable of.
My BFF, Kady from Columbus, is also meeting me in Vegas to run her first full marathon. It will be a culmination, her conquering, of a year of life-changing personal challenges. Again, I'm so inspired.
I have always said that I have no desire to ever run a full marathon. A short tri - possibly; but a full - not so much. But as I start to think about my 2010 goals, now I am thinking that maybe I'd like to try it just once in my life. I may hate it and decide to stick to 13.1's, but to be able to say I once ran 26.2 would be pretty cool. So who knows, maybe my 2nd Runniversary post will be recapping a full - maybe. :)
PS I borrowed the term "runniversary" from Anotorias - a pretty cool chic with cool music recommendations.