A-ha Moments

A-ha moments.

You know, those moments in your life where the switch flips, the bulb lights and things just suddenly make sense?

Life is full of them.   And for me, most of them occur during a run.  Oh, about mile two where my body takes over and my mind is free to “move about the earth” or at least reach into my subconscious and solve things.  Puzzles that I didn’t even know were in there.

As I mentioned in my first post – my hummingbird tattoo was an a-ha moment.  After finishing the Disney Marathon – my fourth one I knew I was ready to put it in ink.  But picking the right tattoo isn’t easy.  (I should know – I now have three.) and it took a long time to figure out what it should be.   And then, while on a treadmill run it just kind of popped in there.  Hummingbird.  It just felt right.  And again, while looking for the right bird…I knew it when I saw it.   And “wings” as I call him, is now part of me. 

Yesterday I completed my longest training run in over a year.  21.25 miles.  And it felt awesome.  But, it was considerably slower than my marathon training runs from last year.  Something that has just been bothering me.  Granted, week to week I am getting faster, slightly, but faster is faster no matter if its minutes or seconds.

My short training runs have gotten almost back to where I was. And that makes me happy.  And clearly my endurance is right back there too. But I can’t seem to find that intersection where speed and distance meet.

Today I went out for a five mile recovery walk.  To keep the legs loose.  And around mile 3 I had an A-HA moment.  A big one.

And here it is…

From my first mile ever…to my very first marathon was about FIVE YEARS.  Yep – five whole years it took me to build the right speed and the right distance.   My first mile to my first 5k was about a year.  And in that year I hit my goal of finishing the 5k in under 30 minutes.  As I got slightly faster I jumped one year later to a 10k.  And then a year later to the half-marathon.  But even building speed in that took time.  My first half-marathon was 2:05.  It would take a year and a half before I broke two hours.  And then focus went to distance training to build up to Boston 2012. 

So why… 10 1/2 months after I broke my hip and missed six months of running.  Or basically reset myself to ground zero. Why am I being so hard on myself?

In 10 1/2 months I went from starting with 1 minute of running to 20 miles of solid running.  I went from running everything at a 12 minute pace to nailing some 9 minute miles.  Averaging under 10 min miles for my short runs.  And finally averaging under 11 on the long.

Five years versus 10.5 months. 

I think I’m actually ahead of the curve!  I just need to keep remembering that.

And five weeks from tomorrow, when I toe the start line of the Boston marathon for the third year in a row, I hope I have an a-ha moment that this is real and the only person who cares how long it takes me to cross the finish…is me.

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