If you have read this blog for very long you may have picked on my running history. I was reflecting on where I have been to get this moment. I had experienced lots of forward progress in my initial year marathoning going from 3:57 to 3:46 in one training cycle. At that point I was so siked for what to come. I had no idea a year of trails and tribulations would end this forward progression. The first sign of trouble was in the summer of 2010 when I was training for Chicago Marathon in Fall of 2010. I was doing great - hitting the mileage and had in several long runs already. Than I got sick in the beginning of August and was wiped out. This illness would last the entire month of August. The harder I tried to got healthy to more elusive my health become. I went to several doctors over the course of that month. No one had an answer for me - I was experiencing severe headaches, feverish when doing any activity that would elevate my heart rate, heavy chest and had a hard time breathing - all this basically ended my marathon training cycle and I officially pulled out of Chicago. My first DNS :-( I took a 10 rest period at the end up August to see if the rest would help. It did for the most part but the symptoms returned and I finally saw a doctor that was able to diagnose and help me. Allergies and asthma were what was going on....being new to the Carolinas I learned that it is worse area in the country for allergies and asthma. Well now we knew and I have learned since how to deal with them..Anyway I was still not healthy enough or fit enough to run another marathon I had registered for so my second DNS of the Fall. By the end of the October, I was able to start putting in some decent mileage and did a few races to gauge my fitness. Woozers I had lost a bit in these two months of on & off running but not too much so I was excited train and regain by previous fitness level.
In December, I paced the 5 hour marathon group at Thunder Road and in Jan 2011 I paced the 4;15 marathon group at Charleston both of which I was using as training runs for my hoping BQ effort at Myrtle Beach Marathon. I had worked hard to get back to this fitness level and excited to run MB Marathon in Feb 2011. As some of you know, I had GI problems during that race and struggled to get to mile 20 and struggled to walk the remaining 6 miles with my family by side all the while throwing up and having tremendous tummy craps. I was not detered so I planned another marathon one month out which ended with a medicore time due to tummy issues again and another marathon in June that ended with the same results.
Ah what a year! I knew I needed to change something as I knew that I was capable of more. That year was not I year I had dreamed of. I had dreamed of BQ and running Boston this spring. None of these downs were part of the dream but I am sure I am now on course to becoming the great runner I know I can be.
I have learned so much from my failures and near successes, and I know the best is yet to come as long as I have patience and persistence. Not every domino will sit perfectly straight, but as long as it knocks down the subsequent piece the dream will stay on track.
This training cycle has been completely different than any others not only because of the mileage and intensity but because of the journey. For the most part, I have been training alone. I have been enjoying the solitude. I feel that as a distance runner, it is vital to be alone in certain aspects of training. I have been able to fall more deeply in love with running and truly enjoy it. It is nice to know I am not training and racing for the wrong reasons. I race, knowing I truly have a passion for running.
In a weeks time I will run the Houston Marathon, and there is only one certainty, I will cherish every agonizing stride of that 26.2 mile race. I will enjoy the journey and relish in it’s culmination.