My weight loss and the unveiling of the athlete buried deep inside me began with a transformational swim the Sea of Cortez just about one year ago.
That’s when I rediscovered the joy of trying new things. Attempting activities that would test my physical and mental fortitude. I experienced an amazing glow of happiness from pushing myself past my comfort zone and finding that I’m stronger than I thought.
So I started setting goals. Well, my good friend and Coach Allison *strongly encouraged* me to set goals…like tackling the Santa Barbara Triathlon together…the long course.
In the process of training for that event I found myself constantly trying new things…running, cycling, riding a tandem with Bert and swimming in the ocean. It became kind of addictive.
Once I completed the SB Tri I signed up for a sprint distance event. That was fun too. Then I did my first group bike ride with Sarah who kindly put in her hard 40 mile ride first and then picked me up for a leisurely 25 mile tour through the rolling hills of Sonoma County.
So when Sarah said she was doing a cross country race last weekend I thought about it. Then I emailed her saying, “hey, do you think maybe I could do this race too?” And being her usual positive, encouraging and wonderful self, Sarah said, “Heck ya!”
Then the rains came and I started feeling like it was one thing to run my first race, let alone my first cross country race, but then with the inclement weather I was wimping out which I talked about last Friday.
So off I went Saturday morning to a lovely spot in Marin. I can’t believe I grew up in San Francisco and have never been to Miwok Meadows in China Camp State Park. See, this is what I enjoy about each new adventure…so many extra pluses like finding a new spot to explore.
Sure it was drizzling a bit and there was a puddle or two to skirt but the mist made the morning feel kind of magical. The start was so exciting…they shot off a real gun! Yikes. At least I think it was real. And the women just took off.
My goal was to stick with someone – ok anyone.
A pause to reflect on my running history. I started running in March of this year. And I’ve been doing so pretty slowly. And MY pace is about a 12 minute mile.
I was hanging onto one woman by a very long thread and when we passed the first mile marker the timer was flashing 9:30! No wonder I was breathing pretty hard.
Still with her at mile two. Falling behind at mile three. Need to walk for just 5 steps up this switchback. Ok, time to run again. Oh dear, here comes the rain. Better run faster.
Hey, I hear a cowbell! [Note: nice men with cowbells were posted along the route shouting encouragement - a great touch to keep me going mentally.]
The last quarter mile some of the men who were warming up for their race passed me so I worked hard to stay with THEM and before I knew it I could see Sarah at the finish line cheering loudly. How fun is that?! Her cheering carried me across the finish on a cloud. Thanks Sarah!
My goal for next year is to do this race again and really stick with someone this time. I have some training to do!
learning to run,