Today is my 38th birthday. As I grow older, I tend to reflect on my life more than I have in the past. With longer training runs, I tend to let my mind wander. It really lets me look at my life in more detail instead of the usual running around all day without too much time to appreciate the things I have.
I think about how grateful I am to have such a wonderful wife and kids who support me in all aspects of my life. I know that the time it takes to train for a full marathon can be a burden, but my wife fully supports me and we figure out the best times to train (sometimes that means waking up at 4:00 for a training run so I can get back before the kids get too crazy).
I am also grateful that a few years back I decided to break my normal routine of hitting the gym and cycling to go on a 2 mile run with my coworkers. I couldn’t run more than half of a mile without stopping and my pace was really slow. I hated the run, but for some reason I stuck with it. Since that time I have run 8 half marathons and am training for my first full marathon. My speed and endurance is somewhat consistent now. If you are just starting out, it does get better! Just stick to a plan and do not over train. I have made some great friends who I run with and I really appreciate them pushing me to be better.
I am also grateful for the opportunity to have a running blog. I started Running Without Injuries because I was injured in one way or another almost the whole first year I was running. I didn’t have any information on running form, the differences in shoes, training techniques, or how to deal with injuries. I wanted to gather information and make it available to newer runners so they could avoid making the same mistakes that I made. I get to test out great gear let you know what gear is worth getting and what isn’t. I have received comments letting me know that I have made a difference in people’s lives and that means the world to me. You are the people who inspire me to be a better runner and blogger.
I ran the Urban Cow Half Marathon last weekend. Usually in races, I start off slightly slower than my goal pace and then start picking up speed after the first mile. I pace people ahead of me and try passing them when I have little bursts of energy. This race was different for some reason. I wasn’t focused on the people ahead of me. The thing that was great about this race is that all of my splits were fairly consistent and I still had a little gas left in the tank for the last two miles. My last mile was my fastest at 8:02 min/mile. I finished the half in 1:51:43, which is a little off my personal best. That is 27 seconds slower than my goal pace for the California International Marathon, so I feel confident that I will be able to reach my goal of completing the marathon in under 4 hours.
I am in my 10th week of training for my first marathon, which consists of:
Monday: Cycle 15 miles
Wednesday: 8 mile run
Thursday: Cycle 15 miles
Saturday: 8 miles run (at race pace)
Sunday: 17 mile run
In the past year, I have had a lot of growth in my life, both personally and with my running. I feel truly blessed to have the people in my life, whether it is family, a longtime friend, or the person who is reading my blog for the first time. You all hold a special place in my heart and I look forward to the next year to see what changes are in store for me.