I was not a runner, I participated in sports (dance-team and softball), but when it came to running to keep our endurance up I was the one to always complain; “if I wanted to run I would join the cross country team”.
WOW how things have changed. I started running in 2010, my office was located right outside Central Park and everyone in my office would go for runs before or after work. I was never comfortable running a group setting. I always feared that I would be the slowest and keep people behind. I still have this fear to this day, but each run, swim or bike ride helps me take a step closer from being over that fear and being more comfortable in group training activities.
I ran my first half marathon; NYC half marathon in March of 2010, crossing that finish line was such a rush. So much of a rush that I signed up to run 2010 NYC marathon, I ran with the a charity raised the money and trained for my first marathon with really no clue on what I was doing. Crossing that finish line in Central Park, having them put that medal around your neck is one of the greatest feelings in the world. You just completed running 26.2 miles, your body and mind are exhausted but you did it!!
Since then I have ran 3 other marathons and some 20 half marathons. I would love to say each race is better than the last, but that is not true but those are the runs that remind you that you have to push yourself harder next time. Not every run is going to be great; those are the runs that remind us why we are doing this.
Last year I competed in my first duathlon, which was something completely out of my comfort zone, but I took a leap of faith and did it. I showed up to the race with my non-speed road bike, while everyone else had their TRI and racing bikes. I lined mine up and was scared. It was a run/ bike/ run event I knew that I could do the run but the biking part was going to be a challenge, which it was a lot of hills that I had to get off my bike and walk up, but I never gave up. It was an out and back course so as I was struggling all the bikers were heading back to the transition area which was frustrating to me because so many of them were so far ahead of me, but everyone that passed me shouted out encouraging statements. Yes there were times where I thought about throwing in the towel, but that is not me. I am proud of what I do and whatever I start, I finish even if that means coming in last place. And I think of my favorite parts of the bike part is when Ian drove by and shouted, are we still friends? This year, I had a new bike, that 16 mile bike ride through Newtown had a whole different ending.
The following weekend Ian had to ask many more times throughout Ragnar weekend if we were friends, since some how he talked me into running Ragnar Cape Cod, forming a team...oh wait an Ultra team plus being team captain... I can't say no to this man!
2016 was a great year, I ran NYC half marathon, Ragnar Cape Cod (where I had to pick up extra miles because of my teammates couldn't run their legs) and my biggest accomplishment I just finished my first TRI season, 2 sprints, 1 international and finished the season with 70.3. I made 2016 my year, it was year where I forgot about comfort zones, and tested myself to all limits.