After my first marathon this fall I was kind of in shock. What do you do after you kill your first marathon? Do you push harder or be content? Some people would die for a 3:48. Some people just dream of breaking 5 hours or 4 hours. For a few weeks I didn't know what to do or say. I remember when I ran my first half over a year ago and I was so happy for a 2:21. I remember saying to myself, "if I run a marathon my goal is 5 hours".
Then I remember in April of last year I asked to run with these crazy marathoners who I just met. We met up that Saturday and we ran 12 miles at 8:47 pace. Amy and Kim laughed when we finished and saw our time. I was shocked. From that point forward I ran with this crew every weekend. Then came my training for my first full.
Each week I kept getting stronger and stronger. I remember my first 20 miler on vacation in South Carolina running an average pace of 8:45. Then came my second 20 miler before my race I killed my run and had an average pace of 8:37. But running with my friends kept making me stronger and stronger. Sometimes when you run in a group the miles are shorter the temps or cooler or hotter and the time is shorter. Not only was I lucky enough to find the J&A training team but I was also lucky to find a group of friends to grind with when the runs are tough.
Last Sunday, I had to do a long run by myself while all my teammates got their runs in on Saturday. I was lucky enough to be able to run with one of my friends and teammates, Ashley. Not only did I have a killer partner, she killed the run. Even though it was a bit slower than my training pace, running with someone for 18 miles in cold and wind is way better than running by yourself. You can't buy company on a run. You can't buy good teammates or friends.
This morning I had my first 20 miler scheduled. Not only did I kill it but I felt strong. I felt like I could do a marathon right then. My last 11 miles were averaged under 8 minutes. In the back of my head I keep thinking what should be my next goal. Should I go big or go home? So today I decided I would announce my goal. Sometimes you need to write it down.
So my goal is 3:30ish.
I said it. There it is. That is my ultimate goal. And the reason this number is so important is because when I started my weightloss journey I weighed 330 pounds.
As with any race I will be content just finishing and feeling good. And if I just squeak past my first marathon time I will be happy with that. But I have a goal. And I know I can do it. I put in the work. And if I have the perfect day, perfect run and everything works out then I will nail it.
So Bring it Shamrock.