You may have heard the news that I posted at the end of last week. I am so proud and honored to have been named an ambassador for the California International Marathon, which I will run as my second marathon on December 3, 2017. I set a goal for myself to run a marathon as my celebration of my 30th birthday, which is on October 3rd. I am registered to run the Portland Marathon the weekend after my 30th birthday but shortly after registering was informed that my friends are getting married that weekend 😭 and the registration fee is non refundable. But the world works in mysterious ways and it’s like the universe knew I was destined to be part of the CIM community this year.
After the excitement of being named an ambassador hit me, the reality hit me that I have an amazing opportunity to represent a community of amazing men and women in the running community. I follow a LOT of runners on social media. Many of which are fast, Boston Qualifiers, ran in high school, multiple long distance finishers, maintained their weight for their whole life. I strive to be them because I see myself differently.
I am not a fast runner. I am a new runner. I am a runner who still sometimes doubts the ability to call myself a runner because I spent so much of my young adult life being so overweight and inactive.
When I registered for my first half marathon (I registered in Fall 2014 and ran 2/14/15) I didn’t actually know how long a half marathon was. I hadn’t run a 5k before. I didn’t know what long runs, tempo runs, fartleks, bodyglide, foam rolling, easy runs, recovery. I had no idea what any of that was. I had no idea what my mile time was. I had no idea that people qualified for some Boston event. I just knew that I had hit a rut in life and that running a half marathon was going to get me out of it.
When I decided to train for the Santa Rosa marathon I was a little wiser, but not much. I was not logging nearly enough miles each week. I cried during my long runs. I drank pedialyte because I didn’t know what else would be best for electrolytes and didn’t know how to carb load. I doubted myself. I thought I was foolish. Most of the time I had literally no idea what I was doing. I thought I’m not a marathon runner. I should have waited another year for this. But it became the most life changing experience and I am glad I did it. I don’t regret it at all.
I recently thought to myself how can I represent such an amazing race? Who am I as a runner? What can I do to empower my running community? I was worried. I’ve never run CIM. I’m not terribly fast. I have only completed one marathon and it took me over six hours to do so. I’m not at a “race weight”. Who am I as a runner?
I realized though, that this is the part of the running community that I get to represent. I am here to share my own struggles. I am here to be part of the amazing community who are back of the pack marathon runners. I am someone who has overcome my weight, my negative “you’re not a runner” self talk. I am someone who wasn’t active before 25. I have been given a gift to reach out and show the world that EVERYONE and anyone can be a runner if it is what is in your heart. It doesn’t matter that I won’t aim to Boston Qualify for CIM. It doesn’t matter that it’s only my second go at 26.2. What matters is that my heart is in it. My head is focused and clear. My legs are ready.
Marathon training won’t start for a few months because I’ve got a few halfs before then, but I can’t wait to represent the mid and back of the marathon pack. To represent people of all sizes. To represent new runners. Scared runners. Brave runners. Ambitious runners. Marathon runners!
I am so excited for this gift. I will not waste it. 2017 is going to be my year.
Cheers to 26.2 round 2!