Six years and two months ago, I joined New York Sports Club and started running (OK it was more like shuffling slightly faster than walking pace). I never thought I'd be a runner. I had never watched a race with much interest, except to cheer on a friend or two in college. The idea of running a mile had rarely crossed my mind. The idea of running a marathon had NEVER crossed my mind. Ever. I didn't think I was a runner, so I wasn't.
That changed when I ran my first race on April 26, 2009.
It was the GW Parkway Classic in Virginia. It was a 5k. My goal was to finish in under 30 minutes. Those 29 minutes and 25 seconds were HARD, man. If I had it handy, my bright red pain face would tell you all that you need to know. As tough as it was, it sparked something in me to push harder, go longer, go faster. That 5k led to a few of half marathons, a few injuries, a lot of lessons, and now four marathons under my belt.
Honestly, I haven't run a 5k race since that first one. Right now I am NOT in top running shape. Running kind of fell by the wayside and I haven't tried to get faster since the Paris Marathon in 2014.
Watching the London Marathon today, and the Boston Marathon last week, I saw human beings' innate tenacity, resilience, and strength right in front of me. I saw marathon World Record holder Paula Radcliffe run her last London Marathon with a massive smile on her face. I saw a friend from college CRUSH the marathon in 3:12. I saw people missing limbs storm past with fierce determination. I saw a man just sitting on the course, unable or unwilling to get up, while fellow runners encouraged him and two finally got him up and running toward the finish line.
The spark I felt back in 2009 is back. I'm ready to run again, get stronger and faster. I want to crush goals. I want to run for something bigger than myself, a purpose beyond just ME. I want to race the 5k again, the 10k again, the 15k for the first time (Paris in June!), obliterate my half PR, and run a marathon in 3:3X.