One year ago, I was a pack-a-week cigarette smoking graduate student who spent most of her time procrastinating her thesis by either drinking too much PBR at happy hour or spending too much money on Prada pumps at Nordstrom. I worked out regularly, but was focused more on avoiding responsibility (aka: writing papers, working on group projects, finding a job) than I was on being healthy. If you had asked me then if I’d ever run a half marathon again, I probably would have lit a cigarette and invited you to brunch to discuss exactly why my running days were over.
As the saying goes, “what a difference a year makes.” After running a spontaneous half marathon (at a glacial pace) across San Francisco to Sausalito during a procrastination vacation in May, I decided to become a runner again. I took on an aggressive training plan to prepare me for three races in a six-month period. I quit smoking, limited happy hour excursions and took up CrossFit. Within four weeks, I went from running two times a month to over 25 miles a week. I thought that returning to running would be as painstaking as beginning running, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. You see, I replaced a million seriously bad habits (smoking, drinking, shot-taking, junk food-eating…) with one seriously good habit (running). As a result (and as a person who has always suffered from a mildly addictive personality), I became a runner again almost instantly. I had great days, terrible days and everything in between. For two weeks while prepping for the Portland Marathon, I completely burned out, refusing to even look at my running shoes. Otherwise, I aced the entire season, which culminated today when I ran across the finish line at the Seattle Half Marathon. Here are some fun statistics about this year’s marathon season:
- 1:58 – All-time PR earned at the See Jane Run Half Marathon
- 4:48 – Chip time for my very first full marathon in Portland
- 16 – number of minutes I shaved off my course PR at the Seattle Half Marathon
- 2 – pairs of shoes I wore through
- $1,500 – dollars spent on personal training and registration and shoes and neon running pants
- 4 – toenails lost
- 25 – average number of miles ran each week since the accidental San Francisco half marathon in May
- Higher than ever – the number of calories I can eat every day due to extreme activity levels
- 1 – bra cup size lost. Whomp.
All-in-all, it’s been an incredible six months. For now, I’m looking forward to spending the next couple of months running without a training schedule while I plan out next year’s marathon season. Currently, I’m looking at the Big Island Half, Edinburgh Half, Seattle Rock ‘n Roll Half, Portland Full, and Seattle Half… but could be talked into virtually any combination of races so long as they follow a similar calendar. If any of you have run any of these races, please leave some feedback!