Back to the beginning

The first marathon I ever ran, that is… Olympia, WA in 2004. I ran the Capital City marathon believing I was truly ready, thinking it was just like another long run – convinced in my own mind I was going to Boston. As Bugs Bunny would have said – “What a maroon !”

I don’t race other people, but I race myself. How to finish stronger next time. How to run faster. How to adjust to altitude or humidity or cold. It’s a constant juggling act to be able to look at the many variables and tweak the buildup appropriately. In every race so far I have set 3 goals:

  • First – finish the race. One way or the other I’m going to cross that line under my own steam.
  • Second – beat 4 hours. OK, for some people (notably the international champions) that would be slowwwwww, but for this 49 year old, it’s my “Rubicon”. It’s just a number but for some reason it’s captured me and I want that satisfaction.
  • Third – attain a qualifying time for Boston. I know wouldn’t go there every year, but to be able to… ahhhh, it makes me smile to say I could.

I have a new one though. A new goal. I’ve now run 9 marathons, including one in Scotland and never experienced the relief of meeting someone special at that moment where you cross the line. Some family and friends have been there, been late, missed me, lost me, etc… but never actually “right there, right then”. Why does it matter ? Because in the end it’s not all about me (us runners), it’s why we blog/share tips/ask for advice… because we want it to at least matter to others. I’m returning to the first race – The Capital City marathon to break my sub-4hr goal there and then get back to the 50-state climb.

Also to start figuring out how to fulfil the new goal, CG…


~ by John Rankin on Jan 30, 2007.

3 Responses to “Back to the beginning”

  1. Hi John –
    Nice reminder that the hardest person to beat is yourself. I have a friend who says I’m really compettitive, in a bad / dismissive way – with friends like these, who needs . . .

    ANYWAY. The thing she misses is that my goals in running / triathlons are always to:

    1. Finish – I’m stepping up from Sprint to Olympic Tri this year, so that’s a genuine concern for me.
    2. To do my BEST. Not enough hugs as a kid (yeah, RIGHT!) / too many school reports saying ‘Could try harder’ have left an impression.
    3. To finish somewhere in the same league as my fitter / taller (he’ll know who I mean) friends. After all, I have to be able to hold my head up when we’re at the pub for the post-race de-brief!

    Thanks again for the reminder.

  2. […] 2007 Posted by RegiVizz in Running, Motivation, Fitness, Marathon, Race. trackback John’s blog today really struck a chord with me.  On some of my longer runs, I try to imagine the thrill of crossing […]

  3. Such a true statement. People are inclined to want to share what they are passionate about with others and feel the support of their genuine excitement. Crossing a finish line to the cheers of your own personal supporters is simply unmatched by crossing without the audience of that someone special.

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