When I first started running 2 years ago I was determined to only run in 5k races. I mean, no reason to worry about running farther. 5k races are generally cheaper, and most of the time you get the same benefits as the longer races that are attached. Also, they are somewhat more personal and geared towards new(er) runners. Then people around me started asking when I was going to run linger distances. “So, when is your first marathon?”, “So, when do you plan on qualifying for Chicago/Boston/LA?” My response…… “Whoa people….do ya’ll WANT me to fail?”
Then came the 2016 Road Warrior Program. I was a “5K participant” along with another warrior (LIZ SHOUT OUT!). There was also a 10K participant. And the remaining were 25K participants. During the interview for the program I was asked if I would be willing to run a longer race if I felt I was prepared, and I responded quickly with an, “absolutely”. Of course, all the while hoping that I would only do the 5k. Then the 10k-er (CRYSTAL SHOUT OUT!), decided to “up” to the 25k. And my fellow 5k-er decided to “up” to the 10k. So there I was……stepping up to the 10k. Looking back, I never wanted to run more than 3 miles. Now I was gonna run 6 miles. Then offer came for the option to participate in the GR Half Marathon…..eh, why the hell not!
So to all those people who said I would eventually “up” to longer distances? You were right…..
Also in 2016 was the decision to try my hand at OCR’s. And while I completing the Ohio Spartan Sprint, everyone around me was saying, “once you cross the finish line, you will never look back and want to do more!” Well, this sounds familiar. Now, the downside here is that these races are quite pricey. Plus, you need to register pretty early in advance in order to beat price increases. Then there is the limited places that they are offered (I am talking specifically about Spartan). I figured the Sprint distance (3-5 miles and 20 obstacles) would be doable for a “beginner”. I mean, I run, crossfit, gym, etc…..it will be hard, but I can do it.
Well, as I have written in a previous post, it was hard. At the time the hardest thing I have ever had to do. 3-5 miles was actually 9 and 20 obstacles. I mean, I am fairly certain they really planned out the Super course instead. But one thing was for sure. When I crossed that finish line I was not thinking about how fabulous it felt. I was not thinking about the amazing accomplishment. I was literally thinking, “Gimme that medal and get me out of here!” Did I think I wanted to complete another after I finished? Nope. I never want to do one of those again. Not a Spartan. Not a Tough Mudder. Not a Battlefrog. Not a Savage Race. I am not sure I really even ever want to go hiking again for that matter.
So to all those people who said I would “love” OCR’s? You were wrong……
Most recently, and only one short month after my first 10K, I completed the Grand Rapids Triathlon. I used to swim competitively, I run, and hey, riding a bike is not that difficult. And to not duplicate much of my previous blog, I will only state again that this was in fact THE HARDEST THING I HAVE EVER HAD TO DO. And in all my research I constantly read that people often said that after their first triathlon, they were hooked. Huh. Well, there is THAT statement again. I mean, now there is a 50/50 chance, right? Could be great. Could be a disaster. Triathlons are definitely costlier than running races. More on the OCR price range. Require more training time. Obviously more disciplines. And, while running the last few yards of the triathlon I asked myself, “When I cross the finish, will I ever want to do this again?” And then I crossed the finish. And I cried. A lot. Hard. I actually completed it. And you know what? I LOVED IT! Sure, I couldn’t feel my legs. Yeah, my tailbone hurt in the shape of my bike seat. And, unfortunately I did not properly prepare nutrition-wise. But I LOVED IT! I have honestly never been more proud of myself as completely that race. And in just over 1 week after that completion I registered for another. And then also for the MiTi Duathlon.
So to all those people who said I would love triathlons? Thank you.