When it comes to running, I was a late bloomer. I started when I was 44, when my younger son joined the cross-country team at McClatchy High School. His coach welcomed parents to run with the kids, and I took him up on it. Around the same time, some friends talked me into doing a short triathlon even though I was out of shape and had never participated in an athletic event as an adult. I suffered, but I finished. And I was hooked.
I ran a 5K and did alright, then another and did better. Soon I started taking tips from a friend who was an experienced, competitive runner, and I started making progress. I won my age group in a couple of local races, and in my third year of running I started to do longer distances.
In December 2007 I found myself in my first marathon. My goal was to break three hours, and I just missed it, finishing in 3:01:21 in the California International Marathon. I was doing great until mile 20, where I hit the wall, started to fall apart and slipped behind my goal pace. Where have you heard that before? I vowed to return and do it a year later, but in 2008 I suffered a serious abdominal injury and couldn't run from September through the end of the year. Now I am healthy again and hoping to make my goal in this year's CIM.
For a serious marathoner, I run relatively low mileage. I average less than 40 miles a week most of the year and will probably not run more than 55 miles in any week this year. I usually run about three days a week, and try to bike or swim on the other days.
What else should you know about me? I am a gadget geek, obsessed with heart rates and pacing and elevation changes. I love my Garmin. I am also a germ-a-phobe, especially this time of year. I try to avoid shaking hands, and I wash my hands at every opportunity. I've already had my flu shot, which made me feel pretty smug. Until I tried to run 20 miles the next morning and almost died.
More on that in my next post.