Fit Friday: Every Journey Has a Start

Every journey has a starting point, the destination maybe undetermined or may change over time, but everything has a start. For me my running journey started in 2004, with my first marathon on June 6 at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon (don’t judge me for running a few RnR races before I knew better). This first marathon will always be special to me because my dad also ran his first marathon at this race.

my first marathon, 2004

My journey started with a finishing time of 4:53:30, a pace of 11:12/mile! My second marathon was a tad bit faster in 2006 when I ran my first California International Marathon at a finishing time of 4:17:29 (9:36/mi). Keeping to my under-prepared training, I ran my first official half marathon in 2007, where I clocked a time of 2:20:54 (10:45/mi) at the Davis Stampede Half Marathon. You can see my official results in my 2004 – 2007 races below:

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be talking and posting on my own running blog about going after a Boston Qualifying time (check out my Chasing the Unicorn post). I was never fast when it came to running (marathons or races at least). During my fittest days in high school, I was able to sprint but only when a soccer ball was involved, running really wasn’t something that I would call something I loved to do. Even after my first marathon, running seemed pointless, thousands of people running 26.2 miles … for what?

my first California International Marathon, 2006
my first half marathon, 2007

Now fast forward to today, I have completed 1 endurance run, 1 30k, 20 marathons, 25 half marathons, and 33 other races of various distances ranging from 5ks to 10-miles. I have recently picked up personal best of the following:

  • 5k: 18:55 Oktobrewfest 5k – 2013
  • 10k: 38:41 Run to Feed the Hungry – 2013
  • 10-mile: 1:05:42 Capital City Classic – 2013
  • 1/2 Marathon: 1:24:40 Shamrock’n Half Marathon – 2014  
  • Marathon: 3:09:25 California International Marathon – 2013 *BQ*

I do not know where this journey shall end or what the destination really is, but I do know it has taught me so much about myself, how to commit to something, make good decisions when it comes to caring for my body, and how to turn dreams into goals.

Getting “fast” as some of my friends like to label my running wasn’t easy, at points I did question my sanity and felt like I will always just be at that level, before 2013 I had never broken 3:30:00 in the marathon, now a casual 3:20:00 marathon is attainable. The secret to getting “fast”, and fast is relative, is to run, have a plan, and stick to it! Re-examine your plan after the race, and modify it to help you grow. Every day of training and racing is another step in the journey, enjoy each of those moments.

Where did your journey start? How did you feel after finishing your first race?

2 Comments on “Fit Friday: Every Journey Has a Start

  1. I began running at the beginning of 2013, with the goal to train for a year and run a marathon. I did a handful of shorter races, and was very encouraged by my early results: a sub-30 5K, a sub-60 10K, a sub-2 hour half marathon on the first attempt each! But I fell into a trap of being over-confident, under-informed, and over-trained…My first marathon was a grueling 5:35, which really left me questioning my future as a long distance runner. But I stepped back and re-examined my approach, and learned how to truly train my body, instead of just beating it up, and already this year I have set new PR's at 5K and 10K, and I will be running my first 50K in just one week – which I expect to finish strong at about 6 hours. Reading your blog has been both inspiring and informative and I am very glad I started following it – so, that's a lot of words to say: Thanks!


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