Friday, November 2, 2012

Looking back, looking forward

I was stumbling through some old files and found this blurb I wrote in 2001:

The limiting beliefs I have carried with me about running are being shattered right before my eyes and it is like walking into a whole new world of possibilities. It makes me giddy. With other things too, like writing, I can see that for years I have been telling myself that 'I can't'. That I’m scared I won’t be good enough. What is that but a self-fulfilling prophecy? I need to believe first, and I am getting better at this all the time because running is showing me how. I am growing more confident every day that in the fall I will run a marathon. This has been a vague goal of mine for almost 5 years now and I am beginning to let myself believe it and wrap my head around it. The idea of completing a marathon is so powerful and exciting for me.

It’s incredible to look back on that; I barely recognize that person. Recently I compiled a list of races, and I've run 66 (not including 7 DNFs), including seven marathons (6 road, 1 trail) and 13 ultras and multi-day events. The person I was in 2001 didn't even find those distances fathomable, and now most of the time I take it for granted. I remember how empowering it was when I realized I could step outside my door and run for hours and hours. For me it was honestly - and I'm not exaggerating - like being granted a superpower.

It's good to read those words I wrote and to pause and reflect on past hurdles that I worked hard to overcome. It helps me re-assess my goals going forward. Life is so incredibly, preciously finite, and I'm excited about my training and racing in the coming years to collect more memorable experiences to look back on. There's never any better time than now.

Other interesting tidbits from my race list:
- Most frequent race type - 5K road (15)
- I've done more 3-day fastpacks (2) than 10k road races (1)
- Ironically, second most frequent race - 10k on snowshoes (12)
- DNF Reasons - 2 injury, 1 heat, 1 sick, 1 lost, 1 burnt-out, 1 course conditions
- Number of DNFs that took more than a few hours to get over: 1
- Year with the most races: 2006 (14)
- Month with the most races: Julys (11)
- Number of races I was thrilled with at the time: 8
- Number of races I'm thrilled with now: 8 (5 of 8 from above, and 3 others)
- Biggest disappointment: Not finishing our full Rideau Trail fastpack
- Most painful race: Haliburton 50 Miler
- Coldest PB: 5K at -35C windchill
- Fav race course - Escarpment Trail

First Trail race, 2003


Derrick said...

Always so cool reflecting back on past races. So much can be learned from it and appreciate after the fact. I can get lost reading old training logs and thoughts for hours.

Escarpment was a great race and would be fun to go back and do again....and, the Rideau Trail.

Buttons said...

Wow your writing was powerful even back then. I am so happy to hear that whatever your goal is you can certainly make it come true if you truly believe in yourself and work for it. I think this can be for any goal including running.
It is nice to look back and see what you have done, what you have learned, and more important what will come. Great post Sara.You are an inspiration indeed.
Happy trails. B

Sara said...

Derrick, Escarpment...absolutely! Next year? Rideau Tr....not so sure.

Thanks, Buttons, you're very kind.

Derrick said...

Sounds good! I hear you on the pavement sections of the Rideau Trail too.

Sara said...

Yeah, the pavement, injuries, heat wave, swamps and deer flies! We didn't pick the best time-frame for that trail. :)

Derrick said...

...and the Perth Dump!

EJ said...

Well as I was pointing out to Derrick the other day there is no winter record for running the Rideau trail. Is there even a women's record at all? How about the Frontenac Park Perimeter women's record?

Sara said...

The perimeter is definitely appealing as a run next year.