Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Can Do It

Recently I have set a lot of goals for myself. These goals include running, tri-ing, school, and just life in general. I have been having a really hard time lately not swimming. I can still swim leisurely, but nothing compared to the twenty hours a week I was used to putting in. I used to be a national caliber swimmer and now I am not. It is hard to think of myself of an athlete anymore now that I am not competing anymore. Besides dealing with no longer being able to swim, I am also dealing with falling a semester behind in school due to coming home this semester for surgery. Back in the fall I was diagnosed with thoracic outlet with an extra rib. This extra rib had to be removed in early January & prevented me from returning to Pitt in the spring. When I found out that on top of all this it would end my swimming career I was heartbroken.

Back in November I became really inspired by the New York City Marathon. I was reading about it everywhere and thought it looked like the perfect marathon to do. I have never been much of a runner I knew that running a marathon was not something that I would be doing any time soon. But the inspiration stuck. Now I think it was a disguised message telling me that I would soon be much closer to running a marathon than I ever thought possible. When I found out I needed surgery I decided the only logical thing for me to do in order to stay in shape was to start running. I have been slowly but surely running more and faster, and the more I run the more I love it. I love the feeling of accomplishment, of being an athlete, and of being strong.

I decided that I wanted to sign up for running races in order to hold myself accountable to sticking with running and not just giving up when it got tough. My first race is a 5K in May. I wanted to start off with something short so I don't have to be rushed into anything and can minimize the risk of developing an injury. The 5K is my short term goal. I also wanted to have a long term goal, something that was not too far away but not as near as a couple weeks. So I decided that I was going to run the Baltimore Half Marathon in October. I will have enough time to train to the half without feeling overwhelmed (I hope). I then decided that I wanted to run a marathon in 2012. As of now I am hoping to run the Pittsburgh Marathon in May of 2012 and the Philadelphia Marathon in November of 2012.

As part of my cross training for both swimming and running I have started biking a lot. Although all of it has been on a stationary recumbent bike I have still been pushing out a good amount of miles. It then occurred to me that even though I can't be a competitive swimmer anymore doesn't mean that I can't do any type of swimming. Which means that between my love of swimming, my love of biking, and my love of running it only makes sense that I should do a triathlon. I plan on doing a sprint triathlon in June and an Olympic distance one in August, with my ultimate goal being completing a half ironman and a full ironman at some point.

I love realizing that I am still an athlete and I am not going to let anybody tell me otherwise. If people are not supportive of my goals than they do not need to be a part of them. I am going to surround myself with only those will support me 100% and want to see me succeed. I am tired of not going after my dreams because I am afraid of failing and afraid of injury. I don't want to be limited anymore. I feel like I am starting over and it is a really good feeling.

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