This past weekend marked a turning point for me. When I was swimming it was very easy for me to set goals for myself. I knew what I was capable of and I was passionate about the sport. When I started running I tried setting goals but it just wasn't the same. I hadn't been running long enough to know what kinds of goals to set and for awhile I just kind of ran with no sense of direction. At the start of 2013 my goal was to break two hours in the half marathon. I had done enough halves to know that with some work it would be possible. Training went better than I could have imagined, mainly due to working with Mike, and I found myself setting new goals.
I started thinking that I could run under 1:55 and then I set the goal of running under 1:50. I didn't tell anyone about this goal because even though I thought it was possible, a part of me thought it was a completely outrageous goal. When I crossed the finish line of the Nike Women's Half Marathon with a time of 1:49:57 I was ecstatic. I was so proud of myself and smiled ear to ear for the following week.
At the same time something was missing, I just don't think I realized it at the time. Over the past couple weeks I have been getting more and more excited about my triathlon season this summer. Instead of thinking about racing with fear and nerves, I kept wondering how soon I could go do a race.
Over the weekend I found out that a former teammate and good friend of mine did a triathlon. When I found out I was shocked at my reaction. Normally when friends of mine would race half marathons or other running races I would assume they would beat me and I would feel defeated. This time, however, I felt competitive. I can't explain what happened but all I kept thinking about was how much I want to race.
It took almost an entire day for me to realize what was happening. After doing only 2 triathlons last year I never thought I would feel such a connection to the sport. I still have so much to work on and I am by no means fast but I don't feel like a fake calling myself a triathlete. Sometimes I never feel like I will be a runner, but a triathlete, now that sounds great.
For the first time in years I felt a passion that I hadn't felt since swimming. I may not be very good right now but I want to be great. I also like the idea of actually racing versus being one participant among thousands of others. I like competing and I forgot just how much. The ironic part about all of this is that for a few days I thought about bagging triathlon entirely this year and just focusing on running. Good thing that didn't happen!