Transformation Tuesday

This isn’t your typical “look how I’ve changed” Tuesday where I show you a picture of me x amount of years ago and then one of me now. Instead, its story time for you fine folks.

Once upon a time, I was a much slower runner. How slow, you ask? People (fast people)can run a marathon in the time I could do only a half, that is how slow. I ran my first half marathon in 2008: The Hyannis Half Marathon. I had already been a runner for about 8 years, so I don’t know why I was not yet interested in getting faster-I think I simply didn’t care about speed.

This half marathon made me pretty darn happy to finish. I was practically delirious because I was so tired afterwards, but I remember being so happy. (there is nothing like crossing the finish line!) Finish lines are just magical moments, aren’t they? I didn’t give my time a second thought-it was done and i was happy (and RUNGRY!)

Anyway, these are my results for my first ever half marathons in 2008&2009: Both Hyannis Half Marathon.

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(yup, my second year I was slower)

I even hunted down a pic from that first half:

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This girl doesn’t look like she’s having a whole lot of fun though, and she looks pretty cold! I remember wearing several layers this day!

Fast forward a few years. I still hadn’t done another half, but I’d done about ten more marathons, successfully bringing my PR to a 3:54. It’s fall 2013 and as I train for the Baystate Marathon, on a whim I decided I wanted to do another 13.1. I searched local races and found the Applefest Half Marathon in Hollis NH.

I had zero time goals for this race. Well, I looked up my times for my 2 prior and I knew I had to beat it. But that’s not really a “time goal”. I was getting faster and I knew I had a pretty good shot at breaking 1:45 since I had done a 13 mile training run in that same time.

I ran that race and was so happyduring it. I couldn’t stop smiling because I felt like I was doing great. When I crossed that finish line with a 1:43 I was hooked on the half marathon distance-considering that most of my races had been full marathons-it felt so short and so easy. (If you are comparing 13.1 to a full 26.2-Let’s be real: it is)

Somewhere in between then and now, It’s become my solid mission to obtain a 1:3x half. I want to beat my worst half time by an hour. I’m telling you this story because I’m sure you have wondered, at some point, why I’m so obsessed with getting faster. You might think I’m just a weirdo it’s just because I once was a whole lot slower, but it’s so much more than that. It’s not just about times and paces but it’s about being the best runner I can possibly be. On my quest to BQ and run Boston on my own, I have dedicated myself to tapping into my full potential. There is a quiet beauty and amazement in what the human body is capable of, and I know I can accomplish so much more. I like to push myself because I know my body responds well to hard work, and I am slowly seeing it pay off.

When I decided to do a winter marathon this year, Hyannis was my first choice. I remembered it’s flat course, and I like the area-it was a no brainer. It meant a lot to me to have set my current PR on that same course: a 3:45 full marathon when I had done a 2:33 half 6 years before- nearly an hour better and 13.1 miles more.

Because my start as a runner was slow- I obviously had to work hard. For some, their genes scream “runner” because they may come from a long line of gazelles. But mine did not. (although I am sure I will one day pop out little runner cherubs who want to race with their momma 😉)

I guess I decided to write this story because everyday someone tells me they wish they were as fast as me. It never gets old to hear that, and I find it so flattering. I’m not looking for approbation from you after you read this, either. I just wanted to write a little post about it because I love to read about other bloggers journeys SO much, and this is a little piece of mine. When I publish my different pics from my runs on my Instagram or, even on here, I’m not trying to be a braggart-I follow a ton of bloggers who are on the same journey as me-seeking their own BQ to blaze the path to Boston. I find inspiration everywhere, from runners of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels, and I aspire to give inspiration back. It means something very powerful to me to someday be able to say the words

“I BQ’d to enter the race.”

It’s the motivation behind all these hard runs I’ve been doing, and the fire under my feet. Getting my own BQ took ahold of me a long time ago and has never relinquished it’s grasp: eyes on the prize.
So one more pic-the reason this post is titled “Transformation Tuesday”:
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How have you transformed yourself?

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31 thoughts on “Transformation Tuesday

  1. This gives me a lot of hope, although I have to remember I’m older than you (darn it, 40s). I haven’t been running very long, but I get frustrated because I want to keep improving at the rate I did when I started a year and a half ago. I do like getting in the treadmill to push myself a little because sometimes it’s so easy for me to lollygag when running outside especially when it’s hot and humid. Thank you for sharing your journey. It’ll be fun to read when you get your 1:30 half.

  2. Reading this was great. It totally gives me hope that I can improve too! Good for you for putting in the work and making such great progress.

  3. Awesome story! I love reading about other runners’ journeys. I also haven’t been reading your blog for very long so I love learning a little more background of you as a runner! I am kind of the opposite…in that my first 1/2 was in 2007 and I ran a 1:53 not really knowing what I was doing. I wouldn’t say I was always “naturally” a runner or anything but I guess I was lucky in that without really knowing how fast i was running I was able to pull that off. However, I have hovered around the sames times in both the 1/2 and the full since then. (My PR in the 1/2 is 1:44 but everything else is much closer to the 1:53). and all my fulls are in the 4:01-4:07 range. I guess at least I’m consistent? But I want to be able to start making more gains, and I know I can do it it just takes alot of patience! Thank you for this inspiration:) And I know you are going to run Boston by earning that BQ!

    • Lisa that is AWESOME!! I love that you confess that you didn’t fully know what you were doing because I think we all have that moment in racing/running!! Consistency is a good thing..I have been ALL over the place with times, so I feel like that is weird! OMG….I can’t imagine having a 4:01-4:07 for my FIRST marathon time!!! I cried ..CRIED when I hit a 4:17 because it was the first time in years of running that I had broken 5 hours! Well done to YOU!

  4. Cool story!! I love it!!! 🙂 how have I transformed myself hmmm … I was a 200 meter specialist in junior high and high school who became nearly 30 pounds overweight and reclaimed his love for running and regained his fitness and life back. I went from a self-made run/walk program to running 3 miles to running a 5k to a marathon and all the distances in between. The first 5k unleashed a running animal who longs for each run.

  5. This is such a great and motivational post!! I am still in the range of doing half marathons in the time people can do fulls 😉 haha! But I’m working my way up! I’ll have done 6 half marathons this year, not including a triathlon and duathlon too! I really want to get a sub two-hour half soon – that’ll be my Transformation Tuesday!
    Keep up the fast running lady – you’re so inspiring to me! 🙂

  6. That is quite the transformation! Getting that fast requires so much determination and consistency – and to get there you have to really love running. That’s why I like your blog – you work hard and get all the results you deserve. There are no shortcuts in running!

  7. THIS POST! Ahh, Nicole it makes me really happy. And yes, part of that happiness comes from learning you used to be slow, ha!

    I guess I just classify myself in the “middle of the pack” category. I’m not slow really, but I am nowhere near the times I hear from my runner friends/bloggers. Honestly, I’m fine with my place in the pack. But there are times where I wonder to myself, can I ever get “really fast” or am I born to be a bit of a slowsky? 🙂 This is actually good motivation for me to include some speed work (as I JUST started training for my next half, yay!)

    Also…. what do you contribute to your huge leap in times? Marathon running, aka just running more and longer got you faster? Or speed work during those years? Sorry for my novel. Anyway, thanks for sharing your transformation 🙂

    • Ahhhh Molly I love that my post makes you happy!!!:):)
      Good luck in Your training! Speedwork definitely pays off, I promise! I think that the more miles I logged for my long runs, my body naturally started to adapt. But I absolutely had to keep pushing myself,sometimes I would use the treadmill to help bc I could predict paces with it. I didn’t start speedwork until about three maybe four years ago and I began to notice a big difference! I hope this helps and I loved your novel!:)

  8. Wow! That is an incredible transformation! I didn’t do any races early on as a runner so I don’t know what the times would have been, but surely not great. On another note, that is no doubt the cutest race photo I’ve ever seen! Seriously adorable!

    You are a huge inspiration with your positive attitude toward running and getting faster. Love it!

  9. You really have come a long way. IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSONAL PROGRESS. I struggled the last few weeks with motivation, and I have slowly been feeling better about it all. Yesterday I looked at my online running log and realized that I was over 400 miles ahead than I was at this point last year. Seeing that huge improvement, it’s not even in OMG high miles, it is that I have become a more consistent runner in so many ways. It’s been the best transformation because I have seen the biggest results in becoming more consistent the last few years.

  10. What would you say helped you finally get faster when you decided you actually cared about speed? I do speedwork and hills, and while I’ve seen my paces get faster, they’ve never dipped below high 8s for a 5k and low 9s for anything longer. Maybe I just need to be patient and keep putting the work in!

    The fact that you have become such a faster runner is very motivational!

    • I was like you-waiting and wanting them to get faster..sometimes I would hop on a treadmill bc that let’s you control the pace and forces you to go faster. If you have access to a treadmill, try doing a faster speed workout on it and I bet you it will help!

  11. Great transformation – and way to work at your goals. For me, I really don’t care about speed – there is ALWAYS someone faster – but instead “are you being the best YOU that you can be?” And you are rocking that and should be SO proud of yourself.

    I love this post … ‘like’ doesn’t quite do it 🙂

    I ran for 23 years (well, between years 20-23 was sporadic, and I gained a bunch of weight) before I really made a change. I have written about it a bunch on my blog, but my wife put it into words for me this week: I changed the focus from weight loss/maintenance to RUNNING. And in 2012-2013 I cut my pace by more than 33%, and went from running more than 5 miles *once* in my life to averaging >7.5 miles *every day* and putting in more than 3150 miles in 2013 after almost 2000 in 2012 and over 1700 so far this year. I am very happy with my transformation, and to be sitting here in my late 40s in the absolute best shape of my life.

    • Michael I always LOVE reading about your transformation..it is really something! I like how your wife highlighted your shift in priorities for you…sometimes we can’t see things ourselves and it’s so nice to have someone to help us see how we changed! Holy moly you have done LOTS of miles so far, good for you! Now I’m curios to see what I’ve done! Congrats to being in your 40s and in the best shape of your life-you’re a success story!

      You’re right-there will ALWAYS be someone faster than me-I’m okay with that as long as I keep trying to be my best self!:) as always, thanks for an AWESOME comment! Keep being inspirational!

  12. This post is certainly amazing! You have come such a long way and are a huge inspiration.
    I’ve transformed from running as a reason to lose weight (in high school – bad) to running because I love it and it makes me feel so happy. It’s a transformation that took a long time and I’m very proud of!

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