I Need A New Challenge (story time)…

I need a new challenge…  And I am not talking about swimming in the Puget Sound or even New Year’s Eve I am toying with the idea of revisiting a forgotten dream that I flirted with at the end of 2011…

In November of 2011, I was working with a personal trainer, but losing motivation.  It was the same personal trainer who helped me train for my very first triathlon (which had been my dream for 11 years.)

2011 went like this…  I kicked off the year with 2 polar bear plunges then decided in April that I needed to lose weight so I went vegan then hired a personal trainer and trained for that triathlon.  I successfully completed that triathlon that August and continued the pt, but noticed by November that my motivation had gone way down and I could barely bother to show up.

My trainer said, “You need a new goal.  Something to work towards.”

I realized that he was completely right and I remembered going  through a swag bag from the recent “Cycle the Wave” bike ride that I did with my sister and mom.  I remembered seeing a post card about the San Francisco Marathon.  That was when I told my trainer that I wanted to train for it.  It was set to take place in July of 2012…

I went straight to my local library and borrowed a book about a lady who went from sitting on the couch to running her first marathon and I felt immediately inspired.  I went to work coaching swim team and I think that night I signed up.

I remember starting my training the very 1st week of December.  I even got some training partners serendipitously.  I was coaching at a the Evergreen Pentathalon and leaving the pool to head home when I ran into Tamen who was my ex bf’s friend.  I asked him what he was up to and he said that he was meeting his roommate Monty there at Evergreen to workout, but the gym was closed for the swim meet.  We caught up with Monty and I snuck the guys in through the pool.  I guess I was feeling rebellious that day.  I even looked my boss Randall in the eyes as we passed by him through the pool area.

The 3 of us did a quick workout in the rec center which is now the gym at my college.  I remember watching in awe as the guys did unassisted pull-ups.  We decided that we would go for a run around campus.  Tamen said that he wanted to run everyday.  So we ran around the pool (which took probably less than 5 min) and Tamen said he was done.  Right then and there we made plans to all meet at the Capitol Lake for a one o clock run.

I was excited.  I had training buddies and Tamen said he was all in.  The next morning I headed down to Capitol Lake.  It was cold, yet beautiful.  I met Monty there (who had ridden his bike from work) and he said that Tamen could not make it.

That became a regular thing.  We would meet for our run at 1 at the lake.  Tamen never did show up, but I was so happy with the running buddy that I had.  We ran on Christmas Eve and even ran through the month of January which we named “Snowpacolypse” which was comprised of way more snow than we were used to and a week-long power outage which is extreme for the pacific northwest.

I noticed that we started hanging out more and running less and on January 29th of 2012 I started dating my running buddy / best friend ❤

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I think it was in March when I decided that I was not going to run that marathon.  I had slacked on my training, but the bigger issue was that I could not finance or figure out the logistics around getting to San Francisco for the actual event.  I made peace with that disappointing decision and did my best to move on.


At the end of April of 2012, Monty and I mutually decided to break up.  He was going to move to Taiwan to teach English.  He wanted to stay together, but I did not want to hold him back.

I took a stroll down memory lane…

When he left, I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and it was the most painful break-up I had ever experienced, but I also knew that I had more healing to do.  This heartbreak was actually what inspired me to create this blog so I am grateful for that.

Ever since that whole experience, I put half/marathon training on the back burner.  There were times when I liked the idea of completing a half marathon before I turned 30, but now that I am 30 it is too late for that 😉

I have also been busy with work, school, and life in general.

Now that I am feeling more settled I feel inspired to take on a new challenge.  I also need a hobby that will keep me busy and keep me from over-analyzing and dwelling in the past.  Also, I have always fantasized about training for a run in a place that has higher elevation than sea level then going back to my home town and running that event.

I think this is my chance.  It is still January and the event I am thinking about training for is in early June so that would give me about 19 weeks to train. This is a dream that I have had for 7 years and I think it is a good time to bring it back!

Have you completed a half or full marathon?  If so, what are your training tips and tricks?!  Please comment below to share!

❤ Alana

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