On this date in 2008 I ran the Staten Island Half-Marathon for the second time (the first time was in 2006 and it took me a loooong time to finish). In 2008, though, I set a PR which still blows my mind–1:48:50. I can’t believe I ran that fast for 13.1 miles.
Some details of the race are fuzzy, but a few moments stand out. I remember feeling aces, just completely loose and primed. I remember getting passed (rather quickly) by a superfit, supergorgeous guy on our way up that mile-long hill. He had amazing arms, which reminded me, happily, of someone I knew. I wished I could run up a hill as relentlessly as Fit Guy. I remember EN and I hooting with excitement and triumph as we crossed the finish line together, arms raised. And I remember running that half-marathon with a feeling of great anticipation. I knew that this race, this PR, was only the first of other wonderful things to come, and I couldn’t wait to see what the day, the night, the rest of the year held.
This time last year, I was training for the New York City Marathon, and was living through a year with no injuries. For the first time ever, my weekly mileage hit 50, and looked forward to my mid-week 10-milers. I felt healthy in a way that made me more even-keeled. I felt balanced, I felt I understood myself.
Even though I was training hard, I wasn’t living through difficult times. I was happy. When the difficult times came this winter and spring, I would constantly think of October and November 2008 as the place I wanted to go back to.
I still haven’t made it back–my training and performance expectations have been temporarily downgraded due to injuries and weaknesses. I accept the runner I am today, believing that she will lead me to the runner I want to be tomorrow, next month, next year. Right now, I’m just going to keep running until I chase her down.