Saturday, July 31, 2010

Age Group Graduation

In running, as in life, there is rarely ever a good time to reflect and celebrate past personal accolades and accomplishments. Whether it'd be the next finish line, the next big goal, or perhaps even just the next mile, there's always something further along the road that dominates our focus, demands our time and keeps us perpetually moving forward in our race against time.

The calendar tells me that I'm passing another birthday this weekend - my 35th to be exact. Although I generally do not like to memorialize this personal anniversary with a public gesture seeing as it is often nothing more than a footnote and in the passage of time that is relevant only to me, I'm allowing myself some leniency this year to celebrate with friends and family because it is not only a birthday for me, but also an age group graduation. Yes, in my next race, I will no longer be running as a member of the young thirty-somethings. Instead, I'll be joining the more elder statesmen and stateswomen in the 35-39 age group, competing to hold on to our speed and dignity.

Now, some may think that this occasion is no big deal. After all, this graduation is not at all merit-based and is a mere consequence of the passage of time. However, if you consider the fact that my introduction to running occurred only within this decade (I'd never previously participated in organized sports at any level), this commencement exercise is pretty important to me because it is essentially a celebration of my running life.

Practically speaking, I am planning a few celebrations with friends, family, and Flyers this weekend as well as running a 35K to commemorate every year I've been living this privileged life. I'll be surrounded by many people who I've gotten to know only because of this wonderful sport. I'm so ever grateful for my friend Matt A who first got me to run in Central Park and embarrassed me when I couldn't even make it past mile 2. If it weren't for that friendly competition way back when, I would have never dared to run the full 6 mile loop by myself the next weekend, sign up for my first race a month later or attempted my first marathon that same fall. I can't even imagine my life now, just five years later, without running!

In the spirit of graduation, I submit to you a list of highlights from my running record in support of commencement. I am constantly astounded by how far I've already come in my brief running life. I sincerely thank those of you who've supported me so far in this journey and I hope you'll continue to run with me as I move forward onto bigger and better adventures (Sub-3 marathon? My first triathlon? My first ultra...maybe?) in my next age group.

Age Group (30-34) Resume'
Age 30 (2005 - 2006) - Ran 453 miles
- Ran first half marathon (Manhattan Half '05 - 1:41:26)
- Ran first marathon (NYCM '05 - 3:26:42)

Age 31 (2006 - 2007) - Ran 757 miles
- Ran 2nd marathon (Hartford '06 - 3:11:33)
- Broke 7 min/pace in half marathon (Fairfield Half '07 - 1:31:16)

Age 32 (2007 - 2008) - Ran 1355 miles
- Started this blog
- Became a member of NY Flyers
- Broke 1:30 in half marathon (Queens Half '07 - 1:28:06)
- Ran 3rd marathon (NYC '07 - 3:08:18) - 1st BQ
- Ran sub-40 for 10K (Healthy Kidney '08 - 39:44)

Age 33 (2008 - 2009) - Ran 1713 miles
- Ran 4th marathon (SFM '08 - 3:09:08) - on birthdate
- Ran 5th marathon (NYC '08 - 3:02:20) - current PR
- Set current 4M race PR (Race To Deliver '08 - 24:38)
- Ran 6th marathon (Las Vegas '08 - 3:15:09) - for fun
- Ran 1st ever 5K (Salsa, Blues & Shamrock '09 - 18:34)
- Ran 7th marathon (Boston '09 - 3:02:21) - 1st Boston
- Ran sub-39 and set current 10K race PR (Healthy Kidney '09 - 38:59)

Age 34 (2009 - 2010) - Ran 2282 miles
- Set current 5M race PR (Club Champs '09 - 30:13)
- Broke 1:25 in half marathon (Staten Island '09 - 1:24:25)
- Ran 8th marathon (NYC '09 - 3:04:20)
- Set current half marathon PR (Philly Half '09 - 1:24:15)
- Ran 9th marathon (Honolulu '09 - 3:18:46) - for vacation
- Became a Saucony sponsored athlete
- Joined Twitter and Daily Mile
- Ran as pacer for 1st time
- Set current 5K PR (Salsa, Blues & Shamrock '10 - 18:26)


marathonmaiden said...

first of all: happy birthday!

and you've only recently been running races?! wow. i definitely thought you'd been doing this for awhile. congrats on all the accomplishments on your resume :)

Michelle said...

Your awesome my brother in running and friend.

I really am so appreciative of you. You helped me so much when I broke my toe last year and you still help me today.

Your a great runner too.


Michelle Simmons said...

Happy Birthday! And that looks like a nice progression of your running career... :)

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...

The Manhattan 1/2 was my first 1/2 marathon too!! :) Happy Birthday!

Julie said...

Happy Birthday to you Lam!!

Look at your times and how much faster you have gotten over the past five years! I am so jealous of your first half marathon and first marathon times...seriously...who can do that? You did Lam:)

Cheers to moving up an age-group and to many more years of impressive running! Take care Lam:)

Tanya said...

Impressive running resume. I'm a newbie runner and much slower and older, but am inspired by you on a regular basis. Look forward to seeing you continue in your success. :)

HeatherRuns said...

Happy Birthday! I've really enjoyed reading your blog for the past few weeks. Thanks for all the inspiration!

The Happy Runner said...

Happy birthday, Lam! I see many more PRs in your future -- hope 35 is great to you!

3:59:59. Bitches. said...

Great post, Lam! Not only have you been so fortunate in your running career, but so many of us have been fortunate to have you for inspiration! All too often, we don't acknowledge this privileged life. Thanks for reminding us how lucky we are to run with friends and loved ones. I, for one, look forward to keeping up with your running tales for many age groups to come!

Jamie said...

Happy, happy birthday!

It is so incredibly impressive how far you have come over these last few years. Good luck in the new age-group. I'm sure you'll continue kicking some booty!

Adam said...

This is a really cool summary, Lam. Amazing to look back at it all.

J said...

Wow Lam quote the running resume you have there! I was just thinking I need to track down all my old race times and put them all together. Hope you had a great birthday!!

lindsay said...

happy belated birthday lam!! hope you had a great b-day celebration. love that 35k run... i've thought about doing a b-day mileage run but i'm not 12 or younger ;) never thought about doing kilometers! much more manageable.

impressive resume, but you always amaze me. (even if you are just reading this and going "yeah right, i suck, i'm so slow") ;)

aron said...

happy belated birthday lam!!!!

Chic Runner said...

Seriously, you rock. I can't even put into words with how much you inspire everyone on the lovely interwebs and how great you are in person too. Thank for being awesome and I hope your age group graduation went smoothly and was awesome. Can't wait for the lamshark to dominate the next age group!

Linna said...

WOW your stats sure are impressive!! AMAZING!!! Also, the honolulu marathon sounds the sense that there was running involved and there was hopefully lots of rest and vacationing!!! Congrats, and I look forward to seeing great stats and new PRs for 2010!!!

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