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)