Continuing to expand my horizons…

March 6, 2011; 7:01 AM Pacific Time; Calistoga, California. There I was, cold, wet, waiting for the start of my first, and so far only, marathon. I knew as the race started that by the end a lot of things would change for me. 4 hours 36 minutes and 19 seconds later I ran across the finish line at Vintage High School in Napa. I knew my life had changed. I knew things would never be the same for me again. I had a new level of confidence. I had set my mind to running a marathon and I’d done it. I’d only been running for less than a year and a half, yet I had accomplished something so many runners work toward for decades. I knew I would look at big goals differently.
It has now been 73 days since March 6th and the full extent of that change has come more into focus the further I get from the marathon. When I was standing I the start line in Calistoga I thought I could accomplish anything I put my heart into. Now, a month and a half later, I no longer believe that. I KNOW I can accomplish anything. I’ve challenged myself to accomplish an ultra marathon in April; I’m going to do an Olympic triathlon next year, and a few more marathons and half marathons. As I think about a lot of my goals I see one big problem. The all revolve around running. I’ve become too focused on that one passion. I saw that I needed to spread my wings a little wider.
Time to hit the road, this time on a bike! That’s right, my “runner’s journey” is expanding to a “multi-sport athlete’s journey”. Okay, fine, that doesn’t sound as catchy, but I’m very excited. I have a mountain bike that my father-in-law gave me (of course I haven’t even ridden it yet thanks to my foot), and I plan to buy a road bike soon. I’m going to make myself not only a runner, but also a cyclist! Now, to tie this back to the start of this post about Napa. Before Napa I would have set a small goal and see how it went then think about bigger goals. Well, no such thinking now. I’m planning on signing up for the Danisco Prairie Punisher Duathlon on July 23rd; that would be a 5k followed by a 17 mile bike ride, followed by another 5k; and of course another 5k race (KC Bike & Foot Chase) the next morning. I’m also going to sign up for Bike 4 The Brain on Labor Day (Monday Sept 5th), that’s a 64 mile ride. To get ready for all of this I plan to start riding my bike to work at least a 2-3 days per week, that is a 24.5 mile ride each way. Doesn’t seem that big to you? Me either, so I had to go another step. A friend sent me a link on Facebook about RAGBRAI in Iowa. July 2012, 7 days, 472 miles, average 68 miles per day, from the east border of Iowa to the west border. That’s a big goal. I gave it a little consideration and thought about how great it would be. I was starting to take it seriously. Then I was pushed by Jill, my ultra marathon partner and consent enabler, from considering it to definitely doing it. She told me that if I would do it then she would be on my crew to come help me. That’s even during her birthday, if she’s willing to make that sacrifice how can I not do it??
So that’s my new goal. It’s a goal that I wouldn’t have been willing to set at 7:01 AM March 6th. But a little more than 4 and a half hours later that is the kind of goal I gravitate towards and thrive on. Go big or go home.

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