I would like to mention some people in this blog that have led to my increasing respect and knowledge of endurance sports. These people are great athletes, people, coaches and, most assuredly, inspirations in my running/swimming/biking life:
All of the former ECU guys that are now coaching/assistant coaching. You guys are building teams that are driven, strong and, of the ones I’ve met anyway, extremely nice and humble. It’s really cool to see the training plans you’re developing work, even though I’m sure they are different in a lot of ways. Just one thing…I’ve gotta find a team to coach so I can compete against you all!
I met a guy named Daniel Gray last year. If you meet him, just ask, he will tell you his story. Let’s just say, you don’t have any excuses for not getting off your ass!
My friend Kevin-Bob knows I’m proud of him. He went from non-runner to sub-3:00 marathoner in such a short amount of time. I used to kick his ass at 5Ks and then he started running in the 17’s. Bastard (I say that in the nicest way). Kevin is actually one of the people that encouraged me to run faster. Not by saying, “Cat, you can do it! You will be fast in no time.” Nope, Kevin said, after my first 5K (25:04), “That’s pretty good for as short as your legs are. I don’t think you’ll get much faster.” Haha! 19:58 Kevin! We talk running probably 93.67% of our time together and I have learned a lot from him.
I’m so impressed by Kevin’s wife, Lyndsie, too. She and my friend Kim have inspired me to add strength work to my training. I like how she described her pre-workout self as a “skinny fat person”. After she had their precious baby, she was still skinny. She started working out with a trainer anyway, eating better and makes me feel like the fat kid on the volley ball team now. I like how pumped she gets to talk about what her trainer made them do that week. It’s starting to sound more like Cross Fit workouts as time progresses. She’s not a runner, per se, but she does run. She agreed to run a marathon with me at a bar in NYC after Kevin’s Boston finish. FYI: Lyndsie, you will be doing this, even if we’re 85 years old.
Shane of Gym 210. You finally made me understand what muscle endurance workouts were all about and how you were able to finish a marathon sub-4:00 with zero running mpw.
The TriOKC Club. You guys are crazy! I can’t wait to feed off of your craziness when we live in OKC. Nice and competitive do go hand-in-hand. You all have brought out a whole new level of endurance athlete in me that I didn’t even know I had. You don’t go from short Splash N’ Dash to 1/2 IM in less than 4 months without extreme support, encouragement and advice. And, I appreciate that no one has yet made fun of me for running my first Splash N’ Dash in my bathing suit with my swim cap on or getting lost at Body V. Earth (complete sarcasm here).
Coach Payne. I know you won’t accept the credit that you’re due, but you made me a smarter, healthier runner than I ever would’ve been on my own. Plus, you gave me a chance to run in the first place.
I cried at a bunch of races last year. It only makes sense to fellow athletes probably, but it’s a sense of pride in what someone just made their body do. Nothings has made me cry tears of joy as much as watching my mom walk across the marathon finish line though! Congrats and respect to:
Matt on his first 5K at the Riversport Challenge!
Kate on one challenging Chicago Marathon, ’nuff said!
Kevin for finishing Boston in a respectable time on an injury!
Travis for running sub-8:00 and completing his first duathlon at the Fall Classic!
Uncle Jeff (a.k.a. The Godfather) for such a great 100 miler at HNH and for smoking the competition with me at Fall Classic!
Daniel, you’ve done a lot of races, but I learn the most from you when you get back on your bike after every flat and finish those races (even if it means changing a tire during HNH without shade)!
Kim for finishing a miserably cold, rainy 1/2 marathon in goal time after following through with a running plan and not complaining once!
Camille, it was really exciting to see you leading the first mile of the Oly Trials and to know that you finished in the top 30% of the fastest women in the US.
Mom and Dad…I will never be able to communicate how proud and thankful I am that both of you live healthy, active lifestyles!
Gosh, this list could go on and on. I think of all of you, and some others not listed here, when I am training. Thanks for building the foundation in my life for the old saying, “Anything is possible.”
Finally, I’m proud of me. I didn’t want to finish that 1/2 IM. My nutrition intake failed on the bike. I ran the slowest I’ve ever run. Seeing my family and talking with my dad at mile 6 of the run made me cry and I started wheezing. I couldn’t eat the PB&J at the finish, even though I’d been craving it since mile 20 on the bike. I got so sunburnt my numbers are still noticeable on my arms. I contemplated putting a for sale sign on my gear and leaving it in transition. But…I finished and when I woke up the next morning, I decided a full was in my future.
“Just keep moving.” -I’m sure someone has said it before me.