Originally, when I ran this blog through my head, it had a different title. It was going to be called "One Lucky Girl." However, having only been in this process for a week now, I can see that my journey is going to have a ripple effect on all those around me. I need you to understand that I never aspired to running an ultra marathon. Not to say that now I am not completely excited about the journey, but I can't say that I was one of those people that my whole life I thought, "Wouldn't it be awesome to run 100 mile race?" The same thing happened with my Ironman journey. I never ever thought I would want to or be able to do a full Ironman, but once I became involved in the process, I realized how much I truly love biking, and dare I say, how much I also love swimming. I would never have dreamed that I would appreciate the triathlon event so much. I feel that this whole process with this hundred-mile race will give me the same respect and dedication to long-distance running that I now have for the triathlon.
I have to relate a funny story to you because I always tell you that I am completely honest in this blog. Last summer, I remember my friend Gaby and I on my front porch waiting for the other early morning runners to arrive, and she mentioned to me about her dream of wanting to run an ultra. I remember looking at her and saying something along the lines of "I would never want to do something like that." I hope this doesn't make you have less respect for me or make you think that I will not take this hundred-mile journey seriously, but sometimes I just have to be convinced of what might be a good next goal for me.
What I understand about Ed's vision for this entire project is that we are just the tip of the iceberg. The cool thing about the six women in this journey is that we all have different experiences, and I think that people will be able to more closely follow the runner who they relate to the most. There are runners like me who are not very fast and have never done mileage over a marathon length, but one of us is even competing in the Boston Marathon this weekend. I think Ed's hope is that others will see what we are doing and realize their true potential and push themselves to do things that they never dreamed possible. There is a is a ripple effect that I feel is much larger than any of us dreamed of when we signed up for this journey.
I also see a ripple in some of my other running buddies as well. We completed the Ragnar 200-mile relay race from Huntington Beach to Mission Bay last weekend. We ran with 11 runners in two vans--next year we plan to have a group of us do the ultra version--one van, six people. Amazingly, these same people have also volunteered to run a support van for me at the 100-mile event in October if I need them.
I don't pretend to be a mind reader, especially a guy's mind, but I really believe that Ed hopes that one of the big things we are going to learn from this whole journey is that we are all so much more capable of doing things than we ever dreamed possible. Do you know how I felt crossing that finish line at Ironman two years ago? I felt like I had reached the summit of Mount Everest, like I had qualified and won the Boston Marathon… I know this sounds completely crazy, but because I once weighed over 230 pounds you have to understand that I had at one point thought that I could not even run a 5K, and I can now say that I finished a full Ironman! And I can't wait to feel that same euphoria, the same sense of accomplishment, and the same pride in my accomplishment as I did on that day at the finish line at the Vineman full Ironman. I hope that you will continue to follow my journey as I train and grow in my abilities to conquer this 100-mile ultra marathon challenge as well!
Link to my Race Across America donation page