|Surf City Horizon (photo: Rikki)|
Over the years that I have been running, I have learned a great deal about myself: exactly how much am I willing to take on and challenge myself. Answer is: a great deal. Not only in athletic feats, but also, in other realms of my life. As many of my close family members and friends can share, I aim for my personal best in everything I do since I was very young because I would not be satisfied any other way. I was taught to never allow my mind to get the better hold of myself and to never allow myself to walk away from a challenge. So even though I grew up believing I did not have an athletic limb in my body, I asked myself could I run. Why not? Well, I was the little girl in the little cute dress always with a book or paintbrush painting, drawing, or using my creativity some way to concoct a craft earning my district-wide awards in contests all throughout grade school. But could I run? No one in my family ran long distance although my siblings played community sports. Well I gave it a try. Freshman year in high school, I ran my first Cross Country 3-mile road race and… won. I remained undefeated for four years winning several League Champion titles. Felt good but I knew there was more. Enters the marathon: can I run for 26.2 miles? Why not give it a try. In 1999, I attempted my first marathon at the LA Marathon as a Freshman without running more than six miles only with the base foundation from Cross Country and completed it in 4:05:55. The key that got me to the finish was: heart and desire. I knew I wanted to finish and I knew I could. Sometimes that is really the only key. Believing you could. So naturally next up, Boston qualifying: could I qualify? If I wanted to, I needed to improve 25 minutes. Not an easy task but I sure was going to try. In 2000, I toed the line for my second marathon trained to attack for a 3:30:00 but I quickly learned that even with training, there are other elements to consider for long distance racing. I finished in 3:57:31 disappointed I had not reached my mark. However, something grew inside me then. It was an almost insatiable hunger to try again. I think I can. I know I can. So I made the attempt again. The following year, I ran my third 26.2 in the LA Marathon in 3:30:13, my first Boston qualifier. I earned 57th female overall earning myself a spot in the Sports Section of the LA Times for coming in Top 100 females in a world-renown event that attracts a large field of talent with over 22,000 finishers in 2002. A few weeks later, I received a large plaque from the City of LA congratulating me on my 1st place Division Award at this large world event. It still hangs in my old bedroom at my parent’s house among my trophy wall. This one was special because it marked the great journey I continue on today. So this is why I run: because when I put myself to work for a goal, the sense of achievement is an overwhelming sense of gratification and acknowledgement that yes I can. I worked hard for it, I believed I could, and I did it. Anyone can. All you need to do is work for it and believe you could. If you put in the work but lose faith in yourself, the goal may forever be unreachable. I never thought I could run. I never thought I would finish a marathon, nonetheless, qualify for Boston on my 3rd attempt but it can be done.
Now over the years, I have learned one very crucial element about the pursuit and achievements of my goals: no matter how fast or how long I go, I know there will always be someone faster, stronger, or willing to work harder. Once I accepted this fact, I was able to develop and continuously fuel a great desire to always aim to improve myself for my personal best. It may not be the fastest; it may not be the farthest; but it would be my journey to be the best I can be because I can. We all can do it because we believe we can.
|Make Your Dreams Happen|
Surf City Marathon Results
3:26:50 (7:54 pace)
1:42/1:44 half splits
9th division place of 140 finishers in 25-29F
23rd female of 894 finishers
210th overall of 2314 finishers
3rd 2012 marathon
4th Surf City marathon
34th Boston Qualifier
50th Sub4-hour marathon