Friday, November 19, 2010

Starting Again

I had a completely different race experience at Sunday's Big Sur Half Marathon. I didn’t run, I was the race’s official starter.
I don't usually go to races just to watch, so being the starter gave me an entirely different perspective on things. I was amazed at all the runners, watching them go by wave after wave.
But I have to say I prefer to be racing.
In a way, I’m off to a new start. I had been scheduled to run in the New York City Marathon a few weeks ago, my first marathon since having Quin. But that plan changed when I suffered a calf injury.
Aside from just missing qualifying for the Olympic Team in 2004, not making the starting line in New York was the most devastating thing in my career over the past 15 years. The kicker is that I was feeling the best I had in years. Nothing hurt and workouts were getting better and better. As my Vietnam vet coach would say, I finally had some bullets in my gun, and I was ready for war.
It has been hard to get back into training since. I had a little post-marathon depression. People don’t realize how hard it is, how much you have to put yourself mentally into running.
When you’re a competitor you point your training to a goal. When you get hurt, you have to adjust. You have to go to Plan B, or Plan C.
With the help of family, friends and especially Quin (it’s pretty hard to be in a bad mood too long when you have a little person running around), I am out of my funk and looking ahead. I’m looking at doing a marathon in the spring.
This week I returned to track workouts for the first time since the injury, and things are going pretty well.
Coming back from the pregnancy was actually tougher. When I started training after having Quin I felt like I had never run before. It was just horrible.
I tell people who have just begun running it might take a couple of months before they can get the aerobic fitness to really enjoy it, to get to the point where it feels effortless. When things aren’t going right, one of the first things that pops into your head is to give up and do something different. That happened to me after I had Quin.
I had to remind myself that you don’t just lose your talent. You have to know that it’s still in there somewhere. And I know the Olympics are so close, and in a way I’m so ready. I know I’d be disappointed later if I gave up now.
So I start again.


  1. You are a runner. You will run.

    You have inspired me, and so many others. No matter what, that positive effect you've had on people (most of all, Quin) will always be there.

  2. Go Blake go!

    Excited to follow along on your blog :-) Hi to Jon and Quin from us!

  3. Hi Blake -- I'm an adult-onset athlete and new to running (just ran my first marathon in October this year). I'm looking forward to following your blog and rooting for you when (not if!) you run in London!

  4. Blake...this is great, very excited to follow your progress as a a runner and rock, girl!

  5. I'll enjoy following your new blog :) I'm a mom (of a 3 year old girl) and aspiring Olympic Marathoner too. It's great to hear from a rad chick that can do it all!

    I was on the starting line at the Big Sur Half and was very excited to hear that you'd be starting the race. I got second at Big Sur, but my big race is in a few weeks at California International Marathon.

    Thanks for the inspiration,