Many runners specialise in a particular type of running, be it sprinting, middle distance, marathon, ultra. Road, track, trail. For example, you can’t imagine seeing Usain Bolt lining up on the start line for a marathon. My friend Karen says she doesn’t really get going in anything less than 100km.
But I want it all!
My first experience of running, when I took it up 3 years ago (my first race was 3 years ago this week – happy runniversary to me!) was a 5km fun run. I must now have done that distance 120 times or more.
Early on, probably within the first six months or so, I met the aforementioned Karen and also Graham who both mentioned the 6/12/24 hour event which I thought sounded both incredibly boring and somewhat insane. But this year I did the 6 hour and I definitely plan to do the 24 hour one year!
Within my first 12 months of running, (probably inevitably, given the type of people I was increasingly spending time with,) I had signed up for my first marathon. It was around 18 months after my first fun run that I actually completed said marathon. Certainly not something that had even entered my mind when I first took up running. It’s amazing what peer ‘pressure’ can do! (I say ‘pressure’ because no-one really tried to talk me into running a marathon. It just kind of happened. Everyone else was doing it, so I thought, “Why not?” And just because I know some of you will be thinking it, NO, if everyone else jumped off a cliff, I wouldn’t do it!!)
Even before my first marathon I almost got talked into running my first ultra – I managed to resist that temptation but did eventually run my first ultra this year.
6 months ago I had no intention of running a 100k but it’s funny how things happen. I was inspired to run The North Face 100k (now Ultra-Trail Australia 100k – will take some getting used to) after being over in Katoomba for it this year. As a 100k ‘taster’ I decided to run the Heysen 105 – not an event that was ever on my radar. And I did it – and loved it!
In amongst all that I have run a number of half marathons – I really enjoy that distance. It’s long enough that it’s an accomplishment to finish, but short enough that you can train for it and still have a life outside running. Plus you generally get a sweet medal which makes it all worthwhile as we know!
And then of course there is the event that motivates a lot of Adelaide runners, newbies and elites alike – City-Bay. That was the event that I was aiming for after I completed my first 5k and it’s a good benchmark to see where I’m at – I’ve run it every year since I started running. I LOVED my first one, didn’t so much enjoy the second (possibly because I knew what was coming) but I got my mojo back this year and managed to set a new PB.
Also this year for the first time I tried racing on a track at the Masters Games. I loved the feel of the surface and I’m hoping to get in a few more track races over the summer season. I also want to try some shorter distances – 800m and 1500m – I did a mile race in the Masters last month and quite enjoyed that – it was over before I knew it!
Then there are the shorter trail races – I managed to do quite well at my last one so the Yumigo! Summer Trail Series seems like a logical progression, followed by the state Trail Championships in April.
The Big Red Run – 6 days in the Simpson Desert. Not something I had ever really considered doing but I went to the info night last week just out of curiosity, and found myself actually getting quite excited at the prospect! (I just need to get past the fact that I’d be living on dehydrated camping meals for 6 days – ugh!)
100k state championships. On a 400m track. Overnight in January. Yes, I’m tempted. Yes, I know that’s 250 laps. Or to put it another way, 20 parkruns. Still tempted!
So you can see my problem. I’m dabbling with the idea of getting a coach but I pretty sure they would want me to focus on one particular surface or distance and I wouldn’t know which to choose!
I want it all! Is that too much to ask?