I was never really good at sports when I was young. In fact, I was always scared to be picked last in PE class. Dancing...uh no - coordination = 0. Soccer, Tennis, Softball - I tried them all. I could hold my own, but good...not really. Then came the trip that changed my life forever. When I was a junior in High School, our chemistry teacher offered some of us a chance to backpack on the John Muir Trail. And I got to go.
I loved backpacking. And what I discovered was that I was pretty good at it. I actually beat a lot of the boys up the mountain passes. Speed and coordination was not my forte, but during that trip I had discovered that I had endurance. And a lot of endurance to boot. And so started my love for endurance sports.
When I got back from the trip, I wanted to keep in shape so I started running - like 1 to 2 miles. I joined track in High School and did the 2 mile (very slowly, but heck, at least I was out there doing it).
When I was a freshman in college I really started to run more, my longest being 30 minutes. Then the longest was 45 minutes and then 1 hour. One day I decided to run to Santa Barbara City College from Goleta, CA. I made it. 2 hours of running and I was in love. I really didn't know what I was doing back then - heck, I don't think I even owned a running bra. I just loved running.
A few weeks later I saw an ad in Runner's World for the Big Sur Marathon. I signed up. I "trained" (I think I ran 2 hours 2X or something). A few weeks before the marathon I was at home from college visiting my parents. I was in my bedroom and I overheard my mom talking to my aunt. I heard her say "Lena signed up for this marathon race, but no one really thinks she is going to do it".
WHAT? I don't think anything had ever motivated me more in my life than hearing those words.
Well....I did do it and I proved everyone wrong. I did it in 4 hours and 34 minutes. I really loved that race and I wanted to do more. I did San Francisco marathon a few months later and did the exact same time - 4 hours and 34 minutes.
I did a few more marathons after those 2, but eventually every marathoner wants one thing - BOSTON. I tried a few times, but kept getting injured while training.
Then I started Triathlon training because another goal of mine was the Ironman. I really never, ever thought it would be possible but it was always in my thoughts. I joined a Masters Swimming Club and got a bike. I biked, swam and ran for about 6 months with my friend Candice. I think we competed against each other a bit which really pushed me. We both had our workouts up in our cubicle at work and compared all the time.
After that 6 months of triathlon training, I was signed up to run the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. I had no idea what was about to happen...no idea and no expectations. But I made Boston!! 3:38! Woo Hoo. My dream had come true. I ran Boston in 2001 and got my PR of 3:32.
A couple years later in 2002 I completed by first Ironman (Vineman) and did a second in 2003 (Florida).
Then marriage and kids. Now I am trying to relive my youth :). I want to do another Ironman as well as some ultra running events. Trying to juggle it all with kids is hard. But I do really love a challenge. I started this blog because other mom blogs really helped motivate me to try training for an Ironman and let me know it is possible. I hope I can return the favor and inspire a mom to go for her dreams.