Melody Romero, Staff Engineer, Software Quality Assurance, is running the New York marathon in November 2012 powered by determination and a formidable track record. CSR thought we’d give her a little more oomph with a pair of CSR1000TM enabled Nike+TM trainers.
This is her first blog for us as she begins her training.
You could say I had a running problem for the past six years. I have completed 16 marathons, one ultra marathon and 5 -200 mile team relays since I started running in 2006. Those are the big events. I have lost count of all the half marathons, 5ks, 10ks, 12ks, 15ks, etc. I truly enjoyed running and racing, always pushing my personal edge, but on 15th January 2012, I experienced a serious case of burnout. I should have seen it coming.
In the early part of 2011 I had finished over ten marathons and needed a new challenge. I signed up for a local 50k event held in December. It was a trail run in the Arizona desert, which meant my long runs consisted of three to four hours of tough, desert trail running. Thanks to the Aravaipa Running group, I was able to cover some serious distance on the trail to prepare for the 50k adventure.
The 50k was challenging, to say the least. I had fallen a few times on the trail during my training runs and this was no different. At mile 27, I tripped and fell, just four miles from the finish! I had a bloody knee and the palm of my hand was shredded. I sat alone on the trail and wished I could be airlifted out of my misery. I had a visual of being eaten by the desert wildlife (tarantulas in particular, even though they don’t eat humans as far as I know), so I pulled myself together, shook off the dirt, and finished the 50k in six hours and 37 minutes.
Within a week, I was running again. I was training for the Florida Ragnar Relay which was less than a month away. I was part of a 12 person team running 200+ miles from Miami to Key West. My cumulative distance was 21 miles, with leg one at 5.2 miles, leg two at 11.8 miles, and leg three at 4.1 miles. Seems easy enough, but when you are running with little sleep and eating junk food for 24 hours, the 4.1 mile leg might as well be a half marathon. On the plus side, it was all road running. No more dangerous rocks and cactus to worry about. Crocodiles, on the other hand, could’ve been a problem. Maybe it’s a good thing I was running at night and couldn’t see what was lurking in the Florida Everglades.
Finally it was the Arizona Rock and Roll Marathon (a.k.a. The Spirit Crusher) that triggered the burnout. Two weeks after the relay, I was at the starting line of my third time running this marathon. I started out with the four hour pace group, but at mile ten, I stopped. I couldn’t run. More precisely, I didn’t want to run. I struggled with every mile after the ten mile mark to keep from getting a DNF (Did Not Finish). I finished in 4:14, but I was done running marathons. The passion was gone.
Six months later, I saw a flyer in the mail to run the New York City Marathon for charity. The decision was easy, I should do this. All of my running up to this point had been about personal goals. I was due to run for something other than myself. So I signed up to be part of Team Hole in the Wall.
Team Hole in the Wall supports the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Based in Ashford, Connecticut, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp provides a camping experience free of charge to terminally ill children and their families. Children with AIDS, sickle cell anemia, cancer, and other illnesses can go to the camp to escape the confines of the hospital room and enjoy an outdoor experience. Horseback riding, swimming, fishing and hiking are just some of the activities that are made available at the camp. Even sitting out in the sun and getting some fresh air can be therapeutic! But the best part of this camp is allowing kids to be kids. Their illness is left at the door and they are welcomed for who they are. I love that idea.
So now that I have a mission, I am starting over. I’m building up my base miles, experimenting with my race nutrition, and trying to decide if it’s a good idea to run a marathon as a training run for the New York City Marathon. I’m shooting for a sub-four hour marathon in New York; it will be a personal record if I succeed. I will have my Forerunner 110 with the SiRFStarIVTM and the Nike+TM Trainers with the CSR1000TM on my side. I feel good about this.
I will be posting updates until the big event on 4th November, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading and if you have any tips, advice or suggestions for a new hobby, I would be happy to hear from you!
If you’d like to donate to the Hole in the Wall organisation, you can visit my fundraising webpage.
You can also read more on the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp at http://www.holeinthewallgang.org/.