I added all my medals, but was missing one: I did a half marathon back in 1999 and wanted to add that too! I looked high and low, but it hasn't yet turned up. However, while digging through old boxes, I did find this old medal, dated October 17, 1999:
It was from the Arturo Barrios Invitational, which was an annual 5k and 10k in the San Diego area (I just read that the race stopped in either 2005 or 2006). I had signed up for the 10k. I started running in 1998, and did countless 5ks in that year. In 1999 my husband and I also did the AFC Half Marathon (this is the medal I'm still searching for!) If I'm estimating my dates right, the Arturo Barrios 10k was a few months after the half marathon.
(As a side note, in looking up the Arturo Barrios 10k while writing this post, I just learned that Deena Drossin--otherwise known as DEENA KASTOR-- also ran the 10k that year.)
Anyhow, the course was set up as a 5k loop. To do the 10k a runner had to go around the course twice. I don't remember why, but for some reason I stopped after one lap--a 5k--instead of going around a second time. I was probably tired and maybe my legs hurt and no doubt I was mentally drained. But why I didn't do that second lap is beyond me. They gave me the medal (all 5k and 10k runners got one) but I didn't feel like I earned it. After all, even though I did the 5k I didn't do the race I had set out to do.
The person I was back in 1999 bears no resemblance to the woman I am today. That would NEVER happen now. I am very dedicated to my training, and would never "wimp out" of a race. I rarely wimp out of a training run/bike/swim, and if I do it's only because something is seriously wrong. I've become somewhat obsessive-compulsive with my training. For example, if I set out to do a 5 mile run, I am not stopping until my Garmin reads 5 miles. If I end and my Garmin only says 4.98 I will run the extra .02 miles to make it 5 miles. I can go OVER my goal (I wouldn't balk at my Garmin reading 5.03 miles, for example) but I need to do at least what I set out to do. Only injury, time constraints or equipment malfunction would make me fall short of a training goal (I've had leaky goggles that have made me stop a swim, or bike issues that made me call my husband to pick me up, etc).
The cartoon on the far right, created by Colin Hayes, sums me up pretty well:
Today I take my fitness, my goals and my life much more seriously. I am dedicated and committed.
I'm not sure what to do with the medal I found. I don't want to hang it on my new medal rack----it's connotations are too shameful for me to do that, as I didn't really earn it. But I don't want to throw it away, either, as seeing it reminds me of how far I've come. I think I will put it back in the box of momentos, and hope that never again I give up on myself.