The Boston Marathon – Finally!
As most of us runners probably already know, Monday is one of the biggest days for our sport. Monday, April 16, 2012 (also Patriot’s day) at 10:00am, thousands of runners will start their Boston marathon journey. Hours later, months of training will finally have paid off and hopefully we will all be enjoying a Sam Adams brew cheering on other runners as they cross the finish line on Boylston Street.
Due to the fact that I have all of this free time during my last week of tapering, I’ve been reflecting on what has brought me to this point and how I will make race day special. Here is a little insight into how I’m feeling about something I’ve wanted for over 7 years…
I have always wanted to run Boston and in 2009 I knew I was in shape for a sub 3:40 qualifying time. However, pouring down rain, 40 degrees, and a bad hip made me 40 seconds too slow. One year later I tried again, but this time I didn’t let a fever and a cough stop me from running 3:40:00 exactly. Well then Boston changed their rules and my time wasn’t quite good enough anymore. Great, I’ll just have to try again in the summer or early fall. Marathons aren’t that easy to come by during that time of year so on a whim, I decided to sign up for the Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary, NC 2 ½ weeks before race day. With a long run of 15 miles two weeks out, come race day, I PR’d by 13 minutes (3:27) and couldn’t have felt better. Finally, on to Boston…
I remember 7 years ago watching my first Boston Marathon and dreaming of the day I would be there. I decided at that moment, I would be dedicated to training and running my first Boston in 2006. Life happened and that goal got pushed to the side. I traveled, started working, quit work, went back to school, moved, started work again, and any other life event possible. To be honest about it, I didn’t try hard enough for the one thing I really wanted. I came across this journal entry tonight that demonstrates just how ambitious and determined I was back in 2005, and I would like to share with you what I wrote on my 22nd birthday, May 2, 2005…
I don’t think ambitious me would be proud of the fact that it took 7 years to get to this point, but I feel this is the right time in my life for this to finally be happening. And at this rate, maybe I’ll do my first Ironman in 2014?
My first Boston will be special, no matter what. However, I’ve been holding onto something special in particular, waiting for just the right race to wear it, and I think Monday will be that special race. Back in 2009, when Ryan and Sara Hall started their Steps Foundation, I immediately signed up and started to raise money for a great cause. It was right before my November marathon and it got me even more excited for the BQ race I just knew I was going to run (failure). Apparently I was the first one to raise $100 so Ryan Hall sent me a Steps Foundation singlet with his autograph. To this day, it still hangs in my closet with the tags on it. Many times I have wanted to wear it, but the occasion just didn’t seem right. This was a special shirt for a special race. I don’t think there is a better occasion than the 116th running of the Boston Marathon. And although they say don’t try any new running clothes on race day, those tags aren’t coming off until Monday morning.
I’m nervous about Monday. I have high expectations for a not so easy course, and I feel that I could have trained a little harder. A race starting at 10am is not the same as a race starting at 7am, and I’m not sure how well my body will handle it. However, I have decided to give it everything I have and leave everything out there on the course. My Pinterest Running Motivation board is quickly growing and I’m a fountain of motivational quotes. I found this really cool saying that I’m going to have written on my arm come race day… “Unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going!”
As a runner, I’ve come a long way. I feel like now I truly understand what it means to want something, strive for it, fail, and then try again. I’m glad that it took me this long to get here because I have learned so much along the way… things about myself, things about running, and lessons about life in general. No matter what happens on Monday, I am a lucky person to be there amongst so many amazing people and athletes. I will cherish every moment of this amazing event.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,