Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston: Through the Looking Glass

Folks, it's Marathon Monday
To most of the general population that means nothing.
In our world, it means everything
Maybe not everything to everyone,
but at least in our world, 
everyone respects it. 

If you asked me 10 years ago (High school) if I would run Boston one day...
How far is a marathon?

If you asked me 5 years ago (College Track) if I would run Boston one day...
Screw distance, Coach you know I won't race more than a mile!

If you asked me 4 years ago (started running 5k's) if I would run Boston one day...
I NEVER want to run a marathon, that's insane...too far!

If you asked me 2.5 years ago (training for 1st 26.2) if I would run Boston one day...
Maybe, IDK if I will even like running 26.2 to do it more than once.

If you asked me 2 years ago (after 1st 26.2) if I would run Boston one day...
I missed a BQ by 5 minutes on my first marathon...I've GOT to try again.

If you asked me a year and a half ago (after 2nd 26.2) if I would run Boston one day...
I'm never going to get there. EVER.
 (missed BQ by 1 minute, and felt physically horrible at finish)

If you asked me a year and a half ago (after 3rd 26.2) if I would run Boston one day...
Some day, if they don't change the time again! ( I BQ'd by the old good)

If you asked me a year ago if I would run Boston one day....
I don't know if it's in the cards (as I sat there with a broken foot,
 doc's saying they didn't know if I'd ever run the same)

If you asked me 9 Months ago if I would ever run Boston...
I'm trying, I'm working my ass off to recover and come back..I've never wanted it so bad

If you asked me 6 months ago if I would ever run Boston...
HELL YES 16 minute PR and a HUGE BQ time... Boston 2014 here I come.

My journey to Boston has been a bumpy road, and I am not even there yet. 
Qualifying was a journey in itself. 
Countless miles, countless ice baths, so many pairs of shoes, the blisters, the pain, the struggle, it took me 4 tries, but I got that BQ and I'd never felt more invincible. 
I'll admit, I did feel a little bit of "what now?" after I got my BQ.
After each try I knew I had to keep trying and my goal for each marathon was to get there.
In 33 days I will be running marathon #5, 
and it will be the first I am running without the goal of a BQ,
 it's a different feeling, VERY different. 
We put so much into qualifying, that we lose ourselves in it.
BOSTON does NOT define you as a runner. 
I learned this after BQing when I still had the desire to keep trying, 
when I knew that just because I qualified, my journey was far from over.
I know so many people who will NEVER run Boston,
whether it's because they'll never qualify,or they simply don't want to.
(Believe it or not, Boston is not the be all end all for everyone)
That does NOT mean that those people are not runners, 
or good runners, or serious runners.
It means they are choosing a different path, and there is nothing wrong with that.
I respect those who don't want to (as I used to be one of them)
But I also have a respect for those who do take this journey.
I know how it affected me, both mentally and physically.
There were times I thought I couldn't do it.
There were times I didn't want to do it.
There were times I wanted to give up trying.
There were times I was more motivated than anything.
The ups, and the downs were all worth it though.

This was after my BQ in November. I was exhausted, but more than anything I was overwhelmed.
I was speechless. I couldn't explain the feeling I had. I had done it.
3:21 represented my PR, and my BQ I had been chasing.
Marshall University Marathon (WV) will forever hold a place in my heart.

I sit here at my desk watching the marathon,
feeling a wave of different emotions.

I'm excited for the people I know running today, 
even excited for those I don't know.
I'm sad because I am not there, 
I BQ'd too late, and can't run until next year.
It's overwhelming seeing the race,
the runners,
the spectators,
the signs, 
the swag, 
I can't describe my anticipation for next year.

I'd be lying if I said the last few weeks haven't been hard.
My motivation has been lower than ever.
My running hasn't been spectacular.
It's hard to dig deep sometimes, but I am working through it.
It happens, and if there is anything that my journey to BQ taught me,
there and ups and downs,
but it will always be worth it.
Watching the marathon today, will hopefully give me a boost.

One thing that is harder than I thought would be, 
Boston 2013, today.
The amount of people who have asked if I was ready for Boston, is high.
The registration process for Boston can be confusing, even for runners.
So non-runners really don't understand that you register in September, 
for something in April of the following year. 
When I got my BQ in November, 
it was hard to explain to people that I wouldn't be able to run it until 2014. 
There are a lot of people assuming I am running today, 
I've gotten emails, texts, Facebook messages, all of it.
When I respond "Next year that will be me!!"
I'm sure I get some quizzical looks.

So I am not running today, 
but I am watching and cheering from my desk.
I have my athlete tracker page set up,
with a lengthy list of amazing people I am following.
(Including Shalane and Kara..they just don't know how good of friends we are..ha)

I am hoping this gives me a boost of motivation,
and rejuvenates the spirit of running for me.
This is something I love to do, 
& I am looking to find my way back into that love.

I will be running the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014.
It will be marathon #7 or #8 for me.
(#5 is in May #6 is is October might throw in a Dec. race)
I can't wait to be there, 
to pick up my packet, 
to tour the city, 
to ride the bus to Hopkinton,
to start, AND finish the Boston Marathon.
Boylston street, I'm coming for you.

So to all running Boston today, I am thinking of you.

To all running next year with me, it will be ours April 21, 2014!

To all on the Journey to BQ, keep going- you CAN do it!

To all who don't want to do it, 
I ask you to please respect it still. 

Do you have a Boston Qualifying Journey story to share?

Is it something you have ever wanted or dreamed about?

Or do you have no desire to do it?
 (no judgement whatsoever if that's the case!)


  1. This is an amazing post and it's so obvious how hard you have worked (in talking with you in real life and reading about here). You deserve to run and do awesome at that race and I cannot wait to cheer you on.

    I know I've rambled a lot, I'm not ready to do a marathon...I'm not sure when I will be but one day. I know when I am ready, I will want to do Boston though.

    1. You will do it one day! And you should totally come next year to watch, weekend adventures, EPIC!

  2. I loved this post! I'm so excited for you! At least now you have a yearly countdown! Your thought process about running sounds exactly like mine even if I didn't run track, I would have never thought running could be fun or enjoyable for long distances. Although I'll probably never be able to run again, I still have so much passion for it and love for those who do it!

    1. I hope that you will be able to run again, I really do. I love that you are still passionate about it and care, it says a lot about you!

  3. Love this post! Can't imagine doing a full marathon at this point but I remember when I thought a half was impossible. Congrats to you for BQ for Boston and can't wait to hear how your training goes as well as the recap of the actual race.....

    1. I never imagined doing one either, maybe the mood will strike you one day!

  4. This is such a cool story. I want to do Boston. It's my goal. It's also amazing how far you've come in your running career. I hope my story is similar! I know I could qualify but it would be really tough. It just seems like one of those monumental stepping stones in the life of a runner and I want it to be part of my journey. I can't wait for you to run next year! I'm planning on flying home for the weekend to watch it!

  5. Really enjoyed reading your story!! I missed a BQ by four minutes at my first marathon, too.. but wow, you smashed your pr at the last one! So excited to meet you at Boston next year... unfortunately, the Boston joy will certainly be overshadowed a bit by the events that occurred there today... :-(

    1. Boston next year will be Epic! Because the running community will join together and meet again and show the world our strength!

  6. Congratulations on your BQ!!! It is very well deserved. As for me, I'd LOVE to BQ one day, but my first goal is to finish an Ironman. After that, maybe. But, even then, I don't know if I could afford to do Boston and I don't know if my body is capable of running that fast. We'll just have to see what the cards hold.


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