…Boston 2014!! I am so incredibly happy and grateful that my qualifying time made the cut!
As a “squeaker” (an endearing term coined by Boston Qualifiers that beat their qualifying time by 5 minutes or less), I wasn’t sure I would make the cut this year since there was such high interest in the race after the bombings. (Boston Strong!) I was glued to the Facebook message boards for support and encouragement from fellow squeakers.
After months of patiently waiting, Boston Marathon announced on 9/25 that anyone who beat their qualifying time by 1:38 or more could run Boston 2014. I had to read that statement over and over again multiple times before celebrating. I beat my qualifying time by 2:37. It felt so surreal. Literally every second of my Eugene marathon race counted towards my entry. I didn’t realize that at the time. All along I trained to break the 3:35:00 official qualifying standard which was my #1 goal. Luckily, I had a great race and finished with a 3:32:23.
In adding 9,000 additional spots for the 2014 Boston Marathon and expanding the field size to 36,000 runners, organizers had to draw a line in the sand somewhere, but my heart breaks for those that qualified for Boston and were unable to get in; I could have been one of them. I know so many awesome athletes worked their butts off to qualify by 1 second or more and didn’t get in. My only words of encouragement are to keep training, stay positive, and get to the starting line in 2015! Hopefully I’ll see you there as well…Why stop at 1 Boston?
That being said, it’s time to identify my goals and lay it all out there so I can start preparing mentally and physically. Trust me when I say that the last 5 months of “training” have been lackluster at best. I took a very necessary break, enjoying leisurely 3-5 miles runs with Nicole, weightlifting, and allowing my body to heal from 2 years of back to back Ironman and marathon training. I also gave my mind a break. I just lost some running fitness and speed on the way. In other words, I know marathon training is going to HURT!
That being said, my 2 goals for Boston 2014 are:
- Break 3:30 (for a PR & a 2015 qualifying time)
- Enjoy every moment of the race
It’s going to be tricky to find a way for those 2 goals to work together (pleasure & pain), but I believe I can achieve it. It will take disciplined training, peak fitness, a positive mindset, and a great race to get there.
I’ve heard different approaches on running your first Boston. Some have said to just go run it, take it all in, and enjoy the awe-inspiring experience. In other words, do not race it. Trevor, who coached me to an Ironman and a BQ, had a different point of view. He asked me if I really think I’ll be able to run “just to finish” with no goal time in mind….yeah, probably not. I’ve tried “running for fun” before, and it didn’t work out so well for me. What I really want deep down inside is to strive to achieve my personal best. That’s what makes me feel alive. I also want to make Boston proud and treat the race with the respect it deserves. So many incredible athletes have hit that pavement and run the legendary Heartbreak Hill, past the girls of Wellesley, and I am honored to be just one among them. I have family in Boston and surrounding areas, and I cannot wait to run where my dad grew up. So many things to train hard for and look forward to!
After that, I want to be able to race Boston again, the next time with Nicole by my side. I do not want to stop at 3:32:23. Who’s to say I can’t make that time a sub 3:25, or better? I am hardwired to think this way, and I am really curious to know what my limit is because I haven’t found it yet. 4:02, 3:49, 3:32, X:XX. What time does marathon #4 have in store for me? I am so ready to find out! Bring on the pain cave!
Next up, to train with or without a coach? That is the looming question on my mind.
Whether you are running, spectating, or watching from afar, thank you for your support, and I will see you in Boston!!