It’s All Happening.

With all the big news in my life lately, I’ve barely had time to think about my upcoming marathons, which is totally not like me. Until yesterday . . .

Yesterday, a friend shared a link to a 2006 video entitled “Reasons to run the Boston Marathon.” I knew it was going to be good when it opened with the following quote:

I’d rather be at the start of Boston than the finish of any other marathon.

The video continued for another few minutes of inspiring shots from the marathon and other great reasons to run. Then, I saw Reason 2121:

Three words every runner lives to say: I FINISHED BOSTON.

Right then and there, in my office chair with the door wide open, I started crying. And I’m not talking about a small teardrop or a little sniffle. I completely burst into tears. I also hit rewind and proceeded to watch it again — f r a m e  b y  f r a m e .

When I collected myself about five minutes later, it finally hit me . . .

Since I finished my first half marathon on February 13, 2009, all I could think about was running a full marathon. Eight months later, I completed my first marathon in Chicago. I ran the Chicago Marathon without any expectations. I wanted to finish in under 4 hours, maybe even 3:50, but more importantly, I wanted to enjoy the experience and finish with the desire to run another one. My training for Chicago had gone well, and a few friends whispered Boston in my ear before the start. I brushed it off as crazy-talk. “Who qualifies for Boston in their first marathon?,” I thought. I crossed the finish line in 3:41:44 and still felt great. So great that I was literally bouncing through the finish chute. I knew that had I needed a 3:40 to qualify for Boston, but I didn’t care. Or so I thought. When a friend told me later that day that there was a 59-second grace on qualifying times, meaning that I’d missed it by a mere 45 seconds, I was crushed. Brad had been telling me all day that I left at least 5-10 minutes on course. I’m not sure whether that was true, but I am sure I could have eeked out another 45 seconds, if only I’d known.

So, after I finished the Chicago Marathon, all I could think about was qualifying for Boston. I wanted to get back those 45 seconds — and then some! I picked the St. George Marathon as my goal race, and put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself to get well within my Boston qualifying time. This is why crossing the finish line of the St. George Marathon in 3:33:39 meant the world to me. (Sidenote: This became even more important when the BAA changed the qualifying standards this year. Even under the new standards, which require women my age to run a 3:35 marathon without the 59-second, I still qualified.)

One week from today, I will board a plane bound for Boston. I will be the dork who attends the expo multiple times to soak it all in and meet my favorite ‘celebrity’ runners. I also fully expect to be the dork who cries on the bus to Hopkinton, at the start line, and at the finish line. But for the time in between {which, hopefully will be somewhere around 3 hours and 30 minutes – there I said it} I will have my game face on. I’ve put in the work, and now it’s time to hunker down, suck up the pain, and make it all pay off.

That said, this race is not going to happen as I originally planned. For months, I dreamed about running Boston alongside Brad. I so want to share his first marathon with him, to be there when he needs an extra push, and to have him be there when I need an extra push. But, sometimes plans change. Thanks to a wacky and severe ankle sprain in early January, his training hasn’t gone as well as we both hoped. I am so proud of his tenacity to stick with training as best he could and his dedication to finishing this damn run — even if he crawls across the finish line holding his shoe and timing chip in hand (though I seriously doubt that will happen because he’s stronger than he gives himself credit for). I also am moved beyond words at his insistence that I run my own race. He has told more times than I can count that I owe it to myself to really race, especially given that I plan to take some time off from marathons. It took at least four weeks of me skirting the issue and then arguing about it for me to come around. (But, I hope he knows I still don’t feel right about it.) New plan :: I will run with one of my training buddies who has the same time goal and OCD-racing nature as me. She is an awesome woman, and I’m so glad she suggested that we run together.  We compliment each other well, and will be a force to be reckoned with.

I suppose it is this bundle of mixed emotions — elation for my dream of finishing Boston, sadness that I won’t be doing it with Brad, happiness about our new house, angst about selling our current house, and worry about whether I will finish everything at work — that caused me to completely lose it yesterday.

At first, I felt like a hormonal nut. But, you know what? I think it’s supposed to be that way. I should be emotional. The events that are about to happen have been years in the making. And the last thing I want is for them to go by so quickly that I forget to stop and appreciate them. So, here’s to taking a deep breath and trying to live life frame-by-frame. Wish me luck! 🙂


About Beth

Wife, daughter, big sis, aunt, friend, attorney, runner, cyclist, amateur chef & aspiring photographer. Thanks for keeping up with my life on the run!
This entry was posted in life, running. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to It’s All Happening.

  1. Chriseda says:

    Awesome! Living life frame-by-frame; can’t be more PRESENT than that. So happy for you!

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