Count Them. 1...2...3...4...5...6!
So, How am I feeling?
I'm a bit more guarded with my marathon goals this time around. I might not be setting my time goals as high as I did last year but my main goals are not time related. I feel like I'm at a good place with myself as a runner and my confidence doesn't depend on a time on the clock. I want a strong race...mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I think if all these things come together then the time will match. And don't get me wrong, I have a very specific time goal in my mind that I want to meet. But I think that no matter what happens with this race, I will learn from it.
There is surely some emotion in this race for me. Going back to Boston post-kids and stronger mentally and physically than when I ran it in 2004 feels pretty awesome! I think back to when I was training for the Portland Marathon in 2010 when I tripped in the forest and tore my hamstring completely. I had hoped of running a 3:15 and qualifying for Boston 2011. When I found myself on the couch and unable to run, I felt lost. Here I was new to this whole stay-at-home-mom gig and not only did I not have my teaching job that I was so passionate about, but I couldn't run. Running was my outlet. It was the part of my life that was just for me. I was devastated. Frustrated. Emotional. Stubborn. Stupid. And hating every second of not being able to get off my couch.
the best thing
that ever happened to me as a runner.
With my injury came a HUNGER like never before. I started dreaming BIG and realizing just how much is possible if I set my mind to it. And It led to me starting this blog Runninghood in October 2010.
So, I may not have made it to Boston 2011 but I'm so glad I didn't. If I never would have tripped in the forest and hit that low in my life, I never would be where I'm at today. I wouldn't have the friendships I have now. I never would have started to truly tap into my potential as a runner. I probably wouldn't have ever even considered a blog since I didn't even know what a blog was. Life just wouldn't be what it is now. And chances are, I wouldn't be nearly the same runner, person, mom, or friend as I am now. My blog has changed me. It has helped me grow. There is something about sharing myself in such a personal and real way that has made life so rewarding and rich.
Now here I am. In 6 days I will return to Boston for the first time since 2004. And I can honestly say that after having three kids, experiencing my first major injury and being 8 years older, I feel SO MUCH Happier than ever before. I feel prettier, wiser, stronger, more fulfilled and confident, and so much richer in the relationships I have formed. I've grown into ME! I'm so thankful for the turns that life brings, even if they seem like the end-of-the-world at the time.
I know that no matter what happens on April 16th, this trip to Boston will be extraordinary. Unlike my first time in Boston, this race will be more than just for fun. However, I'm almost positive that there will be plenty of fun involved in racing my heart out. And I'm almost positive that my dad will join me for the last stretch and carry me home down Boylston street. After all, so much of this race will be for him. Thirty-three years may have been when his life came to an end, but it is certainly the age I feel my life just taking off.
|I hope to feel this same JOY after finishing Boston again!|
A few things I'm thankful for right now as I approach this very exciting race:
- Recently I've come in contact with a coach that has so wonderfully taken me under his wing and shared with me some very helpful information on fueling, pacing and other things related to this marathon. Not sure how things aligned so well that he came into my life at such the perfect time but I'm very grateful for the role he has played in such a short amount of time.
- Following a training plan and sticking to it!
- Although I've had a few minor setbacks, I'm pretty healthy right now.
- More mileage than EVER before with my peak weeks being at 70 and 75 miles.
- My Brooks Sponsorship that came sometime after training started. This is just one of many things that have come from starting this blog. Grateful and honored.
- Friendships. I know I've said it before but I've made some REAL friends through this blogging process. Friends that I consider some of my nearest and dearest. The kind of friends that you find yourself talking about and then realizing that you've never actually met them before. Hard to explain to people that haven't experienced it too. I used to make fun of my husband for this when he'd go on trips with his friends he had met in the virtual world. But now, I get it.