IT'S REALLY HAPPENING! I'M GOING TO BOSTON!!!
I am honestly still pinching myself! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would actually be running the Boston Marathon! In my mind that race was only for the really fast runners and I was never going to be one of them. I had many self doubts and thought it was just a pipe dream. It goes to show you what hard work, dedication, and goals can do when you really want something. I do have to say I worked very hard to get here. I read and studied what I needed to do to get faster and then I did what I learned. But even then I still didn't think it would make that much of a difference.
I am here to tell you that it did. Dreams do come true when you work for them! That is the key. Work! The word that most people hate. I cannot lie, the speedwork was brutal! I really did not look forward to it and I tried to put it off, but deep down I knew if I REALLY wanted Boston, then I was going to have to endure it. So I did. And I really believe that is what made all the difference. That and following my training plan religiously. I had to learn to push aside all those self doubts. Not an easy task! I had to learn to not give up even when an injury or a rainy and cold marathon decided to pop up. I had to get out and train in all kinds of weather... rain, snow, sleet, wind, hail, brutal heat, headwinds, you name it. I felt like a postman. It didn't matter the weather, I had a job to do. I am amazed at how well I have adapted to the cold. I have always HATED the cold with a passion, but now I run in all kinds of crazy temps. If you told me 10 years ago that I would be running in freezing temps all winter, I would have told you to check into the insane asylum. But when you live in Utah, you really have no choice but to adapt to every weather condition. Unless you have a really good relationship with your treadmill, which I do not.
It has definitely been a LONG and HARD road to get here, and even now I don't think of myself worthy to be in the same class as the other Boston runners. I am not sure I ever will. The one thing I know for sure is that it was all in MY hands....or legs to be more exact. ;) I couldn't rely on anyone to kick me out of bed in the morning to get in that long run or to sign up for a million races so I could get faster. I had to make myself do it because no one else wanted this dream as much as I did and so I had to depend on myself to get done what had to be done. That part was tough. It took me a while to get here, but here I am! Am I really? It's still hard for me to actually believe!
I get so excited imaging running down the streets of Boston and having those HUGE crowds cheering me on by name every step of the way! There can't be anything like it! It is something I never thought I would experience and yet in six months it will be me! Boston bound! Boston Marathon bound!
It makes every sore muscle, every tired leg, every early morning, every 20 mile training run, every pouring rain marathon, every gel being gagged down, every mile of speedwork, every doubt, every disappointment, every run with frozen ice pelting my face, every run in scorching draining heat, every single mile, all worth it!
Now, to get through my winter training injury free!
Here are the TOP 10 things I am looking most forward to about running the Boston Marathon!
#1 Lining up with all the other racers in Hopkinton and feeling the energy from them all. Knowing every single runner (with the exception of the charity runners) had to work extremely hard to be fast enough to qualify in order to be there. Being surrounded by them all is going to be incredible!
#2 When the gun goes off for my wave to start! I imagine feeling such intense emotions at that time that I just may shed a tear or two from excitement!
#3 Running past Wellesley College in the scream tunnel. I have heard so much about it and I'm looking forward to experiencing it first hand! I am super excited about all of the fans along the course. I have never run a marathon with people cheering me on the entire 26.2 miles!
#4 Heartbreak Hill. That may seem like an odd thing to look forward to, but it has such a reputation that I am anxious to see how I do on it. It's called Heartbreak Hill not necessarily because of the grade or distance of the hill, but because the timing of when it comes in the marathon. It is at mile 20. Mile 20 is one of the hardest parts of any marathon because that is when your glycogen supplies have been depleted and unless you have fueled properly, that is usually when many people hit the wall. Many people say the marathon doesn't start until mile 20. I like to say mile 20 is the halfway point. So to have a foreboding hill at that point in a marathon is going to be tough. But I am ready for the challenge.
#5 When I turn the corner onto Boylston Street! I think that is going to be the most emotional part of the race for me. Just seeing the finish line and knowing what I am about to accomplish is going to be hard to hold it all in. If I'm not already a blubbering mess before this point, there's a good chance I will be as soon as I make that turn.
#6 Approaching the finish line. I can't even imagine the emotions I will be having as I get closer to it! Knowing I have so many in the crowd that came to support and cheer me on at their own expense and hearing and seeing their faces in that crowd will possibly be the highlight of the entire experience!
#7 Crossing the finish line! Realizing I am about to finish running one of thee most prestigious marathons in the world and that my dream really did come true may be a little tough to keep from spilling out of my eyeballs! There WILL be tears here.
Really hoping I finish strong like this....
And not like this...
#8 The medal. When that medal is placed around my neck, I'm not sure what my emotions will be like at that moment! I will treasure my medal forever. I have plans to frame it with my bib.
#9 Wearing my Boston Marathon jacket. I hope they are purple again this year! But whatever color they are, I am so excited to be able to wear it for many years to come!
#10 Last, but not least, I am really looking forward to having my family and good friends there with me. This is really the most important thing to me about the entire experience! I would not even be going to Boston if it wasn't for the undying support of Dave, my boys, and my good friends. They have been there every mile of the way.