Posted on April 20, 2009 by thebalancebroad
…was one of the best days of my life. Maybe the best so far.
It was always my dream since I started running at age 16 to a. run a full marathon and b. qualify for the Boston. I ran my first full marathon when I was 24, with a time of 3:58:38. To qualify for the Boston at my age/gender, I had to complete a full marathon in less than 3:40. I knew I had my work cut out for me! But qualifying for the Boston was not something I wanted to do by a certain age - it was something I wanted to do at SOME point in my life.
Just before my 25th birthday, I ran the Cleveland marathon. My training went really well, and I even cut down to a 4 day/week program because I did a lot of cross training. I was in a zone that day, and when I crossed the finish line with a time of 3:35:42, I could hardly believe it. It’s like someone could have told me I just won American Idol – I really was in SUCH SHOCK!
On April 17, 2006, I finished the Boston Marathon. FINISHED being the operative word. It was the toughest physical thing I have ever, ever done. I live in NO HILL LAND. We consider highway overpasses “hills”. While I did the little hill training that I could, nothing could have prepared me for Heartbreak Hill. (I always thought of Heartbreak Hill as being ONE hill – it is actually 5 miles uphill! Heartbreak Hill was the last hill around mile 20. It is also where I wished to curl up into a ball and be taken away on a stretcher).
My goal during the Boston was the exact same that I have had for all of my races – to not stop running. While I did have to wait 2 minutes to potty around mile 14, I am proud to say I didn’t stop running the whole way. My friends and family back home were also tracking me live, and this gave me extra determination to NOT STOP. I finally crossed the finish line with a time of 3:52:57, and a volunteer promptly asked me, “Miss, would you like a wheel chair?” I must not have looked that great.
(Signing my name by my bib number)
(Recovering at the finish line – I was freeeeezing. No wheel chair required.)
My dad made the trip with me, having been a runner for 35+ years himself! He dropped me off at the start line and actually managed to find me 2 different places along the course. I cannot explain how proud I was of myself knowing my dad was so proud of me.
I think this is something many daughters strive for, and it meant so much more knowing my dad was a runner and knew how hard I’d worked. I truly have the best father in the world!
(Me somewhere around mile 20)
(Celebrating that night at dinner – of course I had pasta)
Thanks for letting me relive my memory for a little bit. While I would LOVE to be Boston bound again at some point in my life, I am proud of myself for achieving the goal I had set for myself. Good luck to all the runners out there today – you deserve to throw back a beer (or two or three) tonight.
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