“Motivation remains key to the marathon: the motivation to begin; the motivation to continue; the motivation never to quit.”
It was 10 days ago that I toed the line at the Boston Marathon. It already seems like a lifetime. Every once in a while, if I concentrate hard enough, another memory comes to mind, something I forgot while recalling my run the first time around.
“Dang, sorry I missed that memory because it was a good one.”
“Ugh. Why did I have to remember that?”
What I do remember, clear as day, was my last blog post before the big run. It was basically a carefully scripted explanation as to why I wouldn’t BQ at Boston. But what I failed to consider while writing that spiel was the determination of the human spirit.
I’m sure I did everything right in preparation. From the physical (foam rolling, icing, decent rest), to the mental (not going into the run too cocky or too pessimistic), and keeping close to my normal running routine (fueling, hydrating, nasal breathing, proper pacing, etc). Yet, in the end, I astounded myself in what I was able to accomplish, without beating myself into a bloody pulp .
I ran a Boston qualifier at Boston. And I did it while stopping to fuel, pausing to hug, slowing to high five, waving to the crowd, and thanking those who shouted my name. I ran a smart race. And it most certainly paid off.
It was the Twin Cities in Motion Medtronic Marathon back in 2014 that qualified me to get here (read that recap). It was that hometown run that I am most proud of, despite my agonizing recovery from the injury that hampered my first Boston Marathon. Funny how life weaves intricacies like these into our existence. Who’d have thunk it?
I set a goal of 3:45:00 for this race. At first I had none. But when asked by some in days leading up to the run, that number just rolled off my tongue. It was ambitious. It wasn’t nearly as fast as Twin Cities, even slower than Chicago, yet right on target with what I ran at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth in 2013 to get my first qualifier. It just seemed like a doable time. And it would give me a 10 minute qualifier if it happened. 10 minutes. Even if I didn’t hit it, I still had 10 minutes to putz around with to get 3:55:00 time. 10 glorious minutes. Yeah, I believed I could do that.
I walked into that corral with a heavy heart. Hearing the words to God Bless America made me tear up. Thoughts of family and friends fighting very physical, life threatening battles conjured up feelings of anger and despair. This run would be for them. This 26.2 miles would be dedicated to those whose challenges run way deeper than mine (My cousin Wendy; my friends Rosemary, Annie, Andie, David, and Carol Ann). My problems pale in comparison. I’m just a runner trying to meet a goal, an expectation that won’t make me, or break me.
Yet, I was greeted by so many angels that day. From the woman at the corral gate who hugged me and gave me words of wisdom, to seeing and hugging my VRF David at the 10K mark, and my friend Dee at mile 23, to the many cheers and words of encouragement written on my Facebook wall that were read to me as I ran, including the sappy jokes by my Chiropractor…my Chiropractor! What amazing support I had! Even messages of encouragement from my friends who are in the biggest battles of their life. They took the time to cheer me on. Me. How could I not have an amazing run?
I ran Boston with all my heart and all my soul, and my 6 years of running wisdom. I ran it as a mom who nurtures a sick child, and as a woman on the verge of her 50th birthday, when most begin to freak out about their age.
Keep your wits about you.
You got this.
I BQ’d Boston because I believed it was possible. All I had to do was believe in myself. And sweat a little. And be a little gutsy. And have half as much faith in myself as all of you have in me. Thank you for following me on my journey. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your messages. They mean more to me than you will ever know.
Mark your calendars, fellow Minnesotans!
On Saturday, May 21st, InSports Foundation will be hosting their first Colordash!
What is a Colordash, you may ask?
Much like the infamous Color Run, each kilometer of the course will feature Minnesota’s own faithful event volunteers tossing colors at the participants. By the end of the run, everyone will be covered with color! No need to worry, moms. The entire family can participate. The color is 100% non-toxic food grade cornstarch and coloring. It’s a good idea to shake off the “dust” before getting in your car, as the color tends to brush off when it’s not wet. A shower or two will get your skin back to normal, but it will wash out. Newly bleached hair can react to liquid food coloring, which is a part of the color when wet, so it is recommended you wear a hat if you have bleached, or extremely blond hair, and wash thoroughly after the Dash.
The Colordash is a non-competitive, un-timed, 5k run/walk that will be held in Saint Louis Park, MN. Yes, you read that right. You can walk it…or run it. Whichever suits you. Register for the Colordash here!
Your race registration includes an event t-shirt, race pins, and a temporary tattoo.
50% of your registration fee goes straight to local, underprivileged youth in the community!
The Colordash is a great opportunity for you and your family to be active and have fun while supporting a great cause. Introduce your kids to the race scene in a non-competitive and fun atmosphere. Who knows? They might get hooked!
You will be able to pick-up registration packets at 7 a.m. The dash begins at 9 a.m. Be sure to get there early to join in on the dance competitions, hula-hoop contest, plus much more with awesome swag giveaways! The race begins and finishes on West End Blvd. near Gamble Drive in St. Louis Park, MN. You can see the complete race route here!
Charmed Running is also helping out in the cause! With the purchase of this shoelace charm, $1.00 will go to InSports Foundation. The InSports Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a purpose to help kids participate in sports. InSports accomplishes this objective by providing financial assistance and sporting opportunities for kids to get in the game, enabling them to become active, confident and successful team members in their community.
It would be a shame not to fill you in on what happened AFTER the marathon. After all, some of the best things happen when you least expect them to. This day was no exception.
Like I said at the end of Part 3, I was relieved to see my husband. Funny, but with the pedestrian crowd and the residual chatter and street noise, I don’t quite remember what we talked about. I’m sure whatever I had told him went in one ear and out the other.
We walked and we walked and we walked all the way to the start line. As we did, we passed the entrance that I used two years ago. Hence, there was no walking then. But it was really OK. It didn’t bother me at all. I just took it all in and it gave me some time to get collected. I took the time to thank any volunteer within ear shot. Honestly, none of these races could happen without them.
I probably had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in about a year the night right before the Boston Marathon. Who’da thunk it?
I was in bed at 10 pm. My husband mulled around a little longer but I think he turned off the boob tube at 10:20 pm. I don’t remember much else. The air conditioner was humming, the streets were quiet, unlike Saturday night, and I slept like a baby. I did cheat a little, and took some Advil and a half of an anxiety pill that my doctor gave me for my panic attacks years ago. I’m not even sure how potent they are anymore. Could have been a placebo effect. Whatever…it worked.