Wow, I can't believe I just typed the title that I did! This has been such a long time coming! It started back in 2003, when I though, hmm, maybe I should try to run a marathon. I went and bought Hal Higdon's Marathon, the Ultimate Training Guide, in the fall. It was too late to start training for a fall marathon at this point, but I was advised that if I followed the plan, I could do pretty well with it if I prepared properly. During the summer of 2004, I started training for the Columbus Marathon with my dad and with Ryan's blessing. My first long run was 7 miles, and I ran it with my dad while we were on vacation in Ocean Isle Beach. My dad's friend John was with us too, and he had just run Boston. The dream was born.
I didn't qualify in 2004 when I ran my first marathon in Columbus. I wanted to, but I knew it wasn't realistic. I wanted to first finish, second, break 4 hours, and third, get my BQ. I finished in 4:00:37. Not quite under 4, but considering I had to take a bathroom break in White Castle (didn't want to wait for a porto potty and we were in very familiar turf nearing OSU's campus) at mile 14 or so, I was pleased. My dad finished not too far behind. It was his first marathon in many MANY years, and so it was special that we did it sort of together. I also knew that getting a BQ was a possibility.
As it turned out, my coworker and now friend Jessica, was also training for her first marathon, Detroit, which was the next week. She finished very close to me (just a tad faster, I think), and was itching to BQ next time around too. We had missed out on the opportunity to train together this time around, but since this was in the pre kids days, I tried to do as many workouts with her as I could. She met a guy named Craig, who liked her more than she liked him, so she started bringing me along to her track workouts with him and his group. I learned to love speedwork! I went to the track workouts as much as I could! In 2005, I wanted to keep my mileage up, but I also wanted to have a baby, so I didn't want to commit to a full training plan. I just tried to run as much as I could, as well as keep up the track workouts. After a summer of not being pregnant and some frustration, I opted to sign up for the Detroit half marathon, with Jessica. It was about 2 months out, but I knew I was ready. Then I was overjoyed to learn that I was pregnant with Keira! I went ahead and still ran, and since it was my first half marathon, it was a PR!
2006 was a recovery year. I was pregnant for half of it, and then spent the rest of the fall just getting back into shape. I went to the track workouts when I could, but it was hard with a new baby.
2007, I decided to sign up for Detroit in the fall, and try again to qualify. I did all the training runs as best as I could with an infant, doing most of my midweek runs with the stroller, but I had to skip a few because of Ryan's work schedule and it being too hot to have a little baby out in the sun for that long to run. We were in Cleveland at the time, and due to Keira's nursing schedule, I ran a lot in the evenings. I remembered calling Jessica on a 12 miler that I started at 8pm, and talked with her on the phone to pass the time. Jessica was also planning on running Detroit and getting her BQ. Race day came, and it was a warm day, and I wasn't fully prepared. I held on as long as I could, but by mile 15 or so, I was off my pace, and a mess. Dave, who ran the track workouts and was at a GU station, got my head on straight for me. He said to just have fun, and that is what I did. It was hard and I walked a lot those last 3 miles, but I finished. Jessica had a similar rough time, and neither of us got our BQ.
2008- I was pregnant with Soren for pretty much the whole year! Well, not really, but Soren was born at the end of September, so do the math! There was no running for me, but Jessica did try again and got her BQ at a spring race called Bayshore. I was so happy for her!
2009- Valerie and Cristina got me into tris, and I was bit HARD by the tri bug, and just trying to get back into shape. I had considered a fall full marathon, but felt with Soren just turning 1 in September, that I needed a bit more time, and just did the Detroit Half. I finished the half with a PR and it was faster than BQ pace!
2010- Coming off a strong fall/winter, I trained a bit haphazardly for the Martian Half Marathon in April. The biggest change was that I finally weaned Soren. I was no longer pregnant or nursing like I had been for almost the past 5 years! I saw HUGE improvements in my times across the board in every distance. It seemed like EVERY race was a PR. I was ON FIRE! My friend Dale really convinced me that I was ready to try to BQ again. I started training for the Detroit Marathon. In July, I sprained my ankle mountain biking. I was able to salvage my tri season, but training for Detroit was out of the question. I had considered finding another race later to try to BQ, but had trouble finding something that would work. Eventually, I settled on doing a half marathon that was earlier than Detroit, but then booking a trip to go away the weekend of that race so that Ryan could race. It was a good call. I eeked out another PR at that half marathon, and then had a great vacation with Ryan where I could forget about not racing at Detroit. As it turned out, Boston filled in 8 hours the very next day after Detroit, so had I selected a later race, it would not have mattered, it would have been full and I would have STILL needed to wait. I kept tabs on the changes to the registration process that the BAA was making so that I would make sure that not only would I qualify, but that I would be able to actually register, based on beating the time by a 5 minute or more margin. I put together a plan with Cristina to train for the Martian Full next April, and started training with her and Valerie that November.
2011- I had probably the roughest training weather I could imaging. Training for a marathon on April 2 in MI is not easy! I had so many character building runs where I just wanted to stop. Cristina got me through them. We got to the morning of Martian, and she had so much confidence in me that she was sending texts before the race that I was going to "get my BQ". And I did. I killed it, setting a 20 minute PR of 3:33:18! With the changes, I just had to wait until September to roll around and hope and pray that it was fast enough. And it was. I got all registered. In the meantime, I also did my first 70.3 races, Racing for Recovery Half and Ironman Muncie 70.3. We moved, and it was an exciting year. I had some good races and some bad races. I attempted to qualify to NYC 3 times, and failed all three times. Those standards have changed now, so that was why I had tried so many times! I had Boston, though, and was thrilled to have the opportunity. I put together my training plan and started it in the beginning of Dec.
2012- It was a bit rough starting out. The weather was all good, but I had trouble finding routes to run. I missed my parks. I finally started doing some group runs and met a friend Erin, who is training for IMTX and IMLOU. We did many runs together, and I also did some with another friend, Kim. It worked out well that the Derby Festival of Races isn't too much after Boston, so there were lots of people training with that. My only concern going into Boston was that I didn't have too many character building runs. They all went so well! I really felt confident that I was going to have a stellar PR and just kill it. And then I got the weather report, 80s for race day.......
To be Continued