15 seconds faster, and I would have (barely) made it into the Boston Marathon.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really disappointed. I can’t help but think about how I could have made those seconds up at Eugene. (Remember that time you tied your shoe at mile 14? Or slugged up a “hill” at mile 23? Or when you decided not to kick ..at all.. for the last 400 meters?)
I definitely regret my race strategy (or lack there of…) which is easier to say when it’s many months out from the race. I ran stupid. I ran off of emotions (I had just received news that my best friend was involved in a serious accident). I wanted to run fast. I wanted to run everything for my friend. And for my 16 weeks of training through a brutal winter. I went by heart.
…a heart that wasn’t up for 7:30’s for the first few miles. Or a 1:41 half. The second half of Eugene was downright painful. I hated the marathon and I desperately wanted to drop out. Running lost its vibrancy, which scared me more than anything.
And I know I’m capable of so much more: My training times don’t really reflect my marathon PR. And yeah, I still BQ’ed on my second attempt. I was happy with what I gave on the course; I literally left nothing out there. But the tricky thing about BQ’ing is it’s only half the battle. You can ‘qualify,’ but still not make the cut. Yeesh.
I’m also writing this exactly a year after running my first marathon at Wineglass, which makes it even more sentimental. I really wanted to experience not only qualifying and running Boston, but being there in 2014. The community will be stronger than ever, and the energy – I can only imagine.
But with every bit of ‘sad’ news, there is something to learn from it. If anything, it’s sort of a blessing in disguise. My roommate explained that it is the ‘universe’ telling me I shouldn’t run. (The universe has yet to talk to me about any of this, so if you’re reading this, Universe, let’s get in touch.)
More importantly though, not getting into Boston helped me realize that my days of 26.2 are not over. Being really disappointed was a sign that hey, I still want to do this. And I love this sport more than anything. And as much as I hate on long runs and ice baths and foam rolling and constant hunger, this is what makes it all kind of magical.
And I do see the potential. I am young — 25 — and I have a lottt of time left to really reach my “peak.” (This article says elites shouldn’t run their best till 35…#theresstillhope.) I don’t race that often, so I still have a lot to learn. And I’ve been almost injury free, and have yet to feel burned out from 10+ years of running under my belt.
So here’s to 10+ years more. And to everyone who did get into Boston, I am so so happy for you all. And hopefully I will be there to cheer everyone on.