In 2013 I ran my first road marathon after having to bail on my plan to run Pinhoti 100. I just didn’t have the means to get down there and about a month before the 100 I switched over to marathon training. My coach had me hammer out some track workouts and the plan was to finish the marathon in 3:30. When I crossed the finish line in 3:03:32 I was shocked and of course wanted to join the sub 3 hour marathon finishers club! Well, a few weeks later I smashed my head open trail running and the next few years were brutal.
My training was inconsistent and I dealt with headaches and depression. It wasn’t until 2015 that I started to feel like my old self again. I signed up for the Cape Cod Marathon and instead of doing the road runs my coach told me to do I kept on trail running until about a month before the marathon. I was so mad at myself when I ran 3:00:16 because I knew that if I had actually done the work I could have gone sub 3. I tore my quad during that marathon and in the winter tried the Hyannis Marathon against the advice of my physical therapist and ran a 3:01:47.
Breaking 3 hours matters to me so I signed up for the Boston Marathon with the hopes of running along side a bazillion runners and having thousands of crazy spectators would give me the ability to break 3 hours. I committed to this and have been doing road runs, even on the snowiest, windiest and coldest days. My pace has been hard to nail in these conditions and I haven’t raced since Pinhoti in November! I have no idea where I stand at this point and it is nerve wracking.
There are days where I just want to bail, go play in the mountains and forget even going to Boston, but I have been trying this time and with only 5 weeks to go I know I can stick it out! My heart is in the mountains and I am not going to lie, I can’t wait to get back to where I belong. I am a mountain runner.
I do believe that attitude is so important with everything in life and I am doing my best to smile, to enjoy the hard tar surface and the sound of my feet smacking the pavement while dodging cars, being harassed by idiot guys who have nothing better to do than yell offensive comments out their window, breathing fumes and feeling my body suffer from running on a crowned surface. I am fortunate to live in an area where there are very few cars but I also live in an area where there are a ridiculous amount of hills! What is stressing me out is the fact that hitting my actual marathon pace has been tough. The track finally melted out the other day and it felt good to see what I had in me!
I do absolutely love track workouts because they are consistent. I can generally lay out a solid pace and hold it there. I love the variety of workouts the track has to offer and there is nothing to do except count laps. It is numbing and strangely offers my mind a temporary silence from the never ending thoughts rolling through my head. I can’t let my mind wander, I will forget which lap I am on!
So, I am going to give it all I have and stick with the Boston training! I have some great friends coming to cheer me on which makes me feel so loved! I am pretty sure that I have decided this to be my last road marathon, even if I don’t break 3 hours. But…………I also said I would never run another 100 mile race. Sub 3 or not I will be there smiling and bringing whatever fitness I have on race day. I will finish the race knowing I tried and on April 18 I will finally be able to get back in the mountains! (realistically after I recover)
I want to thank my sponsors La Sportiva, Choucas Hats, JULBO USA and CarBoom nutrition for their support! It means so much to me that these companies help me to be the best runner I can be! Thank you to my friends and my Ryan for sharing so many miles together and so many smiles! Thank you to my Jack Puppy and Bennet for being the best trail buddies and snuggle buddies ever! Thank you Jay Philbrick for sometimes taking me away from my running clothes and making me feel like a beautiful princess! I am one very lucky girl!