In the midst of all the other fabulous stuff that was going on last week and last weekend, I was also obsessively checking my email and the list of entrants for Boston, hoping I'd get word that my time had been verified and my registration had been accepted.
All the other excitement did do a good job of distracting me a little bit, but it was never far from my mind. So when I checked my email shortly before I got home Sunday, I was alternately thrilled and relieved. Thrilled, obviously, that I finally knew I was officially in. And relieved that I could stop worrying about it!
Two years ago, both of these races seemed like nearly impossible dreams - now I've run one of them, and I'm gearing up to run the other.
Even before I knew I was officially signed up, I was checking out training plans and pace charts, and figuring out what I was going to aim for.
I used to think that if I ever got into Boston, I'd want to just run it for fun. But that was before I knew I could run a 1:41 half-marathon, and a 21:31 5K, and a 1:16 10-mile race, and a 1:38 half-marathon.
When those numbers started showing up on the big red race clocks, I knew Boston wasn't going to be a fun run.
I've had a number in the back of my mind for a few weeks now, but I've been a little afraid to say it out loud. I haven't quite been ready to own it. Because, frankly, it's a little terrifying.
But I've run the numbers, and I've reviewd my race times and my training runs this summer, and I've consulted all the charts. I've gone over it again and again and again, and this is the number that keeps popping up -
See that box in the lower right - "Marathon Day. 26.2 miles @ 8:00/mile." 3:30.
Gulp. Can I really do that?
This plan is from the "Run Less, Run Faster" book that got me my Gansett qualifier last fall. I followed a different plan that time, but it got me the results I wanted. And when I look at this plan, yes, it's a lot of work and it's not going to be easy - but when I look at the paces/distances, they all seem very doable, and not out of reach at all. (I hit all of those paces - or faster ones - in a lot of my training runs already.)
Which is why I think the answer is yes, I can really do this.
It's going to suck at times, and there will be many, many days where my confidence will be MIA, but the numbers don't lie.
And now that I'm putting it out there, I'm really owning it. This is my goal. This is what I'm going to spend the winter working toward.
Bear with me, because there's going to be a lot of emotional ups and downs, a lot of stress, and a LOT of running talk.
But just like I kept reminding myself throughout my Hartford and Gansett training, it'll all be worth it in the end.
That's a phrase I will probably say (and write) many more times between now and April 15.