Lots of numbers running around in my head lately.
The countdown to Boston, of course - just over 6 weeks, or 45 days!!!!!
The temperatures in the 7-day forecast, which are all going to be above 40 : )
The math I had to do (calculating how much farther to run for each interval and rest period) as I completed my speedwork on the treadmill yesterday morning - as if speedwork wasn't challenging enough.......
The paces I've been running - in the 8:20s for my long runs, in the 7:20s for my tempo runs, and 6:35 for this morning's 1200s. It's no wonder I'm feeling tired!
All in all, though, I'd say that (knock on wood) - so far, this training cycle is going pretty darn well. Sure, I'm dealing with some aches and pains, and I've missed some training runs, and I've had a couple bad workouts.
But the good definitely outweighs the bad at this point, which is just how I like it.
And now that the big day is only 6 weeks away, it's starting to feel very real.
I'm beginning to contemplate what I might wear, and what I'm going to need to bring in my gear bag, and how I'll actually get to the starting line, and whether or not Scott's going to be able to make it up to see me at the finish, and when I'm going to go up to the Expo.....
Beginning to actually make those plans is crazy exciting, and has me on the BAA website pretty frequently. My mind is constantly jumping ahead to April 15th, because I am not a patient person, and since I ran my initial BQ back in Hartford in 2011 (improved on that with my 3:41 in Gansett, which is what I actually submitted as my time when I registered), this has been a long time coming.
And there's still a bit longer to wait, and a bit more training to do. But it no longer seems quite as daunting. A few more heavy-duty track workouts, two more 20-milers, and then the real work is done, and I allow the taper to do its job.
I was really nervous about the workout I had to do yesterday, and as I warmed up, I found myself wondering, as I often do, why I couldn't just settle for running Boston for fun, and skip all these crazy speed workouts and tempo runs?
Why couldn't I just get in the miles I need to be able to go the distance, and not worry about my time? Because ultimately, nobody else is really invested in how fast I run, or whether or not I PR - I'm really only doing this for me.
And I've come to realize that that's enough. It's actually more than enough. Since I became a mom, there aren't a lot of things in my life that are all for me, but this is one of them.
So if I'm going to do this, and I'm going to take all this time for the training and the recovering and the planning, and if I'm going to subject myself (and my family) to the emotional upheaval that is a 16-week marathon training program, then I'm damn well going to do it right and give it my all.
And when I think about it a little more, I realize that maybe it's not JUST for me.
I sometimes hesitate to post running updates on my Facebook page. I know there are likely people out there who see them and think 'enough is enough.' And there's likely people out there who have taken me off their news feed because they're sick of hearing about how far and how fast I ran, or about what race is next on my schedule.
But for every one of those people, there's another group who tell me they don't ever want me to stop posting. They want to know what I'm working toward, and what my goals are, and what it takes to get there. They tell me it's inspiring and it's motivating, and it helps them get out the door, or to the track, or to the starting line of their next race.
So I'm not going to stop. Because I know that I find it incredibly inspiring to read about other people's accomplishments, and the obstacles they've overcome, and if I can do the same by sharing my story, why wouldn't I?
Because I was a beginner, just like everyone. I started out running 29-minute 5Ks, and ran my first half in 2 hours and 15 minutes, and never imagined I'd be so crazy as to run a FULL marathon!
Then the marathon lured me in, and as I ran my first, I thought about how impossible it seemed that anyone could ever run that distance at a pace fast enough to qualify for Boston. That was something that was a completely unreachable dream, at the time.
And then as another year or two went by, it wasn't so unreachable. It seemed within my grasp, if I reached out as far as I possibly could. And I did just that, and achieved what I had thought was unachievable.
So here I am, preparing to do something that my 2007 - 2010 running self never imagined I'd do.
And I have no intention of stopping there. After this, I'll find another unreachable goal, and I'll get out there and chase it down. Because it means something to me, and I hope, in some way, it means something to all the people I share these dreams with out there in cyberspace (and in real-life!).
What it means to me is pretty simple. If you want something - go out and get it. Work hard, don't give up, and you'll see the results. Quitting may seem like the easy way out, but it's not.
I was absolutely dying during my final repeat on the treadmill yesterday morning. I reluctantly pressed the button, for the sixth time, to increase the speed to 9.1, repeating over and over in my head - less than a mile; just three laps around the track.....
For the first quarter mile, I was ok.
Then I was done. I wanted out. I wanted so badly to press that button again and give myself a little break. But I knew I'd regret it so, so much if I did, and that the disappointment I'd feel would be far worse than the pain I had to endure for a measly half mile.
So I didn't quit. Because, as I constantly tell myself during training - There will be no quitting on race day, so there is no quitting in training.
And I made it that last half mile. Just like I know I'll make it these last 6 weeks. Just like I know I'll make it the full 26.2 from Hopkinton to Boston on April 15, as close to my goal time as I possibly can.
In part because I feel accountable - I want to be able to shout it from the rooftops when I finish that race, and to be an inspiration to someone out there who feels like I did 5 years ago - to show them that something they might think is unattainable is anything but.
But also because the person I'd be letting down the most if I didn't would be me, and I do NOT like to be disappointed!