I am thrilled to be awarded this once in a lifetime opportunity to train and run the Boston Marathon. I don’t come from a family of healthy athletic people and every time I decided to set my mind to some sort of physical challenge, I occasionally get a questionable glace. I started running about twelve years ago in an effort to get physically fit. My first road race was a 5k and I had my entire family come and cheer me on. As time progressed I continued to set my goals higher until I reached the goal of training for the Chicago Marathon in 2000. I didn’t have a precise training schedule and I elicited the help of my friends to ride their bikes alongside of me as I trained for my long runs.
Once I completed the Chicago Marathon, I said that I would NEVER EVER DO THIS AGAIN. In fact I pretty much committed to not training for anything again – until three years ago when a girlfriend asked me to train for the New York Marathon. Initially, I trained with the idea I just want to through this challenge and never commit to doing another. Well, after the race I caught the “runners bug” and it allowed me to remain committed and healthy. This past October I ran the Lowell Marathon. I had hopes that I would qualify for the Boston Marathon but during my training I realized that registration for Boston was pushed up to September so even if I would qualify, I wouldn’t make registration. Nevertheless, I committed to the marathon and ran my best run even with an injury by mile 22.
So, here I am fully committed to running the Boston Marathon a dream of mine for at least ten years. Ironically, it looks like I lucked out because this year’s weather has been AMAZING! I have followed a simple training schedule designed by Hal Higdon. In addition, to training I have two great things that keep me going on my long runs, which are the Heart Break Hill Striders (running group) and I have a cool running partner Sherwyn Rocke, who also got a number through Newton-Wellesley Hospital. The best advice I can give anyone who has thought about running but wasn’t sure how to get started is baby steps - just start off walking and run for 10 to 30 seconds and then walk for two. Find what works for you. Clearly, I don’t claim to be an expert, but I know how I feel after I exercise and there AIN’T no pill for that!
My commitment to getting and staying healthy is not just one sided. My husband plays a huge part in this because we have a son who is four years old. So many mornings I go out to do my miles while my two boys are still sleeping. On Tuesday and Thursdays, I teach spin at 5:30 am at the Shipley Fitness Center and dash home to walk the dog and get ready for work. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings I go out to complete my assigned morning runs (usually while the boys are sleeping). Sundays are my long runs. This Sunday, Sherwyn and I completed 12 miles and we both felt really good. There is something about training with a friend rather training by yourself. Of course I miss a day or two here and there for one reason or another but for the most part I want to remain committed to my goal. As fate would have it, during this great news, I also started a new job which has also gotten to be very challenging with home study and regional training. This has forced me to be more organized and prioritize my running schedule for early in the morning verses mid morning or late afternoon.
So my journey is long and it does come with a little history but doesn’t everyone have a story to share as to how they arrived to where they are now? Yes I can and Yes I will!