In late 2013, some friends of mine told me they were going to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon. At that time, the fastest I had run a half marathon was a 1:57, or around a 8:50 minute per mile pace, at the Canyonlands Half Marathon, in Moab, Utah.
The energy of my friends for Boston inspired me and I decided I would make a go for it as well. Back then, I wanted to run two marathons–one to qualify me for Boston, and then Boston and be done. Even with three half-marathons under my belt, I still wouldn’t have called myself a long-distance runner then.
A friend I knew was using the Runner’s World, Guide to Road Racing, for her training and recommended that I use it for my training. I purchased a copy and in early 2014, I started to train for Boston. I researched Saturday marathons that had some significant downhill figuring I would need as much help as I could get. After lots of time comparing courses, I set my sights on the Utah Valley Marathon course with a 3:35 finishing time or an 8:12 pace per mile. I knew I had to be under my 3:40 qualifying standard to actually run Boston so I set my sights on 3:35. (I think there was a part of me too that felt that if the qualifying standard for women of 18-35 was 3:35, that even though I was 37, I wanted to get in with that standard.)
Training was hard. I did the majority of it on the treadmill because of intimidating winter weather conditions in Northern Colorado where I live. During those 21 weeks training, I was in the doctor’s office three times for injuries–tendonitis (in both ankles) and shin splints. I ran in foot braces, for a while and even had periods where I couldn’t run at all.
After watching me run and having me in his office three times in a pretty short period, my sports medicine physician told me that my body wasn’t built for marathons. That half marathons were my race and that finishing a marathon, let alone qualifying for Boston, would be very difficult for me without physical therapy. I left his office and silently said to myself, “Watch Me.”
My story continues with my entry: Team Pearl Izumi.