Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Part One – The Road to Boston

I had started a bit last night, but decided I need to really get back and post more on this than I originally maybe started. After all, this is the culmination (although seriously, I know I have a faster marathon in me, you’ll hear about things behind this in the report, but I might have to do another fast one one day in better conditions), the pinnacle, I made my goal to run the World Series/Super Bowl of Marathons…and those of you out there that do them, I know you know what I mean!!

This blog started after my marathon career started…so let’s go back 4 years…or, better yet 6 years. I had started running again (ran in high school and then just very sporadically after, in fact a friend in college used to run 5-7 miles a day and I thought she was nuts!!) and told some friends, well, I might do a 5K someday, but no way I’m going to do a marathon…that was the year I ran my first 5K, 10K and half (that 10K is still my only 10K race so my current PR is 59:30, so guess I’ll have a 15 minute or so PR on that when I run another!). I even ran 10 miles of the Twin Cities course with a friend as my last long run. My half was a 2:14:30, it hurt and no way I could see doing twice that, but it was in my mind by that point to do one. That was all when I was 28…so the year I turned 30, 2004, I decided OK, time for a full. To celebrate my 30th birthday I semi-trained for Grandma’s marathon, my parents came for it, it was Father’s day weekend and I ran a 4:48. Knowing that my training wasn’t great, I thought, well, I’ll probably do another one. It had been a fun weekend and my dad was very proud, he’s always been a supporter of any goal I set. Of course by this time I knew more about the sport and about Boston, but having run over 10 minute miles for the marathon, 8:22 I believe would get me to Boston, no way I can run that, fast for me then was 9 minute miles, maybe a couple under 9…

Fast forward and in 2005 I ran Mad-city in Madison with a 3:42 or something like that, and then Chicago (last really nice weather year for it I think too, as then it was cold and then hot), which I honestly thought would be my last race in 4:20. I had done 3 by then and thought well, that’s enough. Why would I do more?? But shortly after Chicago I thought well, maybe, I’d like to go under 4 hours. So 2006 I started training much harder, changed what I had been doing and followed a really good program. I was shooting for under 4, and as the training went on, a part of me started thinking hmmm…Boston MIGHT not be out of reach. I thought maybe I could go under 4 at one in the spring and hit BQ at one in the fall. I ran Marathon to Marathon in Iowa and had my PR of 3:42:54. I was on Boston pace there for 20 miles…I really hadn’t known that was possible even at that point. Anyway, I had already registered for Marine Corp as well, so I started in right away training and that was probably a mistake. I was tired and sore and went to Marine Corp not trained for the 3:40. Well, I was, but I spent a lot of time trying to catch the 3:40 pace group and burned out at the half…so it was a death trudge for the second half. Not fun, but still finished with my second best time to that point in a 3:56 or so.
2007 I took off. I ran a 5K and PR’d on that, but I was having hip/back issues and I did run a 25K (and technically PR’d but the prior one was terrible so it was a given). I had registered for Grandma’s, thinking to use it to qualify but I didn’t end up running because of the issues…I wasn’t running another one if I didn’t have a shot to BQ at it was my frame of mind at that point.

So see, for those of you that don’t think it’s possible, I’m telling you it is. You just have to get out there and run more. That’s what it takes apparently. It’s what I had been told, I hadn’t fully believed it, but as I’ve run more, my times have gotten faster. I know I still have a lot of PRs in me, including marathon…I haven’t fully reached my potential, so next year might be a focus on shorter races to see what I have!

5 comments:

Vince A. said...

Congrats, we knew that you had it in you. What a great feeling when it all comes together. Enjoy and look forward to your reward on Patriots Day.

teacherwoman said...

Great post. I believe you... you just got to get out there, run more, and really push yourself beyond what you think are your limits!

Full Metal Lunchbox said...

Congratulations again on your success!  You've proven that hard work pays off.

Amanda said...

wow that was really inspiring. I'm totally off track right now having had the knee injury and then the honeymoon, so I'm going to baby step back to distance...but then it sounds like I need to get on a training plan!

Dori said...

Holy crap, Danielle: 2:37:53!!!Congratulations on qualifying for Boston, and your PR! This was a very inspiring post.