Two things come to mind when I realize that Boston is now less than 10 weeks away. 1st is: Do I have enough time to train so this will not be a miserable experience, 2nd is: I can't believe I'm really doing this again-not because it's 26.2 mi. but because I never ever expected to run it again(or any other marathon for that matter). About the time I was thinking about retiring from racing anything further than a 10K, my daughter Jessica took up running with Team in Training. I decide to run her 1st half with her and her determination and courage during that race showed me how much I missed running or racing.
After that race I decided I could run another marathon and made White Rock Marathon my goal for the next year. White Rock not Boston was my goal because I wasn't sure how my knee would react to that many miles being put on it. I know my Dr. said it would tell me when it was time to stop, I just didn't want it to tell me this when I was 10 mi. from the house. Training went well and outside of a few knee swelling incidents(which frozen peas took care of) I felt like I was ready for the race.
Race day came and for me I couldn't have asked for a better day. It was cold and I know for 1st time marathoners who were in the back corrals it was probably miserable. I had a good corral and knew I wouldn't be standing around long. Past marathon experience told me that the weather was working in my favor. Standing in the corral I bumped into one of my best fiends from high school so we had a mini-reunion waiting on the start. He asked me what I wanted to run and when I told him 3:45 his comment was "Great because 4 hrs. gets us into Boston." Hank was only running the 1/2 this day but it's a funny thing about marathoners,they always seem to know what it takes for their age group to get them into Boston.
Showtime was here. I told Mary I loved her-Mary told me to run with big boys-just like we have been doing since my first marathon in 1989. The gun sounded and we were off. My race plan was simple: go out conservative thru the 1st 8 mi. which were up and down, make up time during the middle of the race which is flat and down hill and after 20 get thru the Dolly Parton hills with minimal damage and run to the finish the best I could and hope like hell it was good enough. It was: I ran a 3:41:51 which was over 3 min. faster than what I was shooting for. I guess you could say this was my over 60 pr(you know what I'm talking about-Jessica).
I'm not sure who but someone asked me after the race if I qualified for Boston and all I could say was "Oh Yea". I still really wasn't thinking about going to Boston but sometimes knowing you qualified is just as important. I guess every marathon I ever run qualifying for Boston has been on my mind, sometimes it was for the runners I was pacing but for me it was always there. Even if I had no intention of going I always wanted to qualify.
As far as when I officialy decided I was going, it was April 18, 2011. After following the womens and mens race on the computer I knew I had to go. I was so caught up in the excitement I knew that if I didn't at least send in my entry I would never forgive myself. I wanted to be part of that excitement. As much as I enjoyed(sorta) my other Boston's this is one that I will cherish forever!
Next week: The Road to Boston (part 1B)-Boston 1990.