It’s been a little over 4 years since Micah and I (and Manchild, of course) stood at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and wondered if we’d ever get to cross it as runners. At the time, our marathon PR was 4:01. I scoffed when Micah told me he thought I could cut more than 20 minutes off my PR to make the 3:40 qualifying time for my age group. I remembered the pain of mile 18 in our first marathon, and how I wanted to trip him for being so cheerful as we ran together. I would be happy to one day run a sub-4:00. If I ever ran Boston, it would be because I aged in, because everyone else my age stopped running.
But he had planted a seed, and it grew at an alarming rate. Just 4 months later, we ran a 3:55 marathon. A year and a half after that we blasted through the New York Ragnar Relay, and a few months later I had a 1:36 half under my belt. And with that, running Boston was not something I wanted to do eventually, when I got older, it was something I wanted to do NOW. The sooner the better.
So I ran and ran and ran and ran. I ran another marathon in 3:38 (which would have been awesome if I hadn’t walked a good portion of the last 5 miles and then thrown up – and if Boston hadn’t changed my qualifying time to 3:35). And then I ran a 3:22, which actually was awesome because I felt great the whole time and loved pretty much every minute.
A few weeks after that . . . I got pregnant. Believe it or not, that was part of the plan. Because babies are more important than marathons. BUT! This way I could have my baby and my marathon, too. My October 2011 marathon time would still be valid for the April 2013 Boston marathon 18 months later. By then my baby would be 9 months old. Plenty of time to get back in shape, plenty of time for her to start eating real food and not needing me all the time.
Last Saturday was the day I could finally signup. I hesitated for a few minutes, wondering what it would be like to start training in January, wondering how I’d manage to fit my runs in when I can’t take all 3 kids in the stroller. But the devil is in the details. I’ll cross those bridges when I come to them. I took the plunge, sent in my application, and waited to hear if it had filled up before I got there.
It hadn’t. This morning I opened my e-mail to find my acceptance. And there you have it. Less than 5 years after the seed was planted, the dream is coming true.
Boston, I’ll see you in April!