I have decided to keep a public journal of sorts. This journal, or more popularly known as "blogging", will describe my seemingly endless quest of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I will not recap the entire 2 year journey, but will rather highlight turning points and setbacks along the way. Interested friends and family members who would like to sit back and enjoy the crazy ride, are welcome to read my postings anytime! At times I would post "notes" on Facebook, but have come to realize... not everyone on my friends list cares about running...GASP!!! Just as I don't care about Farmville, Cafe World, Yo Ville or any of the other game crap that rolls across my home page, I should not expect that all 287 of my FB friends cares to read yet another running note from me. So how better to mesh my passion for running and my love of writing than to create my VERY OWN SPACE? A space where I can vent my frustrations (currently VERY high) and celebrate victories and know the only people reading are the ones who logged on TO read. So welcome to my space, my journey and my very crazy mind.
I started running a little over 14 years ago. As a matter of fact, this month marks the 14th anniversary of me running the New York City Marathon, my first. I trained for and ran this marathon for the Leukemia society's Team in Training. The experience was life changing. Simply completing that marathon was just something I'd never imagined I was capable of. I came home from New York with a new lease on life. I began to realize that if you want it, you CAN get it. It wasn't until 10 years later however, that I completed my 2nd marathon, Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon. I ran the Pig in 2007 for Team Mitch. Team Mitch is made up of family and friends participating in the events of the Pig in memory of my dear brother-in-law, Mitch, who died at the age of 30 in his sleep. Mitch left behind a beautiful two year old daughter, Ellie, and my then very pregnant sister, Maria.
My experience with that marathon left me with the feelings of "never again". Nearly 8 months post c-section and very undertrained, I was completely unprepared for the ass-beating I would encounter during the final 8 miles of that race (ok, I wouldn't even use the term "race" for the way I ran that marathon). Bottom line, I beat my time in New York (5:06:08) by 15 minutes and I was happy to close the marathon chapter in my life.... or so I thought.
I continued to run, mostly for exercise and because I was beginning to enjoy the actual running part, not just the feelings it brought after I was done. I would occasionally run with others, happily clipping along at a 10 minute mile, enjoying the company and loving the feelings running brought on. I never cared about pace or time or anything of quantitative value when I ran. My how things have changed!
Two years prior to my running the Pig, I had a chance meeting at the park with the friend of a friend. Turns out, our eldest boys knew each other from school and wanted to play. So Sarah and I sat down on a bench and chatted about our mutual friend, our kids (she was sporting an adorably chubby 6 month old... now a kindergartener and I had not even become pregnant with my 4th baby) and other friendly topics. I began running into Sarah more and more. After the birth of my 4th child and after running the Pig the following spring, Sarah and I had a conversation about running. She mentioned she had been a runner, taken some time off and was starting to toy with the idea of running more. We decided to meet up at the park and run the outer loop together... an approximately 8 mi. loop. So here is my question... Who takes time off running, only to run 8 freaking miles her first time out in a while? Sarah Heffron does. That's who. I should have run away then. I would not be in this turmoil right now had I just politely thanked her for meeting me, driven home and avoided her like the plague (ok, that isn't true... Sarah's a great friend).
Fast forward many more runs together, a couple of half marathons with my times dwindling down and the finish line in Columbus in 2008. I completed the Columbus HM with a PR of 1:50. I was waiting for my brother, Jack, who was running the full marathon in hopes of completing it under 4 hours. As I stood there watching the marathoners come in at the 3:40-3:45 mark, I got this very strong feeling of "I could SO do that". I don't know why, but at that very moment, I had decided that I was going to train for and run a marathon in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And so my story begins...