One Month

For the first couple of years that I was running marathons, Boston wasn’t even on my radar. As I worked my way from a 4:42 debut marathon in 2008, to 4:26 a year later, to my breakthrough 3:58 in 2010, achieving a qualifying time did not seem like even a remote possibility.

32058-391-015f-200x300But then something started to change near the end of 2010 and in early 2011. I was training a bit more “seriously” and seeing significant results. I started clocking paces in brand new territories, surprising myself constantly. Since when can I run this fast? I allowed myself to start thinking that maybe – just maybe – it could happen for me.

if my training continued to progress the way it had been.
if everything came together perfectly on race day.
if I believed in myself.

mississauga019As the days and weeks and months went on, my confidence grew. Eventually I was able to admit myself that I was training for a BQ. I hesitated to even say the words out loud and kept quiet about it for the most part. Those who knew along the way (including many of you) supported me 100% and helped me to believe even more that it was possible.

At the last minute, I said it out loud.

“When I started believing that a BQ could potentially be within reach, I thought it should remain a “secret” goal; that I wouldn’t put it out there but instead publicize a more conservative goal. I eventually realized that I was hesitant to share my true goal because I was afraid if failing. In many ways, I was afraid to even admit that goal to myself because I didn’t want to let myself down.”

13967-110-137025771And then I ran the race of my life at the Mississauga Marathon in May 2011. I will never forget how it felt to run to that finish line, arms in the air and screaming for all I was worth. Finding out moments later that hubs had qualified as well was icing on the cake.

228689_10150618416055454_644290453_18666201_7808515_nI didn’t think I had a great shot at getting into the race with the new rolling registration process, but I held on to hope all the way up until that fateful day when the email arrived.

Untitled31Unfortunately, hubs’ qualifying time didn’t make the margin for entrants accepted, and going to Boston became very bittersweet. Of course he was 100% supportive, but it just didn’t feel right. Thankfully, the stars aligned and I was able to secure him a spot as a Christmas surprise thanks to a little help from some very good friends.

secret-004-300x224A year ago if some had told me that we would be running the Boston together this year, I would have laughed and said “I wish!” Well, look at us now… one month from today we will line up in Hopkinton to run the Boston (freaking) Marathon! It sometimes seems surreal – almost too good to be true – I can’t wait to find out what it feels like when we get there.

boxing-day-007-225x300This just in! Robin gave me the heads up that bib numbers and corrals are assigned:

BostonIt just got a little more real…

37 thoughts on “One Month

  1. Seriously, TEARS! I am so excited for you two. Marlene, you are such an inspiration and you have such a positive spirit that’s so refreshing. I hope Boston is AMAZING for you two, and I CANNOT wait!

  2. You’ve been such an inspiration since I started running and I’m so excited to have been able to follow your journey. I have tears I’m so thrilled that you guys get to run Boston!

  3. Reading this makes me cry of emotions!!! I am so happy for you guys!!! your perseverance and your hard work all these years it is truly an inspiration to me and hopefully one day me and my husband can experience what you are feeling now!!! Congratulations!!!!!

  4. awwww this actually brought tears to my eyes!
    i am so excited for you. i think both of you are going to do amazing!! cant wait to read all about it. its gonna be a fun month leading up to boston. aaaahhhh! so excited!

    ps. i am going to boston in july for the first time. i will 100% go to where the marathon is!

  5. WHOA! You are in the same WAVE and CORRAL as ME! That is awesome! I think you should have my email through this comment. Not sure if you know anything about me or not, but I got my BQ at the Martian Marathon, which I recall you did as practice for your BQ. I am so happy that you were able to get your husband in, I was a bit confused on that for a little while. Also, It took me 7 year to finally qualify!

  6. Wow that must have been great to get your bib numbers. One step closer. Congrats…you’ve worked hard and deserve it.

  7. Ooo, this gave me goosebumps! How exciting! Boston is Boston which is exciting enough, but setting the goal, believing in yourself and making it happen…so sweet. Even better that you and your hubby will both be running!
    (I am running my first marathon in May, it just happens to be the Mississauga Marathon – the picture of you crossing the finish line got me excited and nervous instantly, oooo butterflies!)

  8. Only 1 month to go. I’m so happy and excited for you.

    I never even really knew about Boston till I started reading blogs and learned that this isn’t just a marathon but to some it’s THE marathon.

    You and hubs will rock Boston and I’m glad to be a part of it and cheer for you from across the ocean.

  9. How do these race days come up so quickly?!! Even though I remember reading every step of your training, it still gives me chills to see that first finisher’s photo, and sequentially your 3:37 accomplishment. So amazing what we can do when we’re completely focused and ready for a challenge! 🙂

  10. Can’t believe how close it is…..I’m trying not to think about the actual race too much, for fear I freak myself out! Happy training. (PS thanks for the honourable mention).

  11. I can’t tell you how sweet it has been to sit here most days of the week and cyber stalk your running progress over the years. How many times did I say you were a BQ waiting to happen? SO thrilled the day is drawing near for you and Mark. It is really such a momentous race and so much more. Always cheering you on girl!

  12. I am so so sooooooooo excited for you to experience Boston!!!! It’s been so fun to watch you on your journey here, I remember starting to read your blog right around your first marathon – and look at your now! Soak up this last month and GET EXCITED!!!!!

  13. How awesome! It’s been a minute since I’ve been by – so glad I popped in on this post. I’ll be following your journey and cheering you on.

    Winks & Smiles,

    • Thanks for checking in! I have been reading your blog but for some reason I can’t seem to comment with your new format.

  14. it’s been so fun to follow you since the very beginning…i knew you’d make it there, you’ve had an incredible few years of training. you’ll love boston! just wish i registered for this year so i could finally meet you. 😦

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