The Boston count down has begun, nine days to go. I am nervous, excited, and open to how it unfolds. The last month I've been far too busy to focus on it. I am literally just trying to get through one day at a time. I've been traveling, first to New York for the half marathon then to France for Salomon's Advanced Week. In the mix of being in and out of town, babies are being born, teaching has been crazy, and I am of course squeezing in runs, sleep, and meals. Plain and simple, I am way busier than I'd like to be. Life hasn't been feeling particularly rhythmic, but my runs have been keeping my heart and feet in tempo.
I ran Boston Marathon in 2003. It was my second marathon. I qualified via Grandma's Marathon in 2002. I figured I would never have the opportunity to do it again. It took me until 2009 to run another marathon, San Francisco Nike Women's Marathon. I just didn't feel called to racing. Sure Boston was a unique experience eight years ago, but it also felt overwhelming and chaotic. It also left me with a semi-permanent tattoo of my name down my right arm. When someone says to write your name with permanent marker down your arm, don't listen, particularly when it's sunny and you're pale from living in Northern Michigan. I ran Boston in 3:31:07 and I finished 4391 overall. I've come a long way since that nervous 22 year old.
Sure I have goals for this race. Ideally, I'll sneak in under 2:46. But in the end, I'm grateful seeing how far I've come. How far I've come since that twelve year old that could barely make it one lap around the track. Or since that high schooler that would run randomly to her best friend's house, nearly 13 miles aways. Or since 2008 when I finally got over my race anxieties and set out on the trails racing. Or since last year when I experienced my worst injury to date and learned to except my limitations. I have only been back running for three and a half months. I finally feel good and strong, but there are always doubts. This will be my fourth marathon. The first with specific training. I will actually wear appropriate shoes and hopefully not end with bloody knees like I did in SF Nike.
So here I come Boston 2011.