“Nothing in my life has ever broken my heart the way running has. And yet I cannot breathe without it.” – Kara Goucher
My journey to Boston started in 2015 when I ran my first marathon in 3:42 and I qualified for Boston in 2016 with a time of 3:33. I did not know at the time this wouldn’t earn me a number. After getting over the disappointment, I decided to try again and in 2017 I ran a 3:20 securing my spot to Boston. Or so I thought.
Yes, I did earn a spot at Boston, but it never crossed my mind that I might not actually toe the line. I did the hard part I qualified, how could I not start or finish? You see, I always have to strive for big goals and the risk with big goals is you might go too far and get injured. I really have not been injured before to the degree that I could not run or not start a race, so this was a new place for me. I had A LOT of negative thoughts.
Honestly, three weeks out from the race was constant highs and lows of hope and then no hope. I tried so many things and each thing I thought would cure me and I would get there. Ten days out I knew. I knew there was nothing else to do and I just had to call it.
Yes, I could have run and not done more damage to my knee technically, (I think otherwise – compensation people) but would I finish? Would I have to walk the whole thing? Would I ever want to run Boston again? Would I ever want to run again? I don’t know. But it’s Boston, who doesn’t run Boston? Shouldn’t I be running through the pain like others? No. No. No. I have to do what is best for me. Everyone had an opinion on what I should do, ultimately in the end I have to live with the decision I make, so I had to make it for the right reasons – ME.
Once I decided to walk away from the race, I found peace. Yes, it sucks and being here and watching the excitement hurts from time to time but then I get excited because I will be there one day. Boston will be there for me when I am ready. Yes I have to qualify but I have shown myself I can do that. Now I have to figure out how to come back and how to trust running again after injury.
Maybe my Shalane moment is coming…I still have my eye on you sub 1:30 half and sub 3:10 marathon.
For now, I can’t wait to cheer everyone on tomorrow and be inspired. For everyone running, whatever happens, remember you are running the Boston Freaking Marathon, such an accomplishment and an honor! People will be out there rain or shine to cheer YOU on.