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Monday, April 20, 2009

Three Years Ago....

...was one of the best days of my life. Maybe the best so far.


It was always my dream since I started running at age 16 to a. run a full marathon and b. qualify for the Boston. I ran my first full marathon when I was 24, with a time of 3:58:38. To qualify for the Boston at my age/gender, I had to complete a full marathon in less than 3:40. I knew I had my work cut out for me! But qualifying for the Boston was not something I wanted to do by a certain age - it was something I wanted to do at SOME point in my life.

Just before my 25th birthday, I ran the Cleveland marathon. My training went really well, and I even cut down to a 4 day/week program because I did a lot of cross training. I was in a zone that day, and when I crossed the finish line with a time of 3:35:42, I could hardly believe it. It's like someone could have told me I just won American Idol - I really was in SUCH SHOCK!

On April 17, 2006, I finished the Boston Marathon. FINISHED being the operative word. It was the toughest physical thing I have ever, ever done. I live in NO HILL LAND. We consider highway overpasses "hills". While I did the little hill training that I could, nothing could have prepared me for Heartbreak Hill. (I always thought of Heartbreak Hill as being ONE hill - it is actually 5 miles uphill! Heartbreak Hill was the last hill around mile 20. It is also where I wished to curl up into a ball and be taken away on a stretcher).

My goal during the Boston was the exact same that I have had for all of my races - to not stop running. While I did have to wait 2 minutes to potty around mile 14, I am proud to say I didn't stop running the whole way. My friends and family back home were also tracking me live, and this gave me extra determination to NOT STOP. I finally crossed the finish line with a time of 3:52:57, and a volunteer promptly asked me, "Miss, would you like a wheel chair?" I must not have looked that great. ;-)


(Signing my name by my bib number - 12626)

(Recovering at the finish line - I was freeeeezing. No wheel chair required.)

My dad made the trip with me, having been a runner for 35+ years himself! He dropped me off at the start line and actually managed to find me 2 different places along the course. I cannot explain how proud I was of myself knowing my dad was so proud of me. I think this is something many daughters strive for, and it meant so much more knowing my dad was a runner and knew how hard I'd worked. I truly have the best father in the world!

(Me somewhere around mile 20)
(Celebrating that night at dinner - of course I had pasta)


Thanks for letting me relive my memory for a little bit. While I would LOVE to be Boston bound again at some point in my life, I am proud of myself for achieving the goal I had set for myself. Good luck to all the runners out there today - you deserve to throw back a beer (or two or three) tonight. :-)

14 comments:

sweetandfit said...

this was too funny - I was just reading this blog post when I got an email that you just commented on my last post! haha

I think you are amazing in accomplishing so much with running - its really admirable! I can't wait until I can honestly get into the groove of running, and actually enjoy it....one day =)

triathlonvirgin said...

Wow, that's an amazing story. I just ran my first 5k this weekend, and I thought THAT was a big deal. I can't even imagine what it must feel like to finish the Boston Marathon. Maybe someday....

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

Holly,
I loved this post - thanks for sharing your time at Boston with us and how cool that your Dad got to be there with you.

I'm planning on watching the highlights of the race later today, but I already know the results. I love love love Kara Goucher, and she got 3rd! So excited for her. Such a close finish for the women's race.

Have a great honey mustard filled week my friend. :)

talesofadisorderedeater.org said...

Awesome post, Holly and I think it's so awesome how dedicated you are and love the pic of you and your dad - supportive parents ROCK! Kudos to all the marathon runners out there, past and present.

eatingfree said...

Wow Holly, that is so inspiring!! I didn't know you ran at Boston :) Up until a few weeks ago, I didn't even know much about Boston, and now I realize what an achievement that is!! I don't know if it would ever be possible for me to run that fast...I know, never say never, but still, just...wow.

Even though I'm in so much pain right now, you're making me want to get out the door and do some more running!!

healthy ashley said...

Woah, what a great story! Congratulations on it all.. a few years late :) You did awesome!

All this marathon talk is really making me want to tackle one!

Fitnessista said...

what a great post and story-- i really enjoyed reading it!
CONGRATULATIONS on being able to say you accomplished that
have a great night!

lesley said...

That's so awesome, Holly!! What's a GREAT acheivement that you definitely deserve to be extremely proud of!! : ) : ) I bet it felt SO great!

Wonderful inspirational story, thanks for sharing : )

Erica said...

That is seriously amazing. What an accomplishment that you will have with you FOREVER! You so rock

HangryPants said...

Yay Holly! That is awesome. I can't imagine running any marathon, never mind the Boston Marathon!

Holly said...

You all are so sweet - thank you so much for your kind words! :-)

FoodsThatFit said...

We were there the same year!!!

carla said...

VERY COOL.
Id no idea you ran Boston!

Zandria said...

What an accomplishment! Very, very cool! (And...excuse me? 5 miles uphill??? Eeeeek!)