Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Holding a Golden Ticket? Part 1

About two years ago, I was ecstatic to have just qualified for the Boston Marathon in St. George and even more excited to get INTO the Boston Marathon.  Little did I know that the race would fill up in 8 hours that day. Lucky for me I was on top of things that morning.

This spring I was 'forced' (laugh) to run the Great Potato Marathon by my friend Christie.  She was hoping to qualify and we were running together regularly to prepare.  We had both recently finished the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100 miler in Utah and she wrote on the marathon registration that her team name was Boston and a Belt Buckle.  Believe it or not, running 100 miles is probably the easier of the two goals because 100 miles is about finishing whether it's walking jogging, or running.  Boston qualifying, on the other hand, is about speed and maintaining that speed when your body and brain beg for mercy.

The reason I said 'forced' to run is because I didn't know if I had it in me to stay focused for 26.2 miles for a really tough goal.  I was content on helping Christie get the elusive BQ she had come close to on several occasions.  I told her I just didn't think I had the drive or desire. SO SHE SIGNED ME UP...paid for the entry as a birthday present since my birthday was a few days later.....and put me on the now two person Boston and a Belt Buckle team.

OK, time to get serious.  I can run 26.2 for free anytime (which I have done a time or two).  But when the money goes down for registration I get real serious, real fast.  I had no idea how I would do that day, to be honest, since I have been focusing most of my running on the trails.  Preparing for Antelope Island was a huge help because we did a lot of flat fast miles over the winter to avoid breaking our necks in the snow and ice of the foothills.

We did a few speedwork sessions and a Run 'Til You Puke half marathon beforehand.  No long runs at marathon pace.  Guess I figured my training would take me so far and experience would get me to the finish. The RTYP run was 13.1 miles and felt like max effort the whole way which left me nervous because there is no way I could have held on much longer.  The crazy thing was I held this pace for 19 miles on race day until the turnaround and we headed slightly uphill to the finish.

Long story short...I qualified and was happy Christie pushed me to run the race for myself.  So here I sit with the proverbial Golden Ticket that many runners try many many times to get.  I had the time of my life in 2011 at Boston in spite of being sick and dealing with injury issues over the winter.  I would love to go back but just can't afford it.  It is still a 'definite maybe' at this point that I would even get in anyway.  There are 5,000 spots available and 7,500 new names in the hat with the rest of the week to go for registration.  I will be content to sit this one out and let someone else have a shot at the once in a lifetime opportunity that I had.  I'll keep practicing and hopefully make it back someday!

Christie and I joked the other day that I may have to settle for a Belt Buckle BQ sandwich.  That is...if I can finish the Bear 100 in 10 days!

Update...Part 2

Update...(Bear 100)


  1. Signing you up for that marathon was one of the most enjoyable moments for me because I know you. I KNEW you couldn't resist giving your all if it was official and you'd given so much of your time to help me BQ (which I did on that day) and wanted to give you something back -- another BQ that I was very confident was in those legs of yours despite you only training at MY pace all winter long!

    It will always be a highlight day of our friendship when we both got "Boston and a Belt Buckle!!" My favorite picture from that day is the one where you and I are flexing and grinning after the finish.

    When I first met you, neither of us had ran an ultra or BQd and those seemed like lofty dreams. But, here we are nearly 4 years later. We've come a long way!!!! You've been my closest running friend, my "coach" and my mentor. And, you were the one who let me actually hold your Boston marathon medal in my hands after you earned yours - adding fuel to the fire of my own pursuit of that Boston dream! Thank you!

    Now, I'll sit and watch you squirm holding that golden ticket until Friday! I wish you were coming to Boston! WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!

    1. No squirming. Anxious for those who really want in though including you!


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