Just how close can you get to qualifying for Boston and miss it? ONE second. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I ran a 3:45:01 at California International Marathon in December, 2013. My BQ was 3:45…. I started running in 2007 because it was a necessary leg to a triathlon. A friend encouraged me to run a half marathon in 2008. A year later, a guy on my tri team whom I looked up to as a well-rounded athlete told me his proudest moment was crossing the finish line of a marathon and so I completed my first full in February of 2010. And then I discovered Boston. It is funny how when you are not a runner you know very little about famous marathons and when you become a runner, Boston becomes an obsession.
I hired a coach, got serious and crushed my virgin marathon time of 4:07:49 with a 3:46:08 at Houston in January, 2011. On the day I ran that time, the :59 "freebie" for Boston had not yet been taken away so I was devastated to have thought I missed qualifying by 9 seconds. Enter injury. I just knew I could run faster, so I did. I trained faster. I broke my body. 7 times to be exact. Stress fractures of the tibia, femur and metatarsal. The cycle of run, injury, recover, ramp back up became my "normal". I then changed one important factor, consistent use of recovery nutrition (Endurox R4 to be exact). I managed to push myself with the Run Less Run Faster program (3 days a week of running, VERY low mileage but pretty fast) and ran ONE second too slow at CIM. It was at this point that I decided to try a coach again. Chris came recommended by someone who had experienced some injuries and I knew Chris had coached a few Dallas elite females post-injury to solid performances. We ramped up slowly and somehow Chris got me to peak at a 50 mile week on 5 days of running. I honestly did not believe that was possible given my history. Our B race for the fall/winter resulted in a PR and my long sought BQ. Our A race about 8 weeks later resulted in another PR and secured my likely acceptance to Boston with a 4:06 cushion under my qualifying standard.
I like that Chris provides my workouts on a weekly basis so that we can adjust if things feel off. I like that his coaching includes unlimited communication. At times I need to hear him cheer me on and at times he needs to remind me to listen to my body so he can adapt the schedule. I have two more goals I hope to accomplish with my running and I plan to have Chris get me there. He is genuinely excited to see his athletes reach their goals and I love having him on my team.