Marathon Monday, the Boston Marathon, which many runners consider to be the premier running event of the year, was yesterday. During the fall of 2007, I trained and ran two marathons attempting to qualify for 2008 - first Chicago, in which I missed the qualifying time of 3hrs 40 minutes by seventeen minutes due to extreme heat and humidity. Eight weeks later we went to Dallas to try again, and though I struggled through the last six miles stopping to stretch out my hip every half mile, I finished almost six minutes under the qualifying time. Immediately after returning home, I started training for Boston in April, only be pull out of the race late February due to an overuse IT band injury (rookie mistake not listening to my body and continuing to over-train without taking the necessary time off to recover!). I was extremely sad and disappointed to have trained so hard and not be able to run last year. However, I knew my qualification was good through April 2009 and had a slight hope that maybe I would be able to run it this year - though I knew Ryan and I were planning on trying for a baby and that most likely my Boston dream was over for the time being.
Yesterday, during a solo run, my mind wandered to Hopkinton, Massachusetts and the thousands of runners who have made it their goal and priority to train, qualify and run Boston 2009. And I had thoughts that if I were not pregnant, I would likely be at that starting line with those runners. While I admit this made me slightly sad and a bit nostalgic to run and race in my 'normal' body, my overall feelings were those of excitement and joy. I'm excited to begin seriously running again, hopefully this fall, as I love the feeling of getting into shape and training hard for a goal. I'm excited to race again - while running a marathon at 16 weeks pregnant was fun and I'm proud of my accomplishment, it just wasn’t the same as being able to push yourself to your limits. But mostly I'm completely overjoyed with the thought that if I can requalify, I will have a new addition to my traveling fan club - I have this sweet image in my head of Ryan on the sidelines with the Little Lady cheering me on as I race toward the finish. So keeping these thoughts in mind, I will instead focus on enjoying these last few weeks of pregnancy and looking forward to the marathon of birth that is quickly approaching.
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