Following an injury from another sport, I started running in college with no experience. Running was all I could do at the time. I had asthma, and hated running when I started, but I embraced it to stay fit. One mile became 3 miles, and I found myself ‘addicted’ and running 7 miles a day.
Not quite sure what happened to my asthma, but at age 25, I ran my first road marathon. A few years after that I qualified for my first Boston Marathon. At the time, I didn’t even know what the Boston Marathon was or how prestigious it was. When I learned about the race I didn’t think it was possible for me to qualify. A good friend of mine told me that with a solid training plan (I had no idea what I was doing at first, no Garmin and I only ran on the treadmill, etc.) that I could qualify.
Train Like A REAL Runner
I ran my first marathon at Cowtown in 2010 in 3:52. That race took place in February. It was after that race that I decided to go ‘all in’ and attempt to qualify. My friend Christa put it kindly and said: train like a real runner. That bit of advice led me to sign up for the Dallas White Rock Marathon only 8 months later in December. I needed a 3:35 to qualify for Boston. That is a 17 minute difference in a short time and while that doesn’t seem like a lot, it is.
I put together an aggressive training plan that lasted 3 months. The plan included a lot of fartleks and tempo runs. I ran in different types of weather, especially the heat, during training. I added in HIIT and cycling for cross training. I trained like a qualifier, focusing on everything I could to shave time, which made the big focus of my runs on increasing speed and tempo.
I lined up to race and with full intentions to qualify. As they say, the rest was history. I ran my best race possible and qualified for the Boston Marathon. There has been no turning back since! Running became my activity of choice and I love it. I learned a lot from that experience and remind myself that I cannot compare myself to anyone else. Don’t look at somebody else’s training, pace, or distance because they aren’t me and they aren’t you. When you focus on your goals, you manifest them to realities.
Running Is Like Breathing
Today, I run both trails and roads; marathons and ultras. I plan on completing my bucket list item of Rim To Rim To Rim at the Grand Canyon. This will be self-supported and very challenging but it’s a dream that I plan on turning into a reality in October. For me, continuing to run is like continuing to breathe, and is just a part of what I do and who I am. Before my attempt at the Grand Canyon, you can find me smiling and excited to be back to in-person racing as I toe the start line at the Wasatch Marathon this May!