I’ve read a lot of recaps of Boston since Monday. They all made me tear up, but this one really choked me up. Pace of Me: Boston.
Inspiring stories of qualifying for Boston:
Dolores of Breaking Barriers chased the Boston dream for 14 years before qualifying.
Erika Huerta lost 80 pounds and became a competitive runner. She ran Boston in 2:59:18, after falling in mile 23 and puncturing the skin of her knee.
I’m looking for more slow, fat runners who became average, skinny runners. There is a wonderful community of runners out there, but I feel like those of us who have spent many years overweight have different mental challenges, especially those of us who kept running while fat. Everyone has their mental monsters, but there’s something about finishing a marathon in 6:20 that makes your brain say “why even bother?” I’m not listening to that voice, but I do get discouraged very easily. I lack mental toughness and I hate pain (and I especially hate nausea. Retching during a run is something I seriously work to avoid.) I just have to keep reminding myself of the small running victories I have achieved with very little work. Making my (admittedly easy) mile and a half time for the Air Force despite not ever running before Basic (I biked a lot, but running was my brother’s thing.) Finishing a 15K on just a few weeks of training (and little running during the weeks before the run.) Multiple sub-30 5Ks. Training for the St. Louis marathon (my first DNF) was the longest period of time that I ran consistently. Other than a few months in 1992 when I was running 18 mile weeks, I doubt that my average weekly mileage has gone much over nine miles. One of my biggest fears is that I’ll put in the work and still not be able to run faster than 11-minute miles. I guess I’ll live if I get to racing weight/body fat, train for 50 or 60 miles a week, and still run slowly. It won’t be the end of the world.
On the other hand, the human body is very adaptable. I started a yoga challenge on March 5– doing Ashtanga-style vinyasa every day except Saturdays and moon days. I missed a couple of days because of not feeling well, but I have been practicing consistently. I am very close to being able to do Chaturanga, despite never in my life being able to do push-ups. So just because I’ve never run a series of 8-minute miles, that doesn’t mean I won’t be able to if I work on it. I like to think the only reason I’ve never run eight minute miles is because I’ve never really tried.