My mom tells this funny story about me when I turned 5 almost every year on my birthday. And since my birthday is coming up in January, and it's a big one, I am sure the story will make some sort of appearance. She says that on my 5th birthday, I woke up that morning very upset and in tears. Apparently I was upset that I didn't feel any different upon waking up on my 5th birthday then I had the day before when I was 4. I guess I had hyped up turning 5 for weeks and was convinced that some sort of transformation was going to happen! Well, of course, that didn't happen and my mom was left having to console a five year old on her birthday. For some reason, I don't really remember this. I guess that is a good thing. When I look back to the birthdays I can remember, they are all good, so she must have done an awesome job.
I bring this up because I really thought that I would feel different after I qualified for Boston. Yes, I wept as I crossed the finish line. Not just because my legs were cramping, but because I had finally completed what I had set out to do. But then, as the day wore on, as more days passed, I was left thinking that maybe I was missing something. I wasn't on the cloud 9 I thought I would be. I think that we all put a lot of pressure on ourselves to meet this big goal of qualifying. And yes, don't get me wrong, it is HUGE accomplishment and I am proud, but there is a bit of a let down. You work really hard for months, putting off nights out with friends so that you can get up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning to log 20 mile runs. You put of laundry and making dinner to get that 12 miler in during the middle of the week. Basically, as we all know, we put running first. When you finally reach your goal, you are then left to say, "what's next?"
I finally broke down yesterday and called the B.A.A. and talked to a really nice lady who had all my information. I told her my situation and she said not to worry! I was in! They were just waiting on Two Cities Marathon to submit the times. Thank gawd! I think I actually called the lady an angel on the phone! Hahaha! But this is when the relief finally set in and the excitement. I right away emailed the race director of Two Cities to see what was up. I got a reply this morning saying they were waiting on Boston to ask for the results. Well, what I gathered from the awesome lady at Boston was that they were waiting on Two Cities to submit the times. So I have since emailed the race director back and said "get on it, they are waiting on you!" So hopefully this miscommunication can be solved within the next week and I will see the lovely charge on my credit card for $130 from Boston Athletic Association. When I got off the phone with the B.A.A. I was finally relieved. I was finally excited. We have booked everything for the trip, so now all that I have to do is rest up and enjoy the ride.
So what is next? I have CIM on December 6th, a couple of half's in January and February but nothing crazy lined up just yet. I am now faced with the decision of "what am I running for now?" This may seem like a silly question, but it is exactly what is going through my head. Yes, I run because it makes me feel awesome. Yes, I run because I like to eat. Yes, I run because I would be a boring person without being able to open ever conversation with, "so, I had this great run yesterday!" But once you reach the big running Mecca of Boston, what do you strive for next? I am feeling a bit lost. I am sure I am just putting undue stress on myself, but really, what do you aim for next? I am going to be working on my speed now. My form and my kick could use some help. I am thinking that now my biggest goal will to be to continue to get my race times down, not a bad goal really. But, do you just continue to keep aiming for Boston year after year? I am sure after April I will want to run it again. But I may want to venture out. I can't afford to go to Boston every year. I want to do other big races, too; Chicago and New York come to mind.
I am going to sit and enjoy the feeling of qualifying and planning my trip. I am going to try to soak up this freedom of running time and try to enjoy what I have accomplished. When I first started running I had no idea what Boston was, what decent paces were, what a long run was. I was running to loose weight and because I had found a new outlet. I want to get back to that very organic place of running. Running to improve myself. I think I have that opportunity now, and I am going to embrace it.
I had a really low mileage week last week which was probably a good thing. I think I only got out 23, one of my lowest weeks ever. And my weekend was so busy, I didn't run Saturday. When I went out on Sunday though, my left foot has a toe/joint sore thingy going on and I only lasted a mile. But last night I ran a nice 10K with no toe probs, so I think I am back in action now.
Have a great Tuesday peeps!