If there is one character trait that defines me it's that I'm a goal setter. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than setting a goal and prepare, practice and train your butt off to accomplish it. Doesn't matter if the goal is as minute as cleaning the house or in my most recent experience, qualifying for the Boston Marathon, which I accomplished this past weekend.
I'm still reveling in the moment three days later. This past Saturday, I was one of thousands who boarded a bus in the cold rain in Duluth, MN and headed up the north shore of Lake Superior for Grandma's Marathon. The destination was Two Harbors, MN. Once there, the only way back to town is to run the 26.2 miles. I love this course. I lived in Duluth for 3.5 years and the north shore of Gitche Gumee was my daily training ground. I was feeling pumped.
I decided back in October of 2010 that I wanted to qualify for Boston Marathon within the next two years. I guess the real motivation came when news broke that race officials changed the qualifying times by five minutes faster. Meaning I had only one year to reach the 3:40 pace and then it would drop to 3:35. In marathon speak, five minutes is huge. So as temperatures began to plummet, the snow began to fall and winter set in, I began my Boston training. Nothing tests mental will like running 18 miles on a treadmill. But each workout I completed I felt I was closer to reaching my goal.
Just as we departed the busses on Scenic Highway 61, the rain stopped. My morale gauge bumped up a couple notches. The skies remained overcast and the cool wind was at our backs. If the weather stayed just this way I knew I could break my PR of 3:52 and just maybe get close to that coveted 3:40 time. I honestly had no expectation of qualifying that day. I expected somewhere around 3:45. But I guess you can't underestimate hard work. My training had paid off. I crossed the finished line at 3:37. Can't wait to set my next goal, so the fun can begin again.