Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Getting back to normal

It's been over 3 months since I hurt myself. I was supposed to run California International Marathon last month, and I'm pretty damn bummed out. The weather, of course, was perfect and I think I could've run a PR race and secured a 2020 BQ. But alas, I had to skip it. I deferred it to next year and am already looking forward to it. I'm slowly working my voodoo magic to get Greg to commit to running it with me.

So where am I now?

Getting back to normal! It was a slow mileage buildup and I'm finally no longer wary of speed. I'm busting my butt as much as I can to get back into shape while still being cognizant of my hamstring. It'll be awhile before I'm back to pre-injury cardiovascular endurance shape, but I will get there. I closed out November with 113 miles and December with 152 miles. Those are pretty big numbers considering I only ran 29 miles in October. December was my third highest mileage month of 2018. I'm up to 40 weekly running miles, with 5 or 6 days of running. Considering I used to top out around 40-45 miles for marathons a few years ago, I'd say I'm doing well with 14 weeks of training to go. In my peak week I'll be at 60 miles, which is plenty for me.

In a little over two weeks I will be running my first half marathon since 2017 and the first time in six years that I will legitimately try to run a personal best. I had hoped to PR during my 2017-2018 marathon training cycle, but bad weather convinced me to turn a planned race into a good training run. Houston is usually pretty good on weather in January so I'm hoping for the same. It will also be my first race in my new 45-49 age group!

As the Boston Marathon gets closer, I'm getting more and more excited. A very close friend of mine who was my running buddy until she moved to the Boston suburbs is going to be running it as well. I'm hoping for some pre-race Athlete Village shenanigans before the super fun sufferfest begins. Yes, I said "super fun sufferfest." It's a thing and people like us love it. I even bought my very first Boston 2019 running gear.

This coming Sunday will be my longest training run since September, at 15 miles. This past Sunday I ran 14 miles with 5 of them at marathon pace. My pace miles were not as speedy as I had hoped, but they were still close to BQ pace, I felt great so I didn't push it any harder, I ran them in one 5 mile set, and considering I was running in 35 degree drizzle, I'm quite happy that I managed a solid training run at my longest distance in this new training cycle. It helped that the husband met me at mile 8 to run the remaining miles with me.

On the non-running front, I've been reflecting a lot on 2018 and how it differed from 2017. I felt a lot more peace this past year than I have in a long time. My daughter, who has battled depression and anxiety and has been in treatment for three years, seems to have turned a big corner. She will be turning 14 next month, and with that maturity and a change in schools for 8th grade, she seems much happier with herself. She has a newfound confidence that is beautiful to witness. She has learned to play the violin and ukelele, has been singing a lot, is continuing her incredible journey as a talented artist, and is enjoying her theater class. Her talents in the arts really blow me away and I'm thrilled she has found the right outlets to gain confidence in herself. It hasn't been perfect. As anyone who battles mental illness, it's not linear. There are ups and downs and really terrible days. But overall, upon reflecting on the year as a whole, I'd say she's made great strides.



As for me, as I alluded to in my last blog post, my eyes have been opened to many things that I was previously trying to bury because I just couldn't deal well with them. I have a new confidence in myself similar to my daughter's. I am more in tune with protecting my happiness and what that entails. I have let go of so much negativity and it's a refreshing change. My relationship with my husband of nearly 20 years has grown and as we enter this milestone year, I feel more than ever that we are on the right page with our values and our future dreams. Learning to live with someone and committing to that for a lifetime, despite ups and downs and frustrations, is rare in today's world. He's my best friend and I'm going to keep him!




I am continuing to pursue the things that I love. Besides running, I am doing some home remodeling. My newest project is repainting my kitchen cabinets, a huge endeavour but one that is actually pretty fun to tackle. If I am going to continue to be the stay-at-home parent, then it's important that I find ways to be productive and save our family money, and I enjoy the challenge of teaching myself how to do this stuff well.



On the exercise front, I'm thankful that I found a good therapy outlet with running, as this works well for me to navigate life's stressors. I was talking to a friend yesterday about marathon training and how, while I prefer the half marathon distance, committing to 26.2 is better for my mental health. It requires a focus and commitment that is very different from 13.1. I enjoy the challenge, I prefer something that requires such a high level of commitment and focus, and that's why it's become my go-to distance these last couple years. There will always been something magical and exhilarating about completing a 3-hour training run and about crossing the finish line after racing 26.2 miles.

I've been constructing my race plans through 2020 and I think I'm in for a whole lot of fun. Besides Boston and CIM this year, I'm planning to attend the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta next year. I watched them in Houston in 2012 and it was incredibly fun and inspiring to witness. I want to add another marathon besides Atlanta (it will be held the day after the Trials), and Chicago is on my mind. But I'm still open to other ideas for a fall race. I've run 10 Texas marathons, so at this point I prefer traveling to other parts of this beautiful country. There are so many great races and places to visit that I need to branch out and experience them!

So, on this 2nd day of 2019, I have a lot of hope, peace, and love. May it continue throughout the year for me, my family, and my loved ones.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
- Romans 15:13


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Respect

Every year, I choose my "word." In 2017 it was "peace." In 2018, it was "breathe."

I've chosen my 2019 word.

RESPECT.

In 2019, I'm putting RESPECT first and foremost in my decisions, my daily activities, and my interactions. Not just for me to show respect, but for me to demand it back.

I have felt like there is a lot of that lacking in my life right now and I'm getting kind of overwhelmed by it.

It is not difficult to have respect for each other and for yourself, yet it seems like a rare characteristic. How sad is that?

I could talk about the obvious blaring disrespect we witness everyday in the media when people have different opinions, because blatant disrespect for opposing views is rampant, and that is disheartening. But I'll refrain from saying anymore than that on the subject. Just know that I find it utterly appalling.

On a personal level, however, it seems even more hurtful to witness it and experience it.

My top priorities in my life are my children and husband and my relationship with God. When I see any of this disparaged, you will lose my respect. Unfortunately, there have been several circumstances over the last couple years where I have had to end my relationships with people due to blatant disrespect and malice, and while it makes me sad, I am glad that not only did I respect my family but I respected myself enough to know that my grace was too great and instead I needed to say "enough is enough."



And that's really where my personal struggle with respect comes in. I am a non-confrontational, "wears my heart on my sleeve," compassionate kind of person. I am extremely sensitive. I take things personally. Because of all of this, I have often allowed myself to be treated poorly, to brush things off, to hope that it gets better, and to give way too many chances. I don't want to harden my heart, but I know that I have to do a better job of protecting it.

Simply put, I deserve better. WE DESERVE BETTER.

We only have so many days on this earth. Every moment that I spend time thinking about the hurt caused by another, the effort I put forth to make things better knowing that it's fleeting, is a moment of joy that I am allowing to be stolen. I would much rather spend those days with the ones who love me, who are looking out for my well-being and joy 100% of the time, and who understand when they've been less than respectful.

Never do I think that I am perfect, but I also never go about trying to disrespect anyone. If I have done so, I will make it better. But I also will not compromise my beliefs and values. It can be a difficult balance to maintain, and I plan to spend this year focusing on being better to myself and to others.

At the end of the day, when we respect each other and ourselves, we really can't go wrong.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Bucket List Update

In September 2012, I wrote a Bucket List.

I thought it would be fun to go back and reevaluate where my head was at six years ago. I have changed so much in these last six years and have many other things I'm focusing on and I figured looking at this list would make me laugh at its absurdity (I also need to do a bucket list regarding non-sports related desires. So many things to do in this life and so little time!).

It's actually not that crazy of a list!

1. Run a sub-4 hour marathon. I have always had the ability to run a sub-4. I just didn't really believe it...something just about every marathoner has struggled with. The only time I tried before this past year was back in 2012. Unfortunately, the weather was horrendous and I completely fell apart and didn't even come close. A few weeks after this, however, I ran a 1:51 half. I was in shape to go sub-4 at this time in my life but a combination of the wrong kind of training, horrid weather, and a crappy mental attitude made that impossible. I didn't believe I could or even try again until 2017. That's when I succeeded....TWICE in five weeks. Although my December 2017 race was about a quarter mile short I still consider it a sub-4. I was feeling awesome at that end of that race and it's just really unfortunate that it was mismarked. Let's just count my 10 minute warm up before the race and call it a full marathon, ok? Awesome, thanks.

2. Run an ultramarathon. Nope. Haven't done this. My last long trail race, a 30K at night back in 2013, kind of turned me off to trail races of any kind of significant distance. I like running trails, but other goals have gotten in the way of me making trail running a habit. I haven't tapped into the desire to run an ultra. So I would no longer consider this a bucket list item.

3. Boston Qualify. I didn't even get the qualifying times right when I wrote this post. I said I needed a 3:50 at age 45, and it was actually 3:55. Super cool I got to knock two items off my list in the same race. Now I really do have to run a 3:50, however, as the qualifying standards shifted by another 5 minutes. Seven years ago, you could run a 4:00 marathon as a 45 year old and it's now 10 minutes tougher. I'm actually really glad for this. It makes me that much more focused on quality training. Plus, hopefully this means most qualifiers can actually gain entry into the race, instead of 25% being denied entry. Oh, and that silliness I wrote of maybe not actually running Boston, but just qualifying? Ha! I'm definitely running that race! Go watch the Boston documentary and you'll understand why.

4. Complete a triathlon. I've done seven! I think? But I only competed for two seasons. That part of my life may be behind me, but you never know!

5. Run around Lake Georgetown in its entirety. Have not even come close, nor attempted this in any way, shape, or form. I think my longest run on the lake might be 8 miles. When or if I get into trail running, I will for sure do this. It's a little over a marathon, with a lot of technical parts, so it's not for the timid.

6. Run the Rome Marathon. I'd still love to do this, but it won't be in 2020. Funny thing is, this was actually going to be my husband's one-and-done marathon, but he ran his first this year. Yes, honey, I said your "first." You're going to run another one.

7. Century Ride. Longest ride is 53 miles so I am a very long way away from this goal. I don't know when I'll spend the time to build up to this, but someday I would like to. Cycling has not appealed to me in about a year. I actually have a bit of a fear of it because of the horrible attitude of drivers towards cyclist and the number of accidents that cyclists suffer with cars. I'm simply a little afraid of getting back out there.

8. Run Rim to Rim (to Rim?). I'm thinking one way across the Grand Canyon is plenty, and yes, I'd love to do it still!

9. Back to back marathons. Um...nope. This will not happen. I did back to back 5Ks and half marathons in one weekend and that destroyed me. I was injured for months and had to back out of a marathon because of it. Taking on something like that just doesn't work for me. So we can say goodbye to this item!

10. Complete an Ironman. Sooooo....this was a joke entry, but there was actually a few months last year when I decided that I was going to do an Ironman (clearly I was on drugs). Because I have not gotten back my desire for triathlons, I'm putting this on the back burner, maybe indefinitely.

So, six years later I have completed three of my bucket list items. I'm keeping four of them (Lake Georgetown, Rome, Century Ride, and Rim to Rim), and getting rid of the other three. With only four items on my list, I need some new ones. So here we go:

1. Run a marathon with my husband. We were going to do this in Boston, but the cutoff was so insane that he missed it despite a 4:43 cushion. Still bitter, still sad, and still frustrated as hell. But we will run a marathon together. I'm thinking either CIM next year since I deferred my 2018 entry, or Chicago in 2020 since we have guaranteed entry (unless they change the current rules), but we will see if I can convince him.

2. Qualify for New York City Marathon. It's already insanely difficult to qualify. I would need a 3:38 full or a 1:42 half and although 3:38 was my original goal for Boston, my injury has my time goal up in the air. I would LOVE to qualify and run it just once. I'll keep working at it.

3. Break 7 minute pace in a 5k. My best is 7:12 pace. And it was a short course, but details. It's not easy to chip away at 5K pace, and getting another 12 seconds per mile out of my legs would be pretty epic. I'd really have to focus on that kind of goal, however, and I'm just having so much fun with the endurance stuff right now.

4. Break 8 minute pace in a half marathon. I wanted to attempt this in Houston in January, but I have lost too much fitness from my injury layoff so it's really unlikely to happen yet, but I really really really do want to accomplish this! I need a fall 2019 half marathon, maybe?

5. Pace a marathon. I keep saying I'm going to be a pacer. I just need to do it! A couple more solid sub-4 marathons under my belt and I will feel more comfortable with the idea.

6. Win a race. I have actually come so close to accomplishing this. Not looking for an overall win (ha!), but overall female. Three times I have come in 2nd in a race, and 3rd twice. The thing is, if you're not a super fast runner and I'm not, it's really a combination of picking the right SMALL race and hoping nobody fast shows up! The shorter the race, the better for me. To actually outright win one would be the coolest thing, even if it's because of luck! Super long shot, but always a fun thought.

And now to come up with a non-sport related list....how fun! What's on your bucket list??



Monday, October 29, 2018

I am my own coach...for now

Do I use a coach? I have had many people ask me this, and many people suggested I hire a coach when I talked about wanting to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

No, I don't use a coach. I am my own coach. I have all sorts of reasons for making this choice.

I have been coaching runners both professionally and as a volunteer for about 8 years. I became RRCA certified nearly six years ago and briefly had my own business. My volunteer duties with a local running club ended a few years ago but have been sporadically coaching runners on my triathlon team through our group workouts. I dissolved my business officially last year. I am a full time mom to two high needs teenagers and decided to dissolve my business and instead focus on their needs. Keeping the business did not seem necessary and I knew that down the road, I could always restart that career. The volunteer duties are at my discretion and that works well for me. I also spend some time advising friends on their running and goals and I always enjoy those talks.

I was an ok coach for a bit, and I was actually coached by others during my early marathon pursuits. But I remained a poor marathoner as compared to shorter distances. I absorbed all the knowledge from my RRCA course, tried to listen to others (good and bad advice, unfortunately), and continued to study training methods over the years. I went through a difficult couple of years medically that set me back in my marathon pursuits and took a couple years off from the distance.

In 2016 when my health started on an upswing and I felt like I could give the marathon distance another chance, I decided that I didn't just want to get better, but I wanted to become a good enough to go to Boston. Fortunately, for the 2019 race I'd be aging up and get another 10 minutes added to my qualifying standard, so my target timeframe became September 2017 to September 2018, the qualifying window for the 2019 Boston Marathon.

I had a lot of work to do. I had never taken heart rate training seriously, and few in my training circle had ever really suggested it. I vaguely had an idea of my training zones, but honestly wasn't comfortable with the idea of taking it as easy as the heart rate plans suggested. Training a minute or more over my marathon goal pace? That was a tough pill to swallow for my ego, even though I knew that was what I was "supposed" to do. What I always thought felt like easy pace was always too fast, and it took me a long time to realize this. Hence, why I was a crappy marathoner. When you are in big group settings and being pushed by others, it becomes very difficult to tune that out and do what you know is right for YOU. Having never been a runner until I was well into my 30's, I hadn't learned discipline yet and it took me forever to shut out the noise. Honestly, I needed to tune everything out and get into my own head, on my terms.

I didn't want to hire a coach. I wanted to do this on my own. I wanted to work around my own schedule, to be able to still train a couple times per week with my triathlon group, to analyze my own data without prying eyes, and frankly, I wanted to see if I could do it. I realize this sounds incredible stubborn, and I was incredibly stubborn.

Plus? Coaches are expensive and my family did not need another expense. Remember those high needs kids? One of them has needs that are quite expensive and that was way more important to me than anything else. I could coach myself for free, and I liked that.

If I failed, I'd suck it up and hire a coach.

In the meantime, I spent the rest of 2016 getting to know "heart rate training." It was a process and I was ok with it that first year. My body responded well, I had a good half marathon that October that told me I was going in the right direction. Unfortunately, I had not been able to completely control my asthma, and struggled in warm and humid weather considerably. My January 2017 marathon was very warm and humid and I had no choice but to take it easy during that race. I was very fearful of going into an asthma attack. But, I was happy with my race, although it was 40 minutes over what I would need later that year in order to qualify for Boston and 18 minutes over my PR set in 2014.

Meanwhile, I continued to read as much as I could, to pour over article upon article about training as smart as possible and adding in volume and getting my head right so I could believe I was capable of reaching a very crazy goal.

In April I changed up my diet and ended up losing 18 pounds by December, and 23 if you go back to my health issues from 2015. I was as lean as I'd ever been and stronger than I'd ever been. My asthma was being controlled better through some treatment changes on the advise of my doctor, and this was a really big deal.

I never relented in my pursuit and to do it ON MY TERMS. This isn't something that everyone can do. Many people need an accountability partner in order to stick to a plan AND I TOTALLY GET THAT. This was very hard on some days, and many times I wanted to just skip a run and sleep in, or to cheat on my nutrition plan, or not do that speed work. Many, many times I struggled.

But every time I looked in the mirror, and every time I analyzed my run data, I saw the vast improvement and it continued to spur me on to keep going.

I wrote a really tough training plan (for me). But I was disciplined when needing to run really easy, and frankly I started to love these easy runs. To not worry about hitting a certain pace felt so freeing to me. I didn't have to feel embarrassed at the time on my watch. It made sticking to the hard days a little bit easier and those hard days were getting better and stronger and I was getting much faster. I did leave one run per week in the hands of my triathlon club leader (on Tuesdays, we did either intervals or tempo runs) and she gave me the paces I needed to run. I sometimes thought she was crazy for saying I could run that fast, but her faith in me pushed me to do it. I'm not sure I would've had that same discipline without her. Christine remains a huge reason why my I developed my confidence.

I spent a lot of time working on my mental strength. While you do feel the physical effects of the distance as you enter your last hour of the race, most of the struggle truly is in your head. I knew that I needed to silence my doubt so I read as much as I could on the subject and felt much more mentally tough heading into my race season.

Writing my own training plan and being accountable to myself worked so well (thank God!) and I succeeded in my goal to qualify for Boston. My qualifying race gave me a 28 minute PR, and I ran it 46 minutes faster than the year before. I squeaked into Boston.

During this last year, I also ended up coaching my husband. He basically used the same plan that I had used, even though it was actually his first marathon. He wanted to BQ, too. He succeeded but unfortunately didn't make the cutoff to run Boston (9 damn seconds!!). This told me that how I was approaching training was working, that I had come up with a really good formula, and that I would stick to it.

I do believe that if I hadn't become injured (pulled muscle from strength training aggravating by interval running), I would have had a pretty good shot at setting a new PR at my planned December 2 marathon. I was running well through the summer, despite the horrid weather that just wouldn't go away. I tweaked the plan a bit to make it higher volume and a little more intense and I was getting through it, although there were definitely still times I wanted to sleep in instead of run. I'm very disappointed I had to pull the plug on my races and I'm basically starting over as I ease back into running after a four week layoff.

So there you have it. I am my own coach. I experimented with it and took a big chance that between my plan and my triathlon team leader's guidance, I could improve enough. Will I hire a coach in the future? Maybe! But right now, this works for me and I enjoy the challenge. We are all individuals and with different needs as runners, and what works for one person may be bad for another person. Only we can decide that for ourselves.

We make a great team!




Monday, October 22, 2018

Defining a Different Goal

I'm so glad that as far as injuries go, mine is pretty minor. I didn't tear anything (we don't think), I don't need surgery, it's not going to keep me sedentary for long. Unfortunately, pulling your hamstring isn't a quick fix, so it certainly derailed my training considering it happened in my build up before my December 2 marathon. I could have continued to train through it, but it would be with pain on every run and it could have led to a torn hamstring, which is a brutal injury. Rather than being dumb, I chose to be extremely cautious and totally stopped running. In the past four weeks, I have only run four times. The first run a few days after the injury was a test run and with it came pain in every step. It gave me a lot of good data to pass on to my doctor, however, so it wasn't without positives. I tried again weekend before last but within a few minutes I knew it would be a very short run. Then this past weekend I finally feel like I had a breakthrough, with a good 3 mile run with minimal pain, and then a four mile run with no pain this morning (although my hamstring is a little bit achy afterwards). My last real quality run was on September 25 and I've missed 200 miles of training runs.

I have focused on physical therapy, upper body strength, core strength, and have thrown in a little swimming. I never really knew how difficult being sedentary would be for me, but I don't do well without a physical activity routine and the mental health therapy that goes along with the long hours of running. It's a part of me. I don't subscribe to the "running is life" mantra that a lot of endurance athletes tout on social media, but I really do miss it. I'm glad that I have other activities that I can do, although the hours of cardiovascular work can't be duplicated. My endurance gains are definitely going to be gone by the time I get back into it! My four miler this morning wasn't all that easy compared to pre-injury days.

So how does my leg feel? I was surprised that I didn't feel my hamstring during my run today. I'm expecting a little discomfort as it continues to heal. There is tightness in my posterior chain and that will need to be continually worked on. I am acutely aware of any twinge that I feel. Thankfully I have so many exercises that I can do to work on my deficiencies and I am doing them every single day.

So now that I have had to defer my October 28 half marathon and December 2 marathon, I will need to forge a new path to Boston on April 15. Now that I know I'm okay to start regularly running, I will need to rewrite my training plan and basically start from scratch. I'm hoping I will see some glimmer of leftover cardiovascular endurance soon. It's crazy how fast we can lose that fitness, however. I won't be running consecutive days for a little bit longer, and I need to build up my weekly mileage slowly.

In 13 weeks I have the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. That should be plenty of time for me to get into shape to race and I absolutely LOVE that race. I have several friends racing both the half and the full so I expect it to be lots of fun. Twelve weeks later is Marathon #15!!

I'm a believer in things happening like they should no matter how painful the path may become. I made it to Boston by a mere 15 seconds, it will be 15 months between marathons for me, it will be my 15th marathon, and it's on the 15th of April. I'll take a 15 second PR that day! Or maybe it'll be 15 degrees out? (only if it's 15 Celsius) Yes, I know I'm weird.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Big Fat Change of Plans

You know what sucks? Bad news on top of bad news.

So....I'm injured. I pulled my hamstring....and did quite a number on it. If you've ever pulled your hamstring you know that the recovery time pretty much sucks and it's a long process. It can plague you for MONTHS if you don't let it properly heal. There's a small possibility there's a small tear in it (not likely) but the treatment is the same regardless. REST. REST. REST.

I've battled with my head repeatedly in the last week on whether I'm going to fight through this, hope to be back to running sooner rather than later, and still be able to salvage my 2018 racing season.

Yeah....NOPE.

I'm going to rip the bandaid off and say that I'm officially out of the Houston Half Marathon and the California International Marathon. In reality, I need to absolutely rest my hamstring if I want it to be back to normal in time to ramp up my training again for the Boston Marathon. Fighting through this is simply not worth it when I look at the big picture. CIM is only 61 days away. I simply do not have the time to rest and then be back in the right shape to run a good marathon. I do not want to toe the line just to finish this race and then potentially be back at square one because I re-injure myself.

On the bright side, I can defer both races to 2019 for a minimal charge. The husband *may* even have said something about "should we run CIM together next year?" I may hold him to that!

It was a super crappy week last week, first with me getting injured and seeing just how serious it was, and then finding out the cut-off for Boston was 4:52, leaving Greg off the official entry list. What a freaking rollercoaster of crap.

The good news is that I booked flights on points, so it's easy to cancel. My hotel can be canceled for no penalty. Even better? We are actually heading to that area two weeks before CIM because a friend is getting married (best news I've gotten in the past week!!). So while I'm canceling one flight, I'm booking another! I can still hopefully squeeze in a little time with the friends I'm not able to see for CIM.

Even better news? I just happened to look at flights for Boston. They were so stupid unbelievably cheap that I booked those, too. I was flight booking crazy this morning.

This is not how I envisioned ending 2018. I was having a pretty great training season, despite being sick of the icky weather. I felt strong and was very much looking forward to running a race like California International Marathon. I wanted to requalify for Boston with the new, tightened 2020 standards. I wanted to test my speed on 10/28 in a half marathon in Houston. I was even going to race a 10 miler this coming weekend. It's hard to let go of three races just like that.

I still have the Aramco Houston Half Marathon on January 20 to look forward to. That was my "A race" half marathon anyway. I should be well on my way to being back to normal by then if I play my cards right now.


Thursday, September 27, 2018

What a crazy-ass journey!

Oh my gosh, today sucks.

Boston Athletic Association finally announced the 2019 Boston Marathon cut-off time for entry into the race.

4:52

You had to run 4:52 under your standard in order to gain acceptance into the race. Absolutely nuts!

Greg was 4:43 under his qualifying time. So he got the denial email. The disappointment we feel is hard to put into words.

Nine freaking seconds.

If you've followed my BQ journey, then you know that my husband was not a marathoner before I qualified. He enjoyed running, had raced shorter distances, and was quite talented, but wasn't planning on running a marathon any time soon.

When I qualified, he decided he wanted to run Boston with me. So he signed up for a race. I've blogged about it a few times:

My husband the marathoner

Go Time

Boston Bound times two

There was always the chance that the cutoff would be something massive this year, but we never fathomed it would be more than his cushion.

When I saw the Facebook post from the B.A.A. today, I was instantly devastated. He worked so hard and sacrificed so much to work towards this goal and he nailed it. He ran such an incredible race, fought for every single second, and earned that BQ. To have it not be quite good enough for entry is a really tough pill to swallow.

I am incredibly proud of him. He did this for me, to be able to experience a bucket list item with me, and wanted so badly to be there with me at the starting line and the finish line and every single step of the 26.2 miles in between. I can't even put into adequate words how I feel about him and what he did for me. He will always be a Boston Qualified marathoner!

I feel like I'm the luckiest wife in the world to be married to someone like him. And I am so heartbroken for both of us. I am still incredibly excited to run the Boston Marathon next year but I can't help but think that I will feel like something is missing.

I barely made it in, with only 15 seconds to spare over the cut-off. If I hadn't been able to speed up during mile 26 at my qualifying marathon (it was 17 seconds faster than mile 25), I would've been less than 4:52 under and out of luck.

I also can't help but thinking that the debacle of a short course in Mississippi in December is a true blessing in disguise. I blogged about that race here:

Disappointment and Learning to move on

Success

I would not have run a fast enough time in Mississippi if the course hadn't been short and disqualified. The best I could've done was a 3:50:45, only 4:15 under my standard. I summed it up in the January 17 post:

It's interesting to me to look back on the past 38 days and everything that's happened. I BQ'd on December 10, only to see that the course was short. My time would've been just under 3:51 had the course been accurate. I had to recover fast and smart and try not to lose too much fitness over the next five weeks so I could do it again. I BQ'd again, this time by more than the 4:00 minute buffer I would've had in Mississippi. I think that's a really big positive to take out of this. I had a better finish time in Louisiana, so I have to see that as a silver lining to the stress from the last five weeks. Had my BQ counted in Mississippi, I doubt I would've raced as hard in Louisiana, and quite possibly would've only run the half marathon. 

I probably wouldn't have run a 3:49 in Louisiana and would not be running the 2019 Boston Marathon. 

The short course in Mississippi was a GOOD thing for me....who would've thought that at the time?

But in the meantime, the Hahn house is a sad and disappointed house. We are not angry. There's absolutely nothing that could have been done or anything that we could've controlled to have a different outcome. My husband raced as hard as he could and left everything on the course. There just happened to be a massive interest in the Boston Marathon and an impressive number of fast Boston Qualifiers out there this year. They only took 220 applicants out of more than 7600 who applied with less than a 5 minute cushion. 2.8% is all they could take! They had a record number of applicants, at over 30,000.

I would still love to run a marathon with my husband. He has no desire to try to qualify again. With the new standards, he needs to be even faster and I can totally understand not wanting to put himself through that. There are other races out there and perhaps we will find one that is meaningful for both of us.

Damn, I love that man.