At age 15, I told my parents that qualifying and running the Boston Marathon was one of the main goals on my bucket list. I knew it would not be an easy goal to accomplish. However, I knew it would be an attainable and realistic goal. Nine years later, after training 4 months with Janneke Sobeck, we both qualified for the Boston Marathon at the 2013 Team Ortho Minneapolis Marathon!
After qualifying for Boston, I started thinking about my training plan and the mileage I wanted to accomplish each week. I set high standards and expectations for myself. However, my training plans quickly came with many challenges and road blocks. The first road block was a knee injury. Before the training season started, I began experiencing discomfort and pain in my left knee. This resulted in physical therapy and a lot less running mileage each week. The discomfort continued into the first 3 months of training. This resulted in only being able to reach up to 16 miles on a long run before the discomfort turned to pain. The second road block was a head and throat cold. I took a week and a half off from running, thinking that would give me enough time to rest and regain energy. However, three weeks later, my lungs were still struggling on the long runs, and I continued to feel completely zapped from all energy. The third road block was the awful Minnesota winter weather! The snow, ice, and below zero temperatures made it difficult to run outside. The snow and ice caused my knee pain to flare up and the cold temperatures made it difficult to recover from being sick. Due to these road blocks, I became really discouraged and my goal seemed far away. I was so close to giving up.
Although my training had challenges and road blocks, it also came with new learning opportunities and many joys, which encouraged me to accomplish my goal. I first learned the importance of strength training and cross training, which has helped me become a stronger athlete. Through this, I continued to learn discipline and perseverance in accomplishing my goals. However, my greatest accomplishment and joy that came from Boston training was the accountability and friendship with Cherie Johnson and Janneke Sobeck. Without these ‘sweat sisters’ I wouldn’t be running in the 2014 Boston Marathon! Their encouragement and friendship throughout the road blocks kept me focused and motivated. As I am one week away from running the Boston Marathon, I feel blessed. I may not have met my original training goals due to the road blocks, but I feel blessed from what I learned and the friendships strengthened throughout the journey to Boston.