This blog is only about 9 months old so many of you have only seen a brief snapshot of my running. I want to walk down memory lane and show you how far I’ve come in 10 years. This post is not about bragging but about showing you that anything is possible…if you want it badly enough. For me, qualifying and running the Boston Marathon were dreams of mine for the past 10 years. I’m sure people thought I was crazy talking about BQing when I was still hours (yes, hours) away from my BQ time. But Boston was always in the back of my mind during every marathon.
Marathon #1: Marine Corps Marathon 2004 – 5:12
My goal was to finish. I treated this marathon like a party. I stopped and chatted with Matt, I stopped for pee breaks, I stopped for stretch breaks. I seriously spent a half hour stopping.
Marathon #2: NYC Marathon 2005 – 4:36
A huge improvement but I should have done some hill work.
Marathon #3: Marine Corps Marathon 2006 – 4:58
I had a terrible training cycle and my head just wasn’t in it. I was ready to quit at mile 10.
Marathon #4: Marine Corps Marathon 2007 – 4:11
I told you I loved the MCM! I was finally beginning to make some progress here. I was ecstatic with this time!
Marathon #5: Philly Marathon 2008 – 4:12
Oh, I was pissed about this one. It was 15 degrees at the start…I never warmed up and my lungs burned since I wasn’t acclimated to the cold yet. Just awful.
2009: I took a year off marathoning to get married, buy a house, and honeymoon in Europe 🙂
Marathon #6: Pocono Marathon May 2010 – 4:13
I was livid about this race. It was much hillier than I thought (this is the sole reason why I always train for the worst case scenario). I hated the marathon and the course. I had a great training cycle but hit the wall HARD at mile 19. Up until mile 19, I was on track for a sub-4:00 but I fell apart mentally. At this point I was SO SICK of finishing in the 4:1x range.
Marathon #7: Steamtown Marathon October 2010 – 3:58
Redemption! Finally, a sub-4:00! This was a great marathon too. Gotta love the downhills.
Marathon #8: New Jersey Marathon May 2011 – 3:52
We all know what happened here…
Marathon #9: Lehigh Valley Marathon September 2011 – 3:43
How did I manage to shave off 30 minutes from May 2010 to September 2011? Hard work and determination. I’m not naturally speedy. I didn’t run track or cross country in high school or college. I didn’t hit the running genetic jackpot. I’m just an average runner who dreamed big. That’s it. If I can do it, so can you.
Tomorrow’s post will focus on what I did physically and mentally to shave those 30 minutes off.
Do you have big running dreams? Share them!
I love seeing where you’ve been and how far you’ve come!
Wow!!! I had no idea! Naturally, like any runner, I would love to qualify, but I had chalked it up to a pipe dream that would never happen, since my current PR is 4:17 on a flat course. But, you brought yours down, so maybe I could do it? I thought all BQers were naturally speedy and ran sub 4 marathons without even trying. Thanks so much for sharing your story! Also, I forgot some comments on your “updates” post. 1. That Boston thing sounds so stressful, but you know you qualified, and they can’t take that away! 2. YOU WERE ROBBED! I voted every day and Gluten free is a bullshit trend. Sorry, but it is, unless you have celiacs. Your blog is a million times better than some nasty pretzels made from cornmeal or whatever.
I loved this post! You have improved SO much!
I have huge running dreams: I want to complete a 100 mile race! It takes a lot of people years of effort and more than one attempt to finish, but I’ll get there one day. 🙂
I love this — your hard work and determination is so impressive! A lot of people would’ve thrown in the towel. Its nice to see you stuck with it, worked hard, and it paid off! Its a good reminder for the rest of us 🙂
I love this post! You are a true inspiration:-)
What a great story! You so deserve your BQ!!! You are an inspiration for sure!
Awesome Cams! I have a question: which marathon would you recommend to someone who’s never run one before, for their first one? Like, in terms of being a good one to start with b/c it’s the “easiest” course…relatively flat & downhills. Just curious. I’m nowhere near it yet, but I’m sort of starting to think in those terms and would love your recommendation!
I always recommend Marine Corps for a first marathon. Perfect time of year, flat course, and beautiful scenery. My second choice would be Steamtown…as long as you train appropriately (lots of downhill running and hill work for the 3 hills at the end). Third choice would be Philly, although I hate that it’s so late in the year (Sunday before Thanksgiving).
Not that you asked me, but I am going to put in my two cents 🙂 I’d also add the Walt Disney World marathon to the list. Very beginner-friendly–lots of first-timers as well as lots of run-walkers (in case you are afraid of finishing last!) Course is completely flat. Also lots of fun–you get to run through Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios. Probably the biggest negatives are the early start (5:30am which means getting up at 3am) and the fact that the race is in January which means long runs in chilly December.
Woooohooo! I loved this post. Kind of inspiring to see your gradual progress. You totally kick butt.
Amanda Kenney says
Kris, great post! As someone who is also “not naturally speedy”, I so appreciate this. Hard work and determination go a long way! Anything is possible if you just believe. Thanks again for some inspiration n this dreary morning.
That is awesome! You have come such a long way! I know what you mean about not having run track or cross country in high school…sometimes I wish I HAD…
I never trained as hard for my other marathons as I did for my past marathon and I was able to take almost 13 minutes off in about 6 months. I’m aware drops in time are probably larger in the beginning when you actually start doing tempos and speedwork weekly. Now I am giving myself about a year for about a 9 minute faster marathon….
Big dreams? yes there are bigger dreams beyond that 😉
Such an inspirtation lady. Thanks so much. I know I can do this.
Very impressive and quite inspiring!
What a wonderful post/running resume! You’ve accomplished so much and reached your goal of getting a BQ. So inspirational. Love it.
Numberz Runner says
Wow. What an incredible journey and progression you’ve been through. What a clear demonstration of persistence and commitment to achieving your goals. I’ll give you another couple of weeks of basking in your BQ glory before asking: “What’s next?”
I loved reading about your progress. Congratulations again on your BQ, you have really worked so hard for it!
Sokphal @ Life as a Classroom says
Love this post! Sometimes I am so caught up with the present/future (marathon training cycle now and how I want to qualify for Boston) that I don’t look at my past running experiences and how far I’ve come. Thanks for the pick-me up!