I could only dream to have been one of the thousands in the stands at the 1984 Olympics to watch a young Mary Lou Retton win the all-around Gold Medal in women’s gymnastics or to have been a witness to Michael Phelps’ record-setting eight golds in Beijing in 2008. I wish I could have watched the Saints win their first ever Super Bowl last year and see through my own eyes the joy in the hearts of the people of New Orleans or to say I was there the day Michael Jordan won his sixth NBA championship.
Marathons are an atypical event in the sense that the elite athletes are placed among the amateurs and thousands of cheering spectators line the street to cheer everyone on despite ability. It’s the one event where losers are sometimes the biggest winners and a 70-year grandmother can beat a 25-year young man.
Based on my age and gender, I have to run the White Rock marathon in Dallas in under 3 hours and 45 minutes. It takes training, discipline, grit and a lot of heart and determination to accomplish this feat. I have run three marathons previously and the energy is always unquenchable. It can take your breath away to stand in a crowd at the starting line to know what your body will experience during the course of the next four hours. So I cannot imagine what it will be like to be among 20,000+ in Boston who have traveled from all over the world and earned the right to take part in such an electric and historic experience.
I made it my goal this year to qualify and not a single day passes by that I don’t think “3:45”! I wake up to the thought and remind myself before my training runs of the pace I need to sustain. I place daily reminders in my personal surroundings to keep me focused on my goal and to eliminate any doubt or negativity.
So what happens if I don’t qualify? Will I be so disappointed and lose all my enthusiasm to run? Absolutely not! It is supposed to be hard to qualify. It is supposed to require a nearly perfect race. But who is to say I can’t do the things that I’m not supposed to do?
Check back here on December 6th to hear about Chapter 2 – Training for Boston.
This post is inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.
If you could witness (or take part in) any event in history, what would it be? Why?