How do I know it's real?
I know it is in my blood, my bones and my breath because I can't sleep and when I finally do drift off, the moment I wake, it is my first thought. I am afflicted with it; infected by it.
It is a fine thing to be a dreamer; to have wistful thoughts of what might happen someday. We have to have dreams, otherwise what's the point of anything we do. We need to believe that there are possibilities for us that speak to our hearts.
Even non-runners know about Boston only they don't really know about Boston. They don't know what it takes to get there, they just know that they hear about it, so it must be a big deal.
It seems as though the moment you begin to train for your first marathon, people- and I mean runners and non-runners, start to ask 'Will you run the Boston Marathon?' This question comes up before you even get a chance to complete your first marathon; before you even know the struggles of running 42.2km. It's a bit like the pressure newlyweds get as soon as they are married, 'Have you thought about when you will have kids?'
You have to qualify to run the Boston Marathon by running another marathon fast enough to meet or exceed age group time standards. You don't just pay your fee, collect your race bib and show up in Hopkinton Massachusetts ready to run. The qualifying times? For most of us the designated qualifying times are tough to pull off. For most of us the challenge and subsequent achievement lies in actually running a marathon and not in the time it takes us to do it...so, to then be asked to do it fast...[insert grimace].
As I prepared for my first marathon, Boston definitely became a dream. It's out there, it exists and as a long distance runner, it is dangled in front of you like a carrot, but a dream is all it was.
The thing about dreams is that there is no commitment to achieving them. They are fanciful wishes or nice things to fantasize about. No pressure lies in procuring a dream.
Last week my dream dissipated and when the ambiguity of it cleared, in its place towered a goal. The transition from one to the other exists in action. No longer will I sit passively and dream about qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I am actively pursuing the qualification standard for my age group. At this point, I should put a stop to your wild thoughts about when this Boston Qualifier (BQ) will happen. My declaration of intention to BQ in no way means that I think this will happen overnight. I should point out here, that if training for your first marathon begets pressure from on lookers to BQ, then the official quest to qualify brings about the pressure to do it ASAP. To those of you who are ready to ask 'When will you do it?', please don't, there is much work to be done before I target a 'when'. Indeed, a timeline is an important piece of goal achievement but at this point, I have committed to doing the work it will take to get there, as the work progresses and yields results, then a more specific plan of execution can be formulated. For now, I am in all out action mode. I am focused on doing the work today with the future in mind. Everything counts and everything matters.
People who are successful at reaching their goals tell anyone who will listen what their goals are, so I am telling you that I won't stop until I get that BQ. I am going to blog about my journey for accountability and who knows, maybe to inspire somebody else to take action toward turning their dreams into goals. People who are successful at reaching their goals also have a support network behind them, so please don't be shy about giving me a 'holla now and then.
Alright...this part is for those of you who love the numbers. I am an anomaly as far as runners go, in that I don't really give a f*#k about the numbers...I don't know how many kilometers I ran last year, last month or last week...numbers mean math and math and I are like oil and water. I just do the work, run the plan and leave the math up to my Coach. Number runners, this is for you...
- Marathon #1: Oct 2013/Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 4:51:58
- Marathon #2: May 2014/Ottawa Marathon 4:58:28
- Marathon #3: Oct 2014/Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 4:19:08
- Marathon #4 to be run Oct 2015 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon...
Current BQ for Age Group: 3:45
I know this is real because I can't stop thinking about it. I can taste it. I can feel it. My eyes are locked and my legs are ready; vision and action.