On March 29th I lined up at the start of the 2015 Modesto Marathon. All the training the months up the marathon was showing I was capable of running a Boston Qualifying time. Now, it was time to put it all to the test. I set out with a 6:45 pace. Monitoring my splits, everything was going well. It was at mile 4 I made a judgment call that would make the difference. The marathon started at 7am in the central valley of California. The temperature was around 63 degrees Fahrenheit. As strong as I felt early on, I knew the heat would take a toll on me and cause havoc. I dropped my pace gradually to 6:55. Around mile 16 I could feel the heat and fatigue creeping on me, but still had it in me to hold the pace. At mile 18 I was fading slightly but as long as I kept up the effort, I would qualify.
It's hard to describe the flood of emotions I felt as I ran the last handful of miles. This was a dream I had since I started running 4 years ago. Marathon after marathon, I kept chasing after it. There were times I questioned if I really was capable of achieving Boston. I thought of my girlfriend, Nicole, who supported me through the years I chased this goal, and kept me in the fight when I spoke of wanting to quit. I thought of my Mom, who would tell me constantly when I was a child, that I could do all things through Christ who strengthened me. I thought of my Dad, who told me if hard work is not paying off, keep working till it does. Knowing people believe in you gives you a sort of second wind when you're in the final stretch. At mile 25 I could hear the crowd and music playing, hinting the finish was close. I mustered up one last good effort picked up the pace. I sprinted the final 200 meters crossing the finish with a time of 3:02.21 (2:39 under the time for my age group), finally achieving my dream of Boston.
Each time you achieve a goal, it empowers you. You see that you are capable of accomplishing challenging and great things. Qualifying for Boston has motivated to set my sights higher. This May, I aim to run a sub 3 marathon at San Diego, progressively working to qualify for next year's New York City Marathon (needing a time of 2:53.00), and by year's end moving up to the elite category. I'll keep you guys updated and make some posts regarding new insights on nutrition and training. Be sure to check back soon. Thank you for your support! Find your limits, then exceed them.
Be well and run on!