Before April of 2016, I didn’t know what a Boston marathon qualifying (BQ) time meant. I had no reason to care. You see, I’ve always had a tough time identifying as an athlete. Athletes ran fast and I ran for fun. (Who knew you could do both?) But after the New York City Marathon in 2015 where I broke 4 hours for the first time (a feat that felt absolutely impossible), I started seeing myself differently.
I ran my 18th marathon last September with my running bestie at my side the entire race. I literally turned to her before the gun went off and said, we don’t have to do this you know, we could just cheer people on at the finish line. She laughed and started her Garmin. At the finish, after crying with joy to be done, I hugged her and said “how about we go whale watching the next time I come to visit?” I told her was ready to take a significant break from marathon training and running. And for the first time, in the 10 years I’d been running full marathons, I actually meant it.