The iconic Boston Marathon is next Monday, April 17th. And Heather and I get to watch and cheer in person for the first time ever! (Prepping for the cheering waterworks--I can't help it!) We are beyond pumped. Oiselle has over 150 Volée who will be out there racing their hearts out. Just a few of their amazing stories are below, and we’ll be sharing many more over the weekend on the socials. So much love for this team, and all of the fierce racers who've made it to the starting line.
I qualified in 1999 for the year 2000 but a car ran me over while crossing the street so I never got My Boston (due to paralysis and years of recovery). I finally have my Boston 2017! My goal – high five every kid I can, smile at every picture and cry from pure joy when I finish. Thankful.
I have had to be very careful in my prep for Boston due to an injury from my NYC training block. Taking up yoga has played a big role in my recovery and preparation for this race. Monday may not be a PR but I am glad that I will be able to step to the line! The picture I included was from the NYC Marathon this past fall. I was running with the NYPD running club since my dad is a retired cop and they were able to get me into the race. Since I couldn't wear my singlet I wore Oiselle spandex. While moving from the corrals to the line I got so excited to see a girl super close to me was a fellow bird! For some reason the first thing I could think of was pointing to the name on my pants. We quickly went from not knowing each other to joking about how our runner friendship started over me pointing to my pants. Can't wait to rock my singlet in Boston!
This is my first Boston marathon and to say the stoke levels are high is an understatement. This training block has been incredible for a lot of reasons, but number one is because I trained with several #OiselleCO Volée gals who are also running Boston. The laughs, the pee breaks, the post long-run breakfasts, the feeling of running side-by-side with someone for 20 miles...I have a feeling I'm going to remember the months leading up to Boston (and the race itself) with fondness.
This will be my 16th official Boston, my 6th Boston in a row, and my 20th marathon. I’m hoping to re-qualify (actually hoping to secretly beat last year’s time of 3:56) and qualify so I can run 7 in a row. I’d love to keep that streak going until I turn 60! Boston is a very special marathon to me as it runs through my hometown of Natick, MA and alongside my Alma Mater, Wellesley College. There is no better race and I love to share/show off my roots with my friends in the running community from Georgia and Ohio. I’m running this year as part of my streak, as part pride for my hometown as I will always be "Forever Boston Strong"!
My prep for Boston has been unconventional to say the least. A year ago this week I completed my first 1 minute run after sustaining a major back injury and losing 100% of my fitness. Sixteen weeks ago I broke my toe. And 9 weeks ago my coach and I decided that accepting a fundraising bib through the nonprofit I work for would be a great way to trick me out of the (understandable) trepidations I've had about really reinvesting myself in running. All that said, my marathon prep has been surprisingly smooth, and it has been completely full of joy. My body has cooperated, my long runs have been mostly fun (thanks to the company of my Oiselle NC teammate Meredith Bazemore), and I'm coming out the other side feeling more like myself than I have in years. My goals for the race are as unconventional as my prep: logistically speaking, I have 5 fundraising athletes running, so I want to finish ahead of them so I can greet them at the finish line. But most of all, my goal is to cross the finish line healthy, whole, and overflowing with gratitude for this terrible/wonderful journey I've been on this year, and for the people who got me through it. Because really, who would have ever thought it could possibly turn out like this?
This will be my first Boston. Last year when I was turning 40 I set the big, scary goal to qualify for Boston. I didn't exactly have any blazing fast times to show that it was in the bag! And not just qualify, but make it in to run the race. It might've been safer to keep this to myself, but I told everyone my goal and achieved that mark (3:42) at the steamy Buffalo marathon. I've thought about running the race on marathon Monday every day since then. I logged my highest mileage month of my life this March during the cold winter stretch in Upstate New York. As so many women do, I wear a lot of hats: wife, mom, social worker, youth coach and finally "runner". I have two daughters, one an aspiring runner herself. Logging miles that aren't always easy, convenient or pretty is important to show them. And having a mom that can state out loud bold goals, with no guarantee of achieving, is also crucial to their development as young women. My 12-year-old wants a Boston jacket of her own, and I dream of the day that I can see that happen. My goal for Monday is to have race I'm proud of, no matter what the day may bring, and that my girls see a strong, happy, athlete mom in the process.
I've been injured since late last summer. Needless to say, approaching Boston injured and undertrained was not what I envisioned. But I'm really proud of the emotional and mental work I put in — this cycle was about letting go, finding ease within struggle, and cultivating gratitude. I won't PR and I won't run a pretty race, but I'm going to show up, toe the line, dig deep, and be okay with whatever happens.
When I BQ’d I hired a coach to help me put a plan together. I was doing so well with my training until shin splints turned into a grade 2 stress reaction. I haven’t run on the road in about a month, but have spent many hours running in the pool, spinning and strength training. With my doctor’s ok, my coach’s support and my number one sherpa waiting at the finish, I am going to go out for an easy 26.2 run and enjoy the journey. The time on the clock doesn’t matter because anytime I cross a finish line is a good day. Special shout out - you can do hard things.
Boston 2017 will most likely be my 5th and final marathon. I hope to end with a goal time of 3:15!
Will you be in Boston? Come cheer with us! Follow @oiselle_team on twitter for live updates and find our Cowbell Corner at Mile 13!
Lesko + Feather