With moments to go before the 2013 Boston Marathon hits the street, I am reflective of the past year of running because it means that my own countdown also begins. This time next year (God willing), I will be at that start line, having BQ’d during the 2013 Tallahassee Marathon.
In the last handful of months, jobs have changed, kids have grown, pets have passed, lands have been traveled. And I have truly morphed from a casual runner to one with serious focus.
Becoming part of the Oiselle Team was the initial reason to strive for racing success, and as I began to train with real focus, the successes began to come. Those successes have not necessarily come in the form of wins; rather, they have been in the form of personal improvements. Interestingly, the focus and determination that a desire to compete – with myself, for the most part – engendered a focus and determination to compete with other runners.
I think it was Dr. Sheehan who said that the difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry form. There were many entry forms in this past year, including a marathon – something I thought (actually, vowed) I’d never do. And now that I have, I am so very thankful that I tried. I’m so humbled, surprised by and proud of the successes I’ve had in running. Am I the fastest runner in the field? Not usually. On the Oiselle Team? Not a chance. But I’m continually faster than myself and it’s getting easier and easier. I have a pretty solid sense that this trend won’t last, so I’m enjoying it while I can.
We tell our kids that every success comes down to a combination of attitude and effort… if nothing else, this past year of racing has been visual proof of that tenet. For the next year, that cocktail will fuel every mile I run toward Boston 2014. It will take me through Chicago (marathon) and perhaps another, through the start lines of many more half marathons, 10k’s, 5k’s, 15k’s and more. On road and on trail. Some will be glorious, some hard, but all useful.
The gun is about to go off at Boston 2013, and with that, I step up to my own start line. Deep breath.