Ultimate Bootcamp Trainer Meghan candidly re-caps her first Boston Marathon experience.
The Boston Marathon is the oldest and most well known marathon throughout the world. Being from the Boston area, I had to run it. There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
I ran my first marathon with the goal of qualifying for Boston in 2011. I did so by the skin of my teeth - crossing the finish line with 30 seconds to spare. I woke up extra early the next morning, unable to sleep; it was registration day for the Boston Marathon. I dragged my sore body downstairs and logged online. Again, I got lucky and got a number for the 2011 Boston Marathon.
Fast-forward to April 18, 2011, I woke up with my goal time set in mind, 3 hours and 30 minutes, laced up my sneakers and began the journey to Hopkinton. I was focused, ready to compete with my mind, my body, and the clock.
I began running at my goal pace, and kept it up for the first 9 miles. Then, I started to slip. My legs suddenly felt as if weights had been tied to my ankles. My goal of running Boston faster than my first marathon quickly faded as a crossed the halfway mark. This is when a surprising thing happened.
Though I logged countless miles training in the cold weather, strengthened my legs to prepare for the hills to achieve my goal and even had to jump into a snow bank to avoid being hit by a car during a training run, I was not disappointed with my performance. I looked up and was surrounded by people. Runners, just like me, trying to do their best, pulling one leg in front of another tirelessly. I looked left and right, the streets lined with children, parents, and college students, screaming their lungs off like it was Super Bowl Sunday.
It was the most chaotic scene I have ever experienced, but I was at peace. There is something inspiring and magical about 30,000 people who all have the same goal at the same time- reach Boylston Street and cross that finish line. The spectators never lulled and made each runner feel like they were the winner of the marathon. I realized, despite missing my goal, I was a winner.
It takes courage and determination to reach your goals, but it also takes a little bit of luck. April 18th was not the day I would run a 3:30 marathon. I did not even come close, but I was a winner. I had the courage to start, to make that goal, to tell everyone I knew about that goal, and admit I had failed. However, the next thing I tell people is that I have not given up, I will reach that goal, there is always next time.
Whatever your goal may be, embrace it. You may fail once, twice, a dozen times, but if you never give yourself the chance to fail, you will never succeed.