Chasing the Dream

by Sara on April 21, 2014

When I was 22, and training for my first marathon, I naively set a goal for myself to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon by the time I was 25.  I’ll be 29 this year and I am a long, long way away from a qualifying time of 3:35 (my personal best is a whopping 4:43:54).  And yet every year I find myself more and more inspired and wonder if I am just kidding myself when I say it doesn’t matter if I never get there.

From my first Boston experience I just knew there was something magical about the whole thing.  I mean why would thousands of people turn out in the freezing cold and cheer for people running?  Why are these people even out in the cold running in the first place? And though I didn’t understand then I could not see it any more clearly now.

Just like last year I couldn’t wait to get to work, get myself settled into a project & pop in my ear buds as the live coverage of the Marathon transported me to a place far away from the chaos and stress of my job.  For the next 2 1/2 hours I would follow along intently analyzing every move along with the announcers and feverishly texting play by plays to anyone that would listen.

The women were off.  “the race course is a beautiful necklace of towns…” says one of the announcers and I smile to myself loving how they describe every little part of the race.  Down to the fact that they were referring to the sports drink the athletes were consuming as, “refreshment”.  I was doing my best to multi-task but I was beginning to wonder how I was ever going to get things done today.  How was I even going to hold it together after how much today means to the city of Boston & the running community?

I got wide-eyed watching Shalene pull out to the front of the pack hoping this didn’t turn into a repeat of last year (it did). And then did the same thing when Meb pulled the lead for the men, (at least things ended well for him). I watched every last second of that race with a racing heart and I could feel the inspiration building inside me.  From Rita Jeptoo breaking the women’s course record, to Meb Keflezighi beating out Wilson Chebet by a mere eleven seconds and becoming the first american male to win in 31 years, to watching the last wave of runners start knowing that so many of them were not able to finish last year.

This is the dream.

Even if you say it’s not, or think it’s an impossible task I think in everyone lies a tiny spark of desire to one day toe that line in Hopkinton.  Obviously it did not happen before I was 25.  It probably won’t happen before I turn 30.  It probably won’t happen before I have kids (a whole new post for another day).  But to say that I don’t care if it never happens would be a lie.  Impossible dreams push you to become better than you could have ever imagined.

There’s a tiny part of that dream in all runners.  Let’s make that dream come true.


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