During my first two marathons, I have literally been alone... Even among the droves of people who were also experiencing the journey of completing a marathon. Last month however, I had other plans when I joined the movement out in Miami. People were either running in the 5K, half-marathon, or marathon. I really wanted to enjoy myself and only run the half, but I was convinced to run the marathon. Why? I’m glad you asked...Basically to run fast enough in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon (BQ).
This was going to be the first marathon that I was going to be running with other runners: Joe and Javie. Racing with others isn’t always easy, because we all have our different ways for doing just about everything. I digress...me and my brothers happened to fall within the 18-34 Age Group. The qualifying time for men in this age group is 3 hours 5 minutes 0 seconds. Crossing the finish line at some time below that was the goal, since last year the cut-off was somewhere around two-and-a-half minutes below the qualifying time.
Now, Javie and Joe had been training together, but I was sticking to a new method: run ultra marathons and I’ll always be ready for a marathon. LOL! Of course, I continued to squeeze the speedwork in on a weekly basis. Personally, pushing further and further in the amount of miles I can do without stopping has really made the difference for me. Numbers and statistics, for me, go so far...what matters most is listening to my body. We communicate very well.
Running in the Miami Marathon, Joe and I were together for the first 20 miles, which was awesome! So much happened along the way. For example, Javie had some issues around mile-10, which forced him to slow his pace. We also ran into so many other crews and cheer squads along the way. For a short while we even had the top-female finisher with us around mile 16 or 17. Who kindly stated, “I’ll stick with you guys for a sec before I pass this chick.” Please note that was not verbatim.
At the mile-20 mark, Joe then wanted to pick it up, but I told him I’d be right behind him. His comfortable pace is a bit faster than my own. Thanks to Javie I learned how to run smart as opposed to pushing it too hard and risking injury. I remained right behind Joe and cruised through the finish line with a time of 3:00:33 right after Joe’s 2:58:45, and even with slowing his pace, Javie managed to finish strong at 3:14:52.
We not only achieved our goal but we crushed it. We have more than enough cushion to BQ for the 2017 Marathon. It’s a goal and a dream of many runners to BQ, so I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the movement in 2017.
Until then we’ll continue to do as we normally do. Empower communities to get fit! It all starts with us, so we’ll set goals and push past them. And remember friends strengthen each other:
Yours in the movement,