Please Come to Boston

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I'm back.

I know, right?

To make a really long, totally MIA story short, I just had nothing to say. Not too much exciting happened, except for becoming a doctor and an aunt. It's basically the same life everyone else lives, except for this one little thing...

I have become a runner. A serious one.

Now, let's take a moment to review my history of doing anything athletic or healthy:

  • Ages 0-26: Absolutely no exercise whatsoever. Occasional pretending to diet or do Weight Watchers without attending meetings or going inside Baylor's gym to see what was happening in there.
  • Ages 26-27: Discovered indoor cycling. Started to make friends with the idea of exercising. Attended a month-long, miserable exercise boot camp (during which I participated in all activities except for the daily running).
  • Ages 28-29: Moved to New York. Could no longer afford the gym. Proceeded to do weeks one and two of the Couch to 5K app for two years. Despised running longer than approximately 60 seconds. Worked up to maximum distance of a whopping two blocks.
  • Age 29: My super-runner boss told me to run slower. Decided she was insane but listened anyway. Registered for the National September 11 Memorial inaugural 5K. Ran the entire 5K without stopping and immediately swore that I was done with running.
  • Age 30: Moved to Kansas and became a little (a lot?) restless. Registered for the Oklahoma City Memorial half marathon. Trained hard and finished in 2:48. Immediately swore I had no interested in anything longer than the half marathon. 
  • Age 31: Signed up for the OKC half again. Underestimated the final dissertation semester madness and fell in love with this little person. Proceeded to run a half marathon with absolutely no training in 3:05. 

Obviously, somewhere after that first half marathon last year, I started to wonder about something more. Now, for those of you who know me well, daydreaming about something bigger is kind of a pattern. It's how I got myself into the summer in Italy and New York and the Ivy League and all of the good stories of my life. And you also know that once I've started to daydream about something, I find (strategic/unrealistic/hard to justify/awesome) ways to make it real.

So I entered the New York City Marathon lottery, just to see what would happen. I am a super slow runner. No way I would ever qualify. People apply for lottery entry for years without gaining entry. I, however, am awesome at lotteries. Naturally, I got in on my first try. I've never been so thrilled to see a $266 charge on my credit card. Later that day, we discovered that this little person wanted to be in our family. Here is what Little thought of his first half marathon spectator experience:

26.2 miles is ridiculous. Insane. I can't even handle it. Except... somewhere in the last 10 weeks of training, I realized that I could. I'm running about 23 miles a week and adding a half marathon nearly every weekend. Last weekend, I ran my fastest half time yet (2:39) on the most awful, total uphill, downtown Kansas City course. For the first time, I ran 13.1 miles straight (with no walking). For the overweight, not in shape, struggled to fit in through high school and college girl inside of me, this is epic. I love race medals and free race photography...

In a very strange turn of events, I actually have no doubt about my ability to run 26.2 through the five boroughs of New York in five weeks. But if you really know me really well, you know that the "what's next?" daydreams show up like clockwork. (It's like an "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" type situation). Two weeks ago, when I started seeing information about another opportunity, I was hooked. The Chief (a.k.a. Mom, if you're new here) and I agreed that I wouldn't apply next year. It wasn't the right time. Too much going on in 2016.

Obviously, I applied anyways.

I am quite good at applications. I look great on paper. 

Wait five weeks, they said. But 24 hours later, I got a response.

Please Come to Boston.

So this, my friends, is the story of how a girl who couldn't run two blocks got herself into the Boston Marathon. In a five-month span, I'm going to run two of the six World Marathon Majors (leaving only Chicago, Tokyo, London, and Berlin to go). I cannot believe that I am doing this... that I'm this person. We're just under six weeks from New York City and 30 weeks from Boston. 

November 1 and April 18. 

Because I'm a little bit stubborn and a little bit fearless and a little bit determined to do the things I think I can't. I'll do my best to keep writing. Apologies in advance for the annoying social media posts. Thanks a bunch for all the love.

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