Friday, May 16, 2014

9 Days to Go!

Would you look at that? I'm 9 days out from my first attempt at chasing the unicorn and I am flooded with joy and prickly fear and gratefulness. For those of you who aren't toeing the line of insanity about qualifying for the Boston Marathon, 'chasing the unicorn' is Runspeak for 'trying to qualify for Boston'; this is because, naturally, the symbol of the Boston Marathon race is a unicorn:

So what does it take to qualify for the most prestigious marathon in the world? Well for my age group, I have to finish the race in under 3 hours and 35 minutes, which calculates out to 8:12 minute/mile pace maximum. My crazy-ass goal for the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon is a 7:43 pace, but my real-person goal is to cross that finish line in under 3:35. There you have it. Inked in Internet-land for all to see, for better or worse.

But as I mentioned in my previous post, I run because it's love and it's life and it's every embodiment of earning and sowing and getting out of something so much more than you put into it. I've had a lot of time during these long runs and speed workouts to contemplate why I prioritize running over movies and nights out and drinking with friends and eating large quantities of chocolate cake in my yoga pants on my bed (though much cake has still been consumed, for good measure).

The answer came to me on a 5 mile run in the heat the other day, while I struggled to understand why now, less than 2 weeks until race day, my foot was acting up in a very stress-fracturesque way. I prioritize running because it means I'm prioritizing myself. I'm putting my passion, my health, and my thoughts in front of very nearly everything else in my life because sometimes being selfish is okay. Yep, I said it.

Because sometimes at age 22, you can't quite hold onto anything for very long as things iterate and change and wind and squiggle in a world that is thumping like sprinting heartbeats and everywhere you look there are more pressures and sizzling conflicts and opaque relationships and expectations and heartbreaking, beautiful, growing, learning, unreal things. Because sometimes the pounding and aching of well-worn feet tell me more about how far I've come and reveal the secrets of where I'm from and where I'm going better than any career coach or mentor or online personality test ever could. I prioritize running because even if I don't qualify for Boston, or finish the race, or get out of bed that morning, there will always be another race.

I prioritize running because this is what being alive looks like to me:  

Stinson Beach, 2014
Okay, enough of the sappy stuff. That's been a burning topic weighing on my heart lately and I thought I'd rest it here for awhile.

The nitty-gritty highlights from the past 2 weeks include my last 2 long speed workouts - 8x800 m on the track and 8xhill repeats - which went really well! Special thanks to the rogue running supporter from the Cal Triathlon team who cheered me on during my 8x800 intervals despite not knowing me at all and doing shorter intervals of his own. Runners are super cool people, trust me on that one. It certainly made solo intervals much easier to get through!

The taper depression is really in full swing at the moment - bringing my mileage down to 35 - 40 miles is certainly freeing up some time and preparation work, but ultimately is making me do the "can I even run 26.2 miles anymore?" self-questioning. I know it's natural and I know this is not unique to me, but it's real!

Here's my run-spo of the day:

Take heart, my friends.


  1. Rooting for you girl - good luck! GET THAT UNICORN!

  2. Riiiiiidiculous how similar our posts are of late. Hot damn, girl. Hay IS in the barn. Enjoy the harvest time. :) xo

  3. GOOD LUCK! I can't wait to see how it goes.