|Passing Cape Henry Light|
|Bart and Cheyenne|
The other reason this marathon was so special is because I finally hit my goal of running a time that would qualify me to enter the Boston Marathon! I had to run a time of 3:35:00 in order to qualify. My PR was a 3:43 from last October at the Southern Tennessee Plunge Marathon. I knew I had what it would take to run a 3:35. I also knew it would take everything I had. And it did. I cruised through the first 18 miles at an 8:01 average pace (I needed to maintain an 8:12 pace to hit a 3:35). Usually, by mile 18 the fatigue is starting to set in and I am already starting to have a hard time keeping the pace. Not this time. I had a burst of energy between miles 17 – 20. I felt so strong. I was picking up my pace and picking off runners one by one. All of those miles were around a 7:45 – 7:55 pace. I felt great and had a smile on my face.
|Sprinting to the finish!|
I crossed the finish line completely depleted, but filled with joy. I finished the race with a time of 3:32:21 (a personal best by 11 minutes)! I had qualified for the Boston Marathon! And Cheyenne and Travis were both there to celebrate with me at the finish line. It was a day I will cherish forever!
I want to say thank you to everyone who prayed for me, encouraged me, sent me text messages to wish me good luck, and stood by me throughout my training to help me reach my goals. I am truly blessed to have such support from family and friends.
My advice to everyone would be to dream big and never give up on your goals. Stay focused and work hard! Eliminate excuses and surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you. YOU CAN DO IT!