So I definitely forgot to celebrate my official 1 year anniversary of my blog, which was on January 8th! I can't believe I've been able to keep Trails & Cocktails going for a whole year. This blog has become such an important part of my life, and has allowed me to connect with so many amazing people. Something that started as a means of chronicling my progress in ultramarathon training has become a creative outlet for me to share some really intimate and honest feelings.
Most recently I've been thinking of the big picture. Not just my next goal race or the year ahead. I'm thinking big, scary, intimidating goals. Since I had a hugely successful 2013 goal setting and accomplishing cycle, I just can't get help but get one burning desire out of my head.
I want to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon.
Let me explain where this is coming from. Sure, Boston is a road marathon, and I am all about trail running, right? Well, what I've learned over the last few years, is that I do not do well with the "all or nothing" approach. From 2009-2012, I was all about road racing and burned out from road marathons. Then, in 2013 I went all-in on long trail races, with NO road races, and eventually became overburdened by super long trail runs every weekend. So, in 2014 I am taking a different approach, by running a good mix of shorter road and trail races so I can finally recover from burnout and get my fix of both styles of running, which I love in different ways.
But back to Boston. 2013 gave me a lot of perspective on setting and achieving goals. If you had asked me in January of 2012, when I was coming off of a whole year of not running, if I could run a 50 mile race, I would have said, "no effing way!" If you had asked me one year ago, when I had just started training for my very first 50k race, if I could run a 50 mile race, I would have said, "I'll give it my best shot!" And if you asked me today if I could run a 50 mile race, I would say, "hell yes, and I bet I could finish a 100 miler too."
The thing about reaching previous goals, is that it inspires you to set higher, previously "unreachable" goals. I have confidence that proper training and preparation will lead to results that I never thought could be possible. Sure, training is not always foolproof, and may take longer than expected. But unless the goal is out there, waiting to be accomplished, it might never be reached.
There will always be excuses, like "Oh, well, I could never be fast enough" or "I don't have the time to train". But these excuses are only made up by our own minds to protect ourselves from failure and defeat.
I know that deep down in my heart, I want to qualify for Boston someday, hopefully within the next couple of years. I know it will be not be easy and I have a very long way to go. I have to shave over 34 minutes off my current marathon PR to even qualify for my age group. It may take many tries, and I may never get that 3:35. But I know for certain that it's not impossible.