Finally! It took four attempts and finally the fourth marathon was a success. I qualified for Boston….barely! I needed a 3:55:00 to qualify and I squeaked in with a 3:54:30. Yes, by just 30 seconds! I’m so happy I didn’t take that potty break at mile 21 and that when I stopped to tie my shoe it only took 3 seconds. If I would have missed qualifying by a second I would have been devastated. Better to have not qualified by minutes than by seconds in my book, and for me it came down to the wire.
At one point somewhere between miles 20 and 25 I really didn’t think I was going to make it and conceded that a sub 4 hour would suffice. I convinced myself that I originally only wanted a sub 4 hour in the beginning when I started running marathons in the first place and that qualifying for Boston just wasn’t in the cards for me. But then came mile 25 and only 1.2 miles left. With a quick look at my Garmin I saw I had 11 minutes left to the cut-off. Between miles 20 and 25 I slowed to a 9:40 to 10:00 pace but with just 1.2 miles and 11 minutes left, that gave me the motivation I needed to pick it up and pick it up I did! I ran mile 26 in 8:46 and as I was making the last turn toward the finish and watching my Garmin tick down I gave it all I had and sprinted in at the end at a 6:41 pace – I had made it!!
And now I wait. Just because I qualified for Boston does not guarantee me entry, or that I can even register. No, last year you had to qualify by 1:02 to register which means anyone that qualified by one minute and one second or slower could not register or run Boston. My hope is that fewer people will register for Boston this year (I know, wishful thinking) and that once registration opens for all, there will be enough room left for us “squeakers” to get in.