dream. train. run. repeat.

“We fail all the time, and we learn from it and we get better. I think that’s amazing. You fail your way to success. That’s how it happens, and I’m super comfortable with that. I have no problem pointing out a bunch of failures in my career. But I don’t define myself or my career as a failure.” —Des Linden

This is about running so bear with me if it’s not your thing… It’s spring which means the running season is in full swing.Next weekend is Bluenose Marathon weekend and I think it’s my 7th time running the Bluenose half. David and Mike are doing the 5km and I’m going to add a bit of volunteering and a lot of cheering to the mix.

The following weekend is the Cabot Trail Relay – year: five; leg: 12; starting time: 12:35 am: distance: 15:78 km; running with a team: priceless. 

and other than the Rum Runner’s Relay at the end of September, I have no big plans…

Except for… The Berlin (freaking) Marathon! Whoa! Jenna, Kristin and I are running one of the World Marathon Majors with +40,000 of our friends.Call us crazy for flying to Europe to run and call us crazier for bringing the families. Yes, that’s right, we have a lovely Airbnb booked for 6 = adults, 1 = nine-year-old, 2 = four-year-olds and 2 = 1-year-olds.Don’t worry, it’s going to be amazing… there will be beer and pretzels and If all goes as planned, this will be marathon seven for me and the third of the World Marathon Majors. (Chicago recap, New York City recap, Berlin, London, Tokyo and Boston).We’re 18 weeks out, and training starts now! After spending the last month obsessing over Des’ Boston win and the past five months obsessing about my last marathon I decided to start dreaming big and putting it out there for all to hear. I want this:

Okay, so I don’t need to win Boston… I just want to qualify. For those who are not familiar with what that means, Boston is one of the only races that you need to qualify for entry. Most races simply follow the “you pay, you’re in” method and the big ones (like the other WMM) have a lottery. Boston qualification is a tricky thing, based on your age, gender and speed. Currently, I am in the Female 35-39 age group so I need a 3:40 marathon finish. My personal best is 3:45:45… but here’s where it gets exciting. Berlin is after the 2019 Boston entry cut-off (early September) so no matter what my time is, it will be used for Boston 2020… which means in 2020 I will be 40 and need a 3:45. Now at first glance, you’re probably thinking “girl, you just need to shave 45 seconds of your personal best…” but sadly that’s not the case. Qualifying for Boston is not just my goal… it’s every runner’s goal and when they BQ, they apply. Because registration is so high, not everyone who qualified in their category will actually get accepted to run Boston. Based on previous years, I actually need to run a 3:40-3:42 to hopefully secure a spot…Are you still with me? Great.It will mostly be Jenna and me suffering through the long runs together because Kristin is in Ottawa but, we signed on with a running coach and are starting to get serious!

When it comes to training, I always do my best to put in the miles but there’s never been anyone holding me accountable for how well I am actually running. There’s something to be said about following a plan and knowing your being tracked. Data is being exposed, and all of my Strava followers are watching (for the record, I have three Strava followers: one is Jenna and the other one is our coach). Even though we just started, the feedback has me excited to see the progress as the weeks tick away. My big goals for training are: learn to run by feeling and pay attention to my pace (easy on easy days to save energy for the hard days) + better hydration and fueling and a bit more strength training.  So cross your fingers that training goes well. Even though I want a BQ, I know a large race like Berlin may not be the perfect place to get it. I am prepared to keep plugging away, even if it takes another 10 years and a few more World Marathon Majors.

Regardless of the outcome in September… it’s BERLIN BABY! It’s fun to have two friends training for the same race and exciting to imagine running around Berlin.Oh, and if you are still reading and want to hear more from my good friend Des, there’s a really great podcast episode. It’s before her Boston win and she talks about the importance of setting a big goal, failing and putting in the time. Check it out: Ali on the Run – Des Linden

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg
(all gifs are from Giphy)

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