That’s All Folks

It was time to end a great and rough journey. October 7th was the day I had in my mind for a very long time. I signed up for the race on February before it sold out in only six days. I was glad it was all coming to an end but nervous of not knowing what the outcome would be. I felt ready but in 26.2 miles anything can happen. Here is the story of those last few moments of my Road to the 2012 Chicago Marathon.

I started my trip to Chicago on Thursday morning. I got there a bit before my father did and waited for him at the airport. Once he got there we randomly met a friend I used to run with when I was back at home. We all took the train dowtown and walked towards the hotel. It was a bit cold and starting to get cloudy. Once we settled down in the room I changed and went out to explore Michigan Ave. the best way I know how to (running). It was raining a bit but I covered up, I was not leaving any chances for a virus to get me like it did in Houst0n. Once I came back my dad and I went out for a pasta dinner. We got back to the hotel and that was it for Thursday. Friday you could start sensing the marathon vibe as we were 48 hours away from the start. I woke up early and went to run/walk along ColumbusDr. where the race would start the next day.  You could see runners everywhere. I was enjoying the moment. After getting back, showering and breakfast we went to pick up my race package. I excited but trying to stay relaxed. I sat down a few times during the expo. It was just huge and so much going on it was impossible to cover it all. We headed back to the hotel, had lunch, I had some time to rest and then went to meet a friend for dinner who I had not seen in 3 years. She was running her first marathon, I was on my fifth but we both just wanted to finish and hopefully qualify for Boston. After dinner, I headad back, did some stretching and went to bed. Saturday went by so slow. I woke up for my final shake off run. I did not take it seriously at all, I just jogged so slow a turtle could catch up, took pictures of the run and enjoyed it, made some friends that were doing the same thing as I was and finally went back for breakfast. I showered, changed and went with my dad to Pasta Cruise. This cruise was planned for runners. We got on a boat, ate unlimited pasta and had a great view of the Windy City from Lake Michigan. After that we headed to the Sears Tower which is now known as the Willis Tower. Our plan was to go up to the top, but the line was 90 minutes long so I decided not to do it. I wanted to but standing in line for 90 minutes was not part of my relax plan. We headed back to the hotel. I stayed there to relax then went to dinner at six downstairs in the hotel. My nerves were starting to come out full force.

Finally, the day had come. At 4:50 am the alarm went off. I woke up knowing that this day was finally here. I was nervous as I had not been the whole five months of training. Over 850 miles pounded on the road and I was a mile away from the starting line, less than three hours from the starting gun. A marathon is a marathon, it will always be hard to picture no matter if is your first or your fifth. It is not what you usually wake up to do on a Sunday morning. I did everything I could to stay calm, relaxed and ready. I ate breakfast, I stretched, I hydrated. I headed out the door of my hotel room knowing that when I came back I would not be walking straight, but I would call myself a marathoner once again. My dad and I walked to the starting line. As we got closer we started to realize just how big this event was. People all over the place, runners all over the street, families saying goodbye to their athletes. I warmed up along Michigan Avenue and stretched on my way to the bathroom. Once I got done with that it was my turn to say bye to my dad one last time. I hugged him and turned around into Gate 1. After that I went to turn in my bag and go to Corral A. I was with the fastest people in Chicago that day. I could see the start a few yards away. I finished my stretches and lined up. Two minutes before the start the American National Anthem was sung and I stayed quiet. One minute before the race I turned around and wished good luck to everyone around me. I jumped to get a glimpse of the sea of people behind me. And at 7:30:10 the race director got the race going. It took me less than a minute to get out and even less than that to realize that the moment I had been training for so long was actually happening. We went into a tunnel and crossed a bridge for the first time. Once we got out the bridge, you could see people cheering on the side of the course. That would not stop from that moment on. I settled into my goal pace pretty quickly. My first mile was at 6:55. I was feeling good and confident I was going to make it to Boston this time. I kept telling myself that. I enjoyed the crowds, the scenery, the course and being among the “few” people in the worked that were running the Chicago Marathon. I went through the 5K mark feeling great, confident on every stride. Right below my goal pace. I couldn’t wait for mile 6, when the people that were tracking me would receive their first update. I did it to mile 6 in about 42 minutes, which was again just under my goal time. I kept the momentum and the good vibes going up to mile 13. I was just ahead of schedule at that point but I could start feeling something behind my legs really bad about to happen. I told myself to keep going, do not stop. At mile 16 I was still in pace for Boston but by mile 17 that wasn’t the same. I cramped at mile 16, once again at 17 and a final cramp at 18. That was it for my Boston dream. I did not panic, but I was sad, I did not give up but I was not happy. I was going to finish but those three cramps took away a lot from my motivation. Now I just hanging on to finish under 3:30. No personal best either. I decided to have fun, high five as many kids and adults that were cheering along the course. Every time I saw a Mexican flag I would go and touch it. I kept pushing, my feet were getting swollen and I was getting colder. I got really hungry and all I thought about was “burgers.” I got onto Michigan Avenue with 2.5miles to go. I saw the mile to go mark and I knew that was it. I glimpsed at the buildings and made a final turn into Columbus Dr. I was 300 meters from the finish now. All that work, all those runs, all the diets. I was now a step away from the finish. I raised my arms, thanked God and life for this opportunity and crossed the finish line in 3:27:24. The marathon was over all of a sudden for me. It was all over, no more running for a while now. I did not finish where I wanted but I finished. I now need one whole hand to count the marathons I’ve completed. Chicago is #3 as in time but #1 as in experience.

Once I got done running I tried to cool down a bit. It was not easy with my body so weak and tortured. I made it to the water station with the finisher medal around my neck and sat down for a bit by the sidewalk. I almost fell asleep but I knew I had to keep walking to get my things and walk back to the hotel. It was extremely painful to do all that. I high fived fellow runners that had just accomplished the same thing as me. We were all marathon-finishers. Some PR’d, others like me did not. We had all been part of Chicago’s largest running field ever and a few hours later I found out I had been running in the footsteps of Kebede. An ethiopian who broke the course record that same day. I felt accomplished by being done but bummed Boston would have to wait at least six more months. I grabbed some food on my way out of the recovery zone. I slowly (super slowly) made my way back to my hotel room. The rest of the day was not relaxing at all. I went on one last walk through downtown Chicago, bought a finisher shirt at the NIKE store and got my finisher medal engraved with my name, time and place. After that I got my burger. It was pretty small but it tasted just as good as I had hoped for for the last 5 months. I started drinking coke without any regrets. I was happy part of what I had sacrificed for so long was back, but I know I will need to work harder to make it to the starting line in Hopkinton in 2014.

Before I knew it, that day I headed back to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. I said goodbye to my biggest fan that weekend and a great supporter of all my dreams. He refuses to give up on me and I had a great time with him that weekend. I had not seen him since June and I was glad he was part of my Chicago Marathon Experience. I will probably come back for some sort of revenge in 2013 but I don’t want to rush that decision. My dad was a great sport all weekend long. He made sure I was getting what I needed all weekend. I really thank him for making such a long trip to see me and 45,000 people run. My family has really made an impact on the person I am today and they are my biggest motivation to keep pushing every day. Before the plane took off the captain congratulated all the runners from the Marathon. I thank everyone that followed my journey to Chicago in different ways. Running with me, talking with me about it or being there. I gave it all I had that day and unfortunately it wasn’t enough to reach my goals but I will not give up on that. I will work even harder than how I did now to break my goal next time. I feel I did not accomplish my Boston dream but not every 24-year-old boy can say he has ran five marathons. It was a long road and I am willing to start all over again if that is what it takes to accomplish my Boston dream. For now “That’s All Folks.”

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Time to #OwnChicago

Well. It is almost October 7. A lot of things have happened in the world since May when I started training for this. A lot has happened in my life since I started training. A lot of miles have been logged since I started training. The weather, the strength, my weight, my hair length etc… But one thing remains the same and that is to finish the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I would be lying if I told you the process up to now was easy, painless and that it did not require major sacrifice. I had to go through every one of those and much more to say I am ready today. I fly on Thursday, I pick up my race number (1890) on Friday and relax on Saturday. Sunday I line up on one more race, but the biggest one of my life. My fifth marathon. That doesn’t mean I am really good at doing this. I keep coming back because the marathon has something no other race/distance I’ve ran has. It’s a secret element that despite the pain always makes you wonder what could have been if you were better prepared. If you ate better, if you ran better. Well, I fell that I am in the best shape of my marathon running life till now. But you don’t qualify to Boston by thinking you will qualify but by actually making it happen.

Excited, nervous, worried, confident, hyper, relaxed. A lot of feelings and emotions have gone through my head in the past few days I have been tapering. I don’t use the same amount of energy or run the same amount of time as I did a couple of weeks ago. I am trying to relax. Running as slow as possible to save the energy I have for the big day. My training was pretty simple last week. My longest run was 10 miles and I was ready to get it done before it started. My short runs were 4 miles, and I had one more tempo run which I did not worry of running my fastest but of pacing. I stopped working on my kick and enjoying the run more. I have a lot to thank to people and to God for having me here in this moment. I am happy I made it all the way without any serious injuries. I am happy for all the support from family and friends up to this moment. I will definitely think about everyone when I get out in Chicago for a 26.2 mile run. The weather for race day looks great. I was worried when I signed up to be running on 80-90 degree weather, and I have seen the forecast showing 30’s. The stars are lining up for a good day at Chi-Town.

It is time for me to believe on what I have done and what I can do. I am confident I have done all the work. I am sure I will give it my best. I want to enjoy the whole experience. From takeoff at DFW to landing back here and everything in between. Chicago brings me back a great memory in my running career. In Chicago I was able to show my then college coach he had not made a bad decision by recruiting me. I am more than excited to go back there and show myself and the world what I can do. The stage is set for me to do great. I’m starting close to the front. I have had some very solid last few weeks of training. My body and mind feel ready. I want to Own Chicago. I want to enjoy every step of the race no matter how bad it hurts. I can do something others never think they can do or I can say I can run 26.199 miles more than them. I will not wear headphones on the race. I want to listen to my body, the crowds, the runners. I want to be great and call myself a 5-time marathoner, be an inspiration to others. I want to keep moving forward. I want to see where has all this training taken me to.

It is time to OwnChicago. Time to dream high, have fun and enjoy the run. Time to challenge the body one more time but let the mind do the work. I always say that I train my body so much but that on a race God and my mind will dictate what I can and can’t do. I am an instrument in my own journey and it is thanks to many people around me that I believe I can move on. Thank you everyone for cheering me up, for getting excited with me about this trip. I hope to bring you back great news next week. I thank you for  all the positive vibe you’ve made me feel. Please, keep me in your thoughts and prayers one more time. Sunday at 7:30 am it is the beginning of the end of this adventure. 44,999 people and me will take on the streets of Chicago. Everyone with a different background but everyone trying to finish what we all have prepared so hard for. Until next week!

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Status=Ready

What an exciting 21 weeks it has been. I started with barely being able to run 5 miles without a break after a month off to today having just ran my second fastest ever half-marathon without even trying really hard. 21 weeks and 790.543 miles (1264.87 kms) ran it has just been exhuasting, painful but rewarding. I keep telling myself that I don’t have to think about just one workout. I worked every day thinking on October 7. I believed every piece of the puzzle would get me ready for that day. I believed in the bigger picture made out of little pieces called workouts. Today, it’s not October 7 yet but it is very very close. I remember a few days back posting that I was 100 days away. I knew that was a lot of time. Where has all that time gone now, today I am only 12 days away. It’s all downhill from here. I just have to relax and not rust. I just have to enjoy and not suffer, I just have to think and not run away. I am only 12 days away from the biggest race of my life.

God and destiny put me in this spot for a reason and I am just going there to enjoy the moment. That is when I run the best. I stop thinking of “what if” and go into “that just happened” mode. I run my best races on big stages, on the hardest moments where its all about me. I know on October 7th, 45 thousand peolpe will be racing with me but for me it is my race and nothing else matters. I run my race so I can be proud of what I accomplish and I can get a PR and why not a ticket to Boston. I have the experience of 4 marathon where I’ve experienced the good the bad and the ugly of this addicting race. The pain is addicting, the adrenaline is too, maybe the 26.2 mile idea is not. But I do have to forget about the past when it comes to Chicago. Every 26.2 mile race is a whole different experience than the other.

Last week at practice I felt great. I pushed the pace a bit for the most part really working on that kick. On tuesday I ran almost 8 miles with a second half two minutes faster than the first. On wednesday I ran a four mile tempo in the fastest pace I’ve ran in a long time for that distance (averaging about 6:05/mile) on Thursday I had another good recovery run and kept the momentum for an amazing 10 mile tempo run on friday. I had even forgot to use my comfortable shoes and went with the most uncomfortable ones for a distance like that. I still ran at  great pace and had enough energy for a strong kick at the end. The next day I ran with a friend from UNT’s XC team and I was the one asking to pick up the pace. I had no idea what would come up on Sunday. I knew I had my last test before the Chicago Marathon at the Plano Balloon Festival Half-Marathon. I had no idea about the course topography but I thought that since the name of the town is Plano it would be flat (I was wrong). It was a rolling course with many sharp turns. I found myself in fifth place from the very beginning and held on to it for the next 13.1 miles. I started too fast so I slowed down halfway through but remembered I had to work on my kick. I knew I was way ahead of pace when I hit the nine mile mark in under one hour. I did have that kick and had my last two miles in 6:30 each and 35 seconds on the last .1. Overall I did great, finished 5th overall in a race with over 500 people and ran my second fastest half marathon ever. (1:25:35)

I am feeling really good going into the last 10 days of preparation. I keep doing the work needed, I keep telling myself that Boston is possible and that on October 7th I will run the race I have pictured, the race I have trained for and celebrate a great accomplishment no matter what happens. I am ready for the challenge and can’t wait to run in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

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It’s All Coming Together

For the past 18 weeks I have worked day in and day out with only one goal in my mind. To finish the Chicago Marathon and hopefully under 3 hours and 5 minutes. Good enough to give me the chance to qualify to the Boston Marathon. The problem was that anything can happen during training and anything can happen during the actual race. I have been pretty healthy for the most part of my running career but the fear of having a major injury is always in a runners head. Adding to the dificulty of the task ahead was the fact that it was a very hot summer in Texas. Temperatures were mostly in the 90’s and even the 100’s when I had to get out to run.

18 weeks ago Chicago seemed too far away to be worried about. Today I am only 19 days away. The nerves of such a big race are already coming to me. The idea that I will be running in front of thousands of people gets me excited and nervous at the same time. I have prepared myself to the best of my ability and availability. But now it’s all downhill on my way to Chicago. Last week was a crucial week of training. It started with a very easy 4 mile run on Tuesday, followed by a 5 mile speed work on Wednesday. That one didn’t go well so I had to cut it short. Thursday came and I had a pretty good7 mile run. I felt better that day than what I had felt in a long time, I had enough energy for a 1 mile kick. Friday I had a great nine mile run. My pace started close to the 7:20’s and I ended up averaging 7:03 on a very hilly course. On Saturday I had an easy 5.5 mile jog on grass for the most part. It was a bit painful but it loosened me up for what came next.

Sunday was now or never for a 20+ mile run. I had worked very hard for the past 18 weeks but I always broke down on the 17-18 mile mark or before. I decided to go to McKinney to do it. I know Denton so well I had to see different things if I wanted to make such a long effort interesting. The weather was perfect. The temperature was on the 60’s, there was some light rain falling over the course and there were no signs the sun would come out soon. I started my run as close as I could to 7:30 to mimmick the actual starting time of the marathon. When I set off, I just prayed that I did not have to stop for the next 150 minutes. It didn’t take me too long to realize it wouldn’t be flat, but with uphills there’s always a downhill to recover. I used it to my advantage. I stopped focusing on my pace and enjoyed the scenario. I felt good, a good stride, a good pace, a good form, and not feeling any major fatigue an hour into the run was a very good thing. I hit the 90 minute mark and knew I was more than halfway done. I knew this was going to be a great run, but I also knew I had dropped out of most of my long runs in between the 90 minute and the 120 minute mark.  As soon as I hit 1:40 I was right by where I started,  so I decided to go out 26 minutes and hoping to make it back in 24. At that point I told myself to make it through the first half and I would be on my way home after that. I was very excited thinking of how much my long run was going to be. I went out for those first 26 minutes and turned around. I smiled and started to head towards the finish. It takes a lot to smile after being out on the road for 126 minutes. But I did it, I know that if you smile during a run, your body is more relaxed. I worked on my kick once again. I got to a point where I was 10 minutes away from the end. I just kept on pushing and when I was 5 minutes away I just told myself to picture it as being that last push which could make a difference between Boston and just a personal best. I stopped the clock 22 miles after I started and 151 minutes later after clicking the start button.

So there you have it. It all came together for the last week of long runs. I finished the day by jogging 3 miles at the end. Today I can walk just fine. It is all coming together now. I know things have a great chance of working out in Chicago. In about 15 days I’ll head out on a plane. Now it’s time to taper, relax and start thinking of what is so close from happening. I am happy with how I’ve been doing this far. I just know the end is near but I’m sure that I’ll be 100% ready when I get to the starting line. I hope the flu doesn’t attack me this time as it did before the Houston Marathon. I will leave it all on the course, that is for sure! It’s all  coming together now and I really like it!

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A Kick That Matters

I can definitely say that the past week was one of the weeks I needed.  I literally got a great week all across the board. My recovery runs felt good, my speed workouts were done at an even better pace than expected and my long run finally felt good. I was really pleased with how everything worked out. I am now less than 4 weeks away from the day I have worked soo hard for. I am running out of fuel in some aspects but in others I am starting to realize how close I am to running in the biggest stage of my life.

Now that I know that I will be starting from the front of the 45,000 runner pack, I know I will not have to speed up at the beginning to catch my pacer. I plan to go with the 3:05 pacer from the start, maybe a few meters behind so I have him as a reference. If I catch up to him I will be below Boston Qualifying time, if I am in front of him I will have a comfort zone to work with and if I am able to catch up to the 3 hour pacer I am either doing really good or something can go really bad. A couple more long runs will determine where I should start and what pace should I go with right off the bat. Yes, 26.2 miles gives you a good amount of time to recover some seconds lost at the beginning but also early mistakes can cost you the race.

I have learned in my past four experiences at the distance that I will finish. But most important is the fact that I now know I need a strong last 3 miles to make it all count. You can have a superb performance in the first 23 miles but it can all go down the drain after that. I have lost my chances of going to Boston twice in the last few miles. I have worked really hard on my kick. It has definitely gotten better. I always start running at a competitive pace but I always tell myself to turn it up once the last 10-15 minutes of the run approach. By the end I should still feel that I have power but I should also feel that I can come back to running in a good shape when the body has been working hard for some miles.

To do this, in training I like to see how I look on the car windows. I check my stride, my arms, if I am leaning forward and if I am lifting my knees up. I also work on controling my breathing for the first part and as soon as I know I am getting close to the end I picture myself going for that last stretch in Chicago and being right under 3:05. I know it might come down to that, and I would like nothing better than knowing I trained for that scenario. In a perfect world I will finish below 3 hours, but you always have to picture your fears so you can overcome them.

As I said, my training this past week went well. I turned 24 and had a great 9 mile run to start my new year. I had a great tempo run with an amazing kick at the end and I had a 14 mile long run where I felt I could have kept on going for a bit longer. This week I have my longest run of the training program. I am aiming for anything above 20 miles.  After that it is time to taper, to relax, to plan and most importantly to focus on the task ahead. Just 22 more days to go. I am getting really excited. Chicago is just around the corner.

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Training Ain’t Easy

The past two weeks have been a proof of how hard training for a marathon can be. So many miles you have to log on your feet, so many hours you have to dedicate to working hard. Such a big time commitment and such a mental pain not to mention the physical pain your body. But now I am so close to the end of this that I keep telling myself it is almost over. That gets me through most workouts but it is always painful to get out there and run with the same energy day in and day out. I might be in better shape than when I started, but I have used a lot of energy to get here. In the end, I know what all this work is for, to get me in the best shape possible to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon which is now only five weeks away.

I skipped over a week on my blogging duties so I’ll try to summarize it. It was my highest mileage week since this whole process started about 15 weeks ago. My shortest run was about seven miles. I got to work a lot on my final kick. That kick will be vital in my aspirations to make it to Boston. It has gotten a lot better in the past couple of weeks. I also had my longest tempo run. A total of 10 miles and 8 of those at marathon pace. I went a bit harder than that and finally managed to run my last half faster than my first. It was all pretty smooth sailing until I came across my long run. I could barely do 15 miles so I wasn’t pleased with that and ran an extra six later that day. Total of 21, which was my longest mileage for a single day but not on a single run.

Moving on to last week I started with my day off on Monday. I really like Mondays now. Tuesday I started the week with an eight miler. The next day I had my 800 meter repeats. I did those on a treadmill but I worked on not looking at my watch until it was over. I kept them all at pretty even paces until I hit the last one of six almost 10 seconds faster than the average. It had been a long day but I was happy on how I had ended it. It had also been a day of going back to school. On Thursday I ran just over seven miles. Again the focus was on running a fast last two miles and I did a good job at it. Friday was tempo day. It is hard to train hard on fridays since you are just looking forward to the weekend. I had to do it, and thankfully it was a great workout with even splits for the first and second half on a day where I wasn’t feeling too loose to start out with. Saturday came another six miler before my long run. I worked on increasing my pace every mile or half a mile. It felt good that day but the next day that was a big mistake. I had so much lactic acid on my legs when I started my long run on Sunday it was hard to run 9 miles of the 19 I had planned.

But in the end the good thing is that there has been more improvements on my preparation than setbacks. Yes, my long runs do get me worried for the most part but knowing that when I do my easy runs and my speed runs, things are coming out the way they should, makes me feel happy. I am starting to feel nervous about what is coming up, but I know I’ll be fine. It’s not my first time running this distance so I’m confident I will finish. I have been moved up to Corral A in the starting line. I will be able to go with my pacer right off  the gun. I am now ready to keep working hard. Only five weeks left. I am excited for this and I know that despite all the pain and sacrifice, hard work pays off and it will on October 7, 2012.

Chicago Marathon Motivational

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500 Miles and Counting

It takes heart and dedication to get out and run one time. It has taken a lot more than that to do that throughout the whole summer. I can’t remember a summer in which I worked as hard as I did this one. It wasn’t easy to get back in shape after a month off. It wasn’t easy to get some runs done with the heat wave that was over Texas. It wasn’t easy to keep my legs strong after having to run on mostly concrete on a daily basis. It wasn’t easy having to train hard when I also had four jobs going on at the same time and it wasn’t easy being away from home for the first summer in my life. What made all of those sacrifices easy was the fact that I want to accomplish my goal at any cost. I haven’t lost sight of my goal after a good day on the road or a bad-running day.  My goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon is still intact. Every day the race gets closer I feel I am on my way to something great. I feel I am closer to that goal, I feel I am going to run the race of a lifetime.

The past week was different to many others. I had the half-marathon on a sunday, so on Monday I had my day-off, on tuesday I did not feel so good but I got my five miles in. On wednesday I had a very bad day at training. I was supposed to get 2 miles easy, 3 miles at a 6:20 min/mile and 3 miles cool-down. I was lucky to get the first two miles in pace but I could barely get 2 at the pace hard pace my training program dictated. I barely got 6 miles in and there was no quality or good quantity on that workout. But on thursday it got better with a 5 mile run early in the morning. The next day was special. On Friday I had my second shot at a 7 mile tempo run. I had a pretty fast warm up mile at 6:55. The next seven miles felt pretty good overall. I still couldn’t get my second half faster than my first half. But that was pretty hard to do since my first half was already faster than my first half the week before. At the end, I got my 15 Kms in and they were almost a minute faster than the day before. The best thing about it is that I had now ran 505 miles in only three months of preparation. I can’t remember a summer where I had logged these many miles.  Saturday, I had to stay indoors for five miles while there was a thunderstorm outside. It was a good run so I felt ready for a good sunday long run. I had to wait till the end of the day to get out. When I finally did I went on a 5K loop 4 times. The first 3 times were really good, but the last one wasn’t that good. I did an extra two miles around my school campus and I called it a day. It was 14.2 miles total and at an average pace of 7:05. I had not gotten the distance I wanted but I definitely felt that I was going at a good pace.

I am now at 524 miles with about 150 more to go before I line up with 44,999 other people at Chicago. 46 days away from seeing the results of all the sacrifices I have put into my preparation. From less time going out at night, to tempting meals, to more time in the gym, on the road and on treatment along with healthier meals its been a ride. I feel proud of what I have accomplished so far. Every day I analyze what I am doing right but most importantly how can I improve what I am doing wrong. I check my form, I check my heart rate, I check my posture and my breathing. Every small detail counts when you want to accomplish big things. I am less than 7 weeks away from that special moment in my career. Hopefully one that could define me as a Boston Qualifier. There is still a lot of work to be done in the next weeks, a lot of hard work, some minor injuries might show up, a lot of stress but I am actually enjoying every step of the way. I am liking where I am right now and I am excited of where this is leading me to. My first major marathon and I can only prepare myself and hope it is the best one of the five I would have completed by then. But the thing about the marathon is that you have to forget about the past ones, the new one is a whole different challenge. I feel I am up to face that new challenge.

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