My hopes for this Olympic Trials Marathon are pretty simple. First, to complete it in a reasonable time – reasonable because I want to believe that I have learned how to marathon and even if I’m undertrained, I’m still faster or as fast as my previous self. Second, I want to inspire myself for what’s ahead, that there’s more ahead. So I’m here to race and that’s a big deal because if you’ve followed my saga over the past year, you know it’s been ugly. Many gals in my shoes would have scratched. I get that. But that’s not me. … However, then I get here and I’m surrounded by hundreds of the most beautifully fit runners and it’s a freaking inferno outside (where’s the snow?), and I develop all sorts of negativity. Thankfully, I have such a great cloud of support. Case in point, my friend made this for me. Perfectly fitting. Yes, I could have scratched but still called myself and Olympic Trials Qualifier. That’s pretty cool? But I want to finish this. So, I’ve come here to finish what I started. I want to use my time and not just wait, hoping a better opportunity will come at me. I never dreamed I’d break 2:50, let alone run a 2:42. So I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, maybe? But God has a plan, and He gave me this race.
Besides my race, I had a dream. Really, the other night I dreamt I was at a race. It was the start of a race which I couldn’t place where or in which city, but we were at a gas station. Didn’t surprise me because I almost always opt to stop at a gas station an route to a race start. This way I’m sure to hit the potty quickly. So, I had my son with me and activity bustled. I don’t remember anyone else besides Kara Goucher. If you follow marathoning at all, she is probably the most well-known female marathoner/Olympian. Trust me this was weird, I’ve never had a Kara Goucher dream ever. But right beside the gas station pumps, we locked eyes and I just said, “Hey, Kara, you’re gonna win.” If that’s not a prophetic dream, I don’t know what is. If you don’t follow marathoning, Kara is one of the maybe 12-15 actually in strong contention for one of the top three spots, one of three tickets to Rio and the 2016 Olympic Games. There’s Shalane Flanagan, who’s probably a favorite, even though Desi Linden finished handily in front of her last year at Boston. Those three Olympians are back, looking strong and I’m going to venture to say that two of 2012’s three (Olympians) make it. I think Kara has the guts to do it. And no joke, I’m presently siting near the conseigere at the race hotel, quietly working to organize my thoughts and there walks Kara right by me. I probably should have but I didn’t jump up and fangirl her, asking for a selfie with her. But, just funny that there she goes right as I type. Furthering the prophecy. Huh? We’ll see…
Beyond the veterans, at least one spot, I think, is taken by a dark horse. I’d put money on Kellyn Taylor who has stuck out to me since her debut marathon where she ran a 2:28. Yes, that’s fast. She trains with Northern AZ Elite and they seem to do things right. I watched two of her teammates sweep two of the top three spots at the USATF Club XC Nationals. They train to win. I would expect her to be right up there until the end.
Then there are the 200+ other women (won’t get into the men because I just don’t follow them enough to know who’s who) most of those women, while national-level elites, will run for personal records or, like me, to conquer the adversity of injuries.
I hope to finally meet Teal Burrell. I’ve followed her blog Miles to the Trials now for years. We could have crossed paths in Sacramento last year but there was a mass of about 500 gals trying to qualify, which she did brilliantly, but my race was a bit off. So a rendez-vous didn’t happen. Hope to get another chance this weekend.
Then there is the lovely Andrea Duke. We are Instagram Pen Pals. She is one rad, bad cookie. She’s so inspiring and creative. Hope I get to tell her that to her face.
I saw Camille Herron declared to run, which I had thought she wasn’t planning to do. I hope she does because I can’t wait to give her the hugest high-five for her two world championships! Two! She’s become an ultra-marathon queen.
Okay, there are many more, but I’ve been awake since 3:14am and my brain’s fried.
Do try to check out live coverage of the race on NBC noon CST.