Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Today I found out I made the cut for Boston 2015 by 1 minute, 44 seconds. Initially I was like, OK, of course, I figured that being 2:46 under the qualifying time would get me in. But then, as I was sitting and thinking about it a bit more, I had another thought.  Looking back on that race, there was such a long period of time where I felt like total shit and was dying. And there were also the opening miles where I went out just a bit too aggressively. And that got me thinking: how much did I have to fight for that 1:44? And the answer is, a LOT.

I could have slowed down in Natick when the heat started to get to me and everything was crowded. I could have eased off instead of following the girl with the neon yellow shorts through Wellesley. I could have let myself walk for an extra 5 seconds, 10 seconds, when my leg was cramping. I could have stopped to hug my boyfriend. I could have not sped up, making my last mile the fastest of the final 10 miles. When I'm in a marathon race, I'm not thinking about those choices. I try to remove myself from the situation as much as I can and objectively assess: can I keep this pace? Do I need water? Is something hurting? Should I slow down? become less questions than data entry points: a + b  = c.  But in the end, they are choices. And I want to remember that, when I have the privilege of toeing the line in Hopkinton this April, that I am there because of the choices I made to keep fighting on a warm April day in 2014.

In the meantime, I'm in the midst of an extremely unconventional training cycle for the Madison Marathon at the beginning of November. Between the fact that I've been dancing semi-professionally in a show and with a company, bike commuting virtually everywhere, and working full time, this training cycle has turned into a game of "how many physical activities will Audrey do today?" Aside from this weekend and next (show weekends for Heartbeat), I've been religious about getting in my long runs, even if that meant running 20 miles, then riding my bike to a 4 hour dance rehearsal. There's certainly a high level of intensity going on, although in a much different way than I feel during a typical training cycle. If nothing else, this marathon will be a fascinating case study in how well I can perform based on less running, but a significant amount of strength/cross training. Dance brought me to a half marathon PR on 20 miles a week 2 years ago, so shouldn't it be able to get me to a marathon PR on 40? I guess we shall see come November...