Chasing A Dream (Part 1)

“You never know how many miles you’ll have to run chasing a dream”

For nearly two years, I have chased after a dream. I mean LITERALLY ran after it. My dream is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

What does it mean to “BQ”?Boston Marathon Finish Line

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is the holy grain for many runners. In order to BQ, you have to run a marathon in a certain amount of time which differs depending on age/gender. My qualifying time is under 3 hours and 35 minutes. #FML

Boston Marathon qualifying times

Run Brie Run

Near the finish line of a race in Roanoke, Virginia. I ran several 5k's and half-marathons duringthe training cycle.
Near the finish line of a race in Roanoke, Virginia. I ran several 5k’s and half-marathons duringthe training cycle.

My previous attempts to qualify for Boston include the Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon in Pennsylvania and the Rock & Roll Marathon in Raleigh, NC. Looking back, both races turned out to be great learning experiences. For instance, at Lehigh Valley I learned (the hard way) about the importance of proper hydration. My legs cramped around mile 22 which forced me to walk for several miles, hurting my overall time. Since then, I make sure to drink water/Nunn before and during the race and also carry salt packets to help prevent cramps.

  • Runner Tip: Runners with the Grand Strand Running Club taught me to carry McDonald’s salt packets during the race. You can break it open and take some while you’re running. Sometimes I roll my chewing gum in salt and chew it while I’m running. TMI…but it helps.
    Haning with Frank, George and Uday. Leg cramps kicked in but at least I got to hang with my boys
    Me, Frank, George and Uday after the 2013 Leigh Valley Marathon. Leg cramps were no fun but at least I got to hang with these guys.

     

The Raleigh race was my introduction to rolling hills. I was used to flatter courses and struggled to keep a good pace while climbing. Training in hilly Southwest Virginia for the past year has helped me to run hills more efficiently. I’ve found that taking small, quick steps can be helpful.

Training

I’m currently winding down an 18 week schedule leading to the DC Rock & Roll Marathon on March 14th.

Here’s a look at a recent week:

Monday – Crossfit or Rest day

Tuesday – 8 miles

Wednesday – VO2 max 9 miles with 5 X 1,000 @5k race pace

Thursday – Crossfit or Rest day

Friday – 10 miles

Saturday – 5 miles recovery

Sunday – 17 miles

I was scheduled to run a 20 miler. But did an extra mile to get  past "The Wall".  mental wall.
I was scheduled to run a 20 miler. But did an extra mile to get past “The Wall”. mental wall.

Over the past 4 months, I’ve logged close to 1,000 miles which include runs over hills, through neighborhoods and on cold winter days. Brrrrrr!!! I’ve enjoyed the beauty of seeing the sun rise and watching the moon disappear during the early morning runs. I’ve also had the pleasure of having supportive running partners who share advice and provide encouragement.

Chasing the Dream

So far, chasing my dream to Boston Qualify has included disappointments, setbacks, blisters, black toenails and several days where I wanted to quit. However, the journey has also made me a more disciplined and mentally-tough person. I’ve learned to challenge myself and push through tough workouts. Like any dream, BQ’ing is going to take a lot of hard work and guts to achieve.

There’s no telling what’s going to happen at the Rock&Roll Marathon on March 14th . ( Please no snow!). But after putting in countless hours and miles of training over the years, I hope to run this next 26.2 mile race fast enough to finally catch my dream.  run brie

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