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If you want to qualify for Boston, I want you to know: YOU CAN DO IT!
I used to see qualifying for the Boston Marathon as this unattainable goal. It seemed like the runners who qualified for Boston were another level of runner—and I just wasn’t that. I didn’t have anyone telling me, “You can run Boston one day,” or, “Here’s how you go from where you are now to a Boston Qualifier.” Basically, what I needed was someone to breathe life into my dreams and give me the resources to get there.
It’s crazy how running is truly the most improvable sport. That’s truly the only way I can explain how someone (me) who clocked a 6:08 for their first marathon could run a 3:11 marathon. Or like my husband, Tyler (@tunderface), started at a 4:10 marathon and has now run in the Olympic Marathon Trials with a 2:18 marathon.
Success in running is really just figuring out the right training for you and being consistent with it. That is the secret. So if you can do that, then you can unlock your potential and run down your dreams.
It’s so easy to think that your dreams are out of reach and the people who are accomplishing what you want to accomplish are more talented than you. But in running, I believe that hard work and consistency will get you further than talent. Once I eliminated the thoughts that weren’t serving me—”someone else was more qualified than me to reach their dreams”—and once I started to realize that I had all the goods that were necessary to run a Boston qualifying time, I began to take chances on myself in workouts and races and gave myself the opportunity to succeed. You cannot succeed if you don’t give yourself the opening to do so.
That’s the thing. You’re qualified. You’re capable. And you have what it takes to run your goals.
I had to eliminate all the doubts in my head that told me differently and stop making excuses for why I shouldn’t attempt to go after my big goals.
If Boston has been a secret goal of yours, embrace it. Make it THE goal. Know you can do it. Create the action plan to get there. Put yourself out there because you know that when you do, you’re putting yourself in the running for it.
In running, it’s so easy to feel like there’s a tier of runners better than you. And maybe my whole running experience I’ve felt that, no matter my level. I’ve always disliked elitism in the sport. It does nothing to encourage newer runners or runners wanting to improve by shutting them out from goals that they, too, would like to reach.
Instead of thinking I’m better than another runner because I have reached a Boston Qualifying time, I would rather let them know that I started at the same times as them. And then show them the roadmap I took to get there. I think that serves the sport better because it encourages others and plants that seed in their heart and helps them to encourage other runners along the way too.
So that’s my encouragement for you. I started where you have. My first marathon was a 6:08. I hit roadblocks along the way, improved, and then dealt with major regression for a few years. I learned from my failures and I kept going. And that’s how you find success.
If Boston is your goal, I believe in you and I’m rooting for you. And I’m always here as a resource to encourage you and speak into your potential and help you find the way to reach your big goals.
Kimberly Clark (@trackclubbabe) is our spring 2022 mentor for 360 YOU, a program exclusively for Women’s Running members. She’s providing inspiration, advice, and practical tips on unlocking your potential for the next three months. Learn more about the program here and sign up for a membership here.