The Boston marathon is a qualifying race. That means the majority of entrants must qualify by running at, or faster than, a specific time goal for their age and gender at a Boston sanctioned qualifying marathon. I did not qualify for Boston when Niki, Taylor and I ran the 2010 Dallas White Rock Marathon. I missed it by 10 seconds. Yep, you read that right…. 10 seconds. Now, you’re probably saying, “Lisa, what happened? Couldn’t you just run a LITTLE faster at the end? How could you let that happen?” I’ve thought about that ALOT and the answer is complicated:
1) I never thought I could run that fast. My speed trainer John had extrapolated the numbers and, according to them, on my BEST day I would be 3 to 4 minutes off the needed qualifying time. Best days are rare. Lesson #1 – Don’t believe the numbers.
2) I tore my hamstring at mile 17. I felt the pain, knew something was wrong and immediately sent a prayer… “God, if you will keep my hamstring strong, I will keep my mind strong.” Lesson #2 – Believe in the power of prayer. I finished the remaining 9 miles. A week later I couldn’t run 1 mile and had to rehab my hamstring for months following. I’m thankful God kept me in the race that day.
3) I didn’t know my qualifying time. Since I didn’t think it was possible to run fast enough to qualify I didn’t really know my qualifying time. I wore a wristband I picked up at the race expo that was clearly marked 3:50. I thought that meant my qualifying time was 3 hours and 50 minutes and 0 seconds. Well, what I learned AFTER THE FACT was that it meant any time with a 3:50 qualifies you… a 3:50:01 or a 3:50:59. When I crossed the finish line at 3:51:09 I was 10 seconds too late. Lesson #3 – Know your qualifying time!
So how am I running Boston if I didn’t qualify? The thanks go to God and a special little boy named Dalton Lawyer. Dalton’s birthday was last week. He would have been 11. We love you and miss you Dalton!
Many of you know this story but I think it’s worth repeating. Below is the email I sent to friends and family in November, after learning I was accepted to run Boston on a fundraising bib.
In July 2009 my dear friend Jeri lost her 8-year-old son, Dalton, when he was struck by a truck while riding his bike. Almost to the day a year later, my friend Holly's son, Logan, suffered a severe brain injury while wakeboarding at church camp. A few months after Logan's release from the hospital (he was blessed with a miraculous recovery) our sweet friend Taylor Pratt was diagnosed with non-smokers lung cancer and passed away last month. To be honest, I'm really ready for a new start in 2012!
Well, God has provided an awesome reason to look forward to 2012... the Boston Marathon! Now this story gets complicated, so hang on:
As you know, my running partner is Niki Pratt, wife of Taylor. Last year we trained for the Dallas Marathon and Niki qualified for the Boston Marathon, the marathon of all marathons! While going thru Taylor's cancer, one of the things we talked about and held on to was going to Boston in April of 2012. We were all going... Niki running and me, Taylor and Les cheering her on. What a fun trip it would be! Well, as you know, Taylor didn't make it. Enter God. :)
One day I was driving down the road with my friend Jeri, Dalton's Mom. I got a phone call from a friend who had heard about Niki running Boston. Jeri asked, "What was that all about?" I told her about Niki running Boston and that I sure wish there was a way I could run it with her. I couldn’t imagine her doing it by herself, not now. Jeri said, "Just a minute." She picks up her cell phone and calls Cheryl Toole. Cheryl is the mother of Avery, the little girl who received Dalton's donated heart. Cheryl works for Boston's Children's Hospital which is one of the designated fundraising charities for the Boston marathon and where Avery had her heart transplant. The competition to be accepted to run for one of the Boston charities is fierce but a week or so later I found out I was accepted to run as a fundraiser for Boston Children's! So Niki and I are going to BOSTON! I know both Dalton and Taylor are smiling in Heaven. :)
That was the email I sent and here is the rest of the story....
To run Boston I have to raise a minimum of $4000 for Boston's Children's. I’m not a fundraiser. It’s not my personality. All my life I've AVOIDED any type of fundraising events because it's just not me. But a wise friend told me that if God got me a bib for Boston He would surely take care of the cash. So, I decided to give it to God and He answered through so many of you! In just over a month, more than $4000 was donated. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! You are a very special part of God’s plan and a blessing to me.
So no, I didn’t qualify for Boston but I’m pretty sure I am meant to be there!
To learn more about Dalton and Avery and their amazing story, go to