Sunday, October 05, 2008

BOSTON BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't even believe that it is true. Yeah. Boston. I qualified for Boston. Not only did I run a PR but I qualified for Boston.

I guess you know that I qualified for Boston...

I've never been fast. My first marathon was 8 years ago at Grandmas where I ran a 457. Since then I've run 20 some marathons; my fastest at Grandmas was 358, my fastest at Twin Cities was 419.

Today I figured I'd run a 415-430 as per my marathon history. I have tried to qualifiy, oh boy, have I tried. It hurts too much, I get tired, I walk a bit, I hurt some more, the breathing turns to gasping and I throw in the towel and think "well, I don't have to run Boston" .

When I first went to a 'beginning ultra meeting' that some veteran ultra runners were hosting, Tom Andrews was speaking with us about our goals. We went around the table, everyone wanted to run a 50K, a 50 Miler, a 100 Miler. I wanted to qualify for Boston. It was such a lofty goal, I didn't know if I could. I had run a dozen plus marathons at the time and was no where near my goal. Tom suggested I first qualify for Boston, then work on the ultra, as running ultras would probably make me slower, he thought. Well, I didn't believe I could get any slower.

Each expo that I attend I grab a 350 Clif Pace Team band..for just in case. Yesterday I did the same. I really didn't believe that I could run a full minute plus some faster per mile than last year, but maybe I'd try it. Why not?

This morning was miserable. It was cold and rainy. It poured. Heavily. It was windy. It wasn't my type of race weather at all. I didn't use my iPod. I didn't have my rock to roll to. I forgot to hit my lap button to time myself.

I ran along, taking in the views, thinking that the rain wasn't so bad. Thinking that I was glad I wore a short sleeved top because I was warming up quickly.

I heard Kevin yell out Julie Berg! early in the race..mile 2 or so. I saw Allan Page playing the tuba..just like every other year..on his corner. The spectators were thinner this year, due to the rain, but there were still many out there cheering.

I enjoyed myself. I wasn't feeling stressed, I was just thumping along, enjoying the City. Calhoun and Harriet were beautiful..leaves changing, beautiful homes, lots of loud cheering spectators. I noticed I was running in white steam. Steam from the bodies of all of the runners! I've never experienced that before. Steam was oozing from our bodies, it was a white cloud of body odor to run through. Crazy.

Ah, Nokomis. Home of FANS 24 Hour Run. I ran fast as I could up and over the cement bridge and around the parkway. I love FANS. I laughed.

I looked down at my watch and then at the mile marker. Hmm..did I start at 800 my watch time? Probably a bit later..I looked at my pace chart..really? Could I really be under a 350 pace? Hm. Don't want to get too excited.

I was drinking one powerade and two waters at each station. I carried two Hammergel Espresso gels in each hand and had one every 4 miles. I picked up two Cliff shots at mile 17 and ate those as well.

Pretty soon I came up on the 350 pacing team. Wow. Wow again. I could feel the excitement and hope build. What if? What if, here, at 43 years of age I ran a PR and qualified for Boston? It's early..don't have those thoughts. But I feel so good. I have no aches or pains. I have no stomach trouble. I am power running up these hills like they are nothing.

I think I'll hang here with this group for a while.

It was awesome! I was running with the 350s and not dieing. We were a group of 15 or so at this point.

I crossed the half way at 152. Not bad I thought. Pretty soon our leader said she had to stop. Oh geeze. She had to go to medical. I would have never guessed, she looked so strong. She handed off her 350 balloons to the rest of us and we just kept on running. Two in our group (or more) had Garmin something or others on and kept yelling out our pace. A few times we had to back off, we were going to fast.

I felt amazing.

At mile 20 I was waiting for the crash. It didn't happen. I didn't even have to stop and pee! Everything was going so well. I saw Steve Quick and yelled hello to him.

Mile 21, getting a bit tired.

Mile 22 another gel and hey! I hear Julie Berg! There is Matt Patten.

Mile 23 .. I am going to make it. I can keep this up and I am going to PR and flipping qualify. OH. MY. GOD.

Mile 24 and I hear Julie Berg! There is Eve, Duke and Wynn! Hey!! Just what I needed :)

Mile 25 and my group is gaining speed, hell, they are flying, I try to keep up. I will keep up. One more mile. You can do it. Suck it up and fly with them.

Mile 26. Jubliant. Joyful. Wow. Is this for real? Maybe I'm dreaming and I'll wake up and set Boston as a goal.

There is the finish and I'm qualified and I PR'd and wow. Just wow.

346. Rockin'!

As I crossed the finish line I saw Helen. Amazing to run into friends with 11000 people running this race. I went a bit farther and saw Dave Just, great. Then Joann Fallis and her daughter at the sweats handoffs. Incredible.

I get on the bus to take back to the Dome. One person is on the bus. It's Pierre! Oh my god! Incredible. Pierre had a great run, too. Next Sunday we are both running the Glacial Trail 50K/50 Mile.

Good stuff, good stuff :)

I am still going to run McNaughton 100 this April, but next April, I think this family is going to Boston!

**I want to give a heartfelt congratulations to two of my online clients, whom also finished the marathon well ahead of their goal of 5 hours!


Matthew Patten said...

I remember hearing you say 4hrs something, that's why the picture is from behind. I was looking for other people.

Right after you passed, Larry Rode came over and said "did you see Julie? she is moving!".

I remember how hard you have tried to BQ.

Funny, most people would love to win an ultra. You have done that a couple of times.

BQ was the dream.

Run On

kelly said...

Congrats for qualifying for Boston. You must be really proud of yourself. You have worked hard to get there and I am so happy for you!

Jumper 2.0 said...

That is so awesome Julie!


Kel said...

Awesome Julie. As usual :)

Debbie said...


I ran Boston for the first time this year. It is the most incredible experience. You are going to love it!!

Anonymous said...

Way to go! Another great experience that you shared with this race and hope you share all the detaisl of Boston!

You should be very proud of yourself!

Ultras and Boston!!!!

My. Freakin. Hero.

Helen said...

Brilliant!!!! Congrats Juile! And great to see you at the finish. Looking strong as always. What a way to qualify for Boston - 4 weeks after a 100 miler :)

Anonymous said...

Dang Julie!!! That is sooo cool!! Congratulations!!


Mark H. said...

Way to go Julie! Congrats!

SteveQ said...

I get goosebumps just reading how excited you are to qualify. It's weird; I can qualify for Boston without training, but you've been kicking my butt all year in ultras. See you at Glacial (I'll be at the Hwy 67 aid station).

Damon said...


Congrats on qualifying and on running a PR.

Maybe you can make it a double when you come back to Boston to run the marathon. We have a low-key 50K here in New England the day before the marathon - no fees, limited aid, tough course. It's called "Trail Animals Don't Run Boston". The course is just south of Boston and the biggest challenge is navigation.

I'm hoping to qualify for Boston in 5 weeks at the Harrisburg, PA marathon, and then run the double of the 50K and Boston next spring.

Runnin-From-The-Law said...

I loved your report. Congrats! At some point, not sure when, the whole thing was a blur for me - I saw the 3:50 group go by and I tried to stay with them (you!) but couldn't do it. So awesome that you did it! Way to go!

arah said...

Julie, I met you while volunteering at an Afton Trail Run aid station, and have been following your blog since. You're an inspiration! Way to go, on qualifying for Boston!!! Great post.

A Prelude To... said...

AWESOME, Julie!!!

Mrs. Mighton said...

Whoa! Just wanted to say congrats on the BQ!

Travis said...

Great Job and awesome time!! Glad to hear you will be at McNaughton this year!

Anonymous said...

That is just awesome Julie! You take those races, the ones that feel incredible, and remember them always. A gift. Zoey

Runner Susan said...

OMG! Julie, that is fabulous. I'm so, so, so happy for you!

Runner Susan said...

Oh, and Julie. I used the Foot Potion all over my feet and under my bra and it was the first marathon that I wasn't totally chafed all over by the time I finished. No blisters either.