Thursday, March 10, 2016

What's Next

When I signed up for my first marathon, I didn’t think of it as my first. It was simply the marathon to check off the bucket list, my once in a lifetime 26.2 mile race.

But eventually, I can’t remember exactly when or where, I realized I wanted to do another, to try to qualify for Boston.

When I signed up for Boston in 2009, I didn’t think of it as my first Boston. It was simply running Boston. A once in a lifetime chance to race on the most storied course in the country.

But somewhere along the way, I can’t remember exactly when or where, I realized I wanted to keep going, to run Chicago and NYC, to keep dropping that PR, to race Boston again.

When I started this blog and signed on to this goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials, I didn’t think of them as my first Trials. They were the big, once in a lifetime goal to hope I could maybe, just maybe meet. (See where this is going yet?)

But at some point, I can’t remember exactly when or where, I realized I didn’t want them to be once in a lifetime. So… (drumroll please) I’m going for twice in a lifetime. I’m hoping to be able to call that race my first Trials.

Why? Because I’m not happy with my place or my time. (I still think I did the best I could on that day, but that doesn’t mean I’m satisfied.) Because making one goal just paves the path to another one. Because dream big... and then dream bigger.

I'm seeking re-election. Four more years!
I think most runners can relate to having a goal, achieving it, and then aching for more. That’s one of the things I love about running: the goals are limitless. Reach one, celebrate, and suddenly another appears, looking awfully appetizing. Hey, let’s do that again, only faster/farther/better.

I still think I have a sub-2:40 in me, so I’m out to prove it. I could pursue that time in any marathon—and trust me I will—but why not do it en route to my second Trials in 2020? And, while we’re at it, why not dream a little bigger? I’m also aiming to get the A standard (and a free trip). If I get to a second Olympic Trials, I hope to improve my place.

Sorry to all the people I thanked last week who thought that was it. They went above and beyond, so I’ll let them off the hook: Thank you for your duty, you can retire with honors. (Although Husband has already signed on and promises 2020’s t-shirts will be even more epic…) Sorry, but I'm not ready to retire. Not yet.

There will be more Trials and, with that, more miles to run to get there.

Will I make it? I don’t know. Will there be new challenges and curveballs along the way? Absolutely. But that's what keeps it exciting. I hope you’ll continue to follow along.

A lot can happen in four years. From left to right:
2008: Watching from the sidelines.
Last race before 2012 Trials. (Watched them from the couch.)
2016: Taking part.
Dream bigger,


  1. Have you considered trying to run Berlin in Sept 2016? I have no idea what the elite field will look like, given Rio less than 2 months earlier, but I've run the course and my overwhelming thought afterward was: I see why this course is always the world record. Just an idea! Looking forward to reading along on the road to 2020.

    1. Interesting idea! I don't think it's in the budget at the moment, but it would be fun to do Berlin someday!

  2. Yay Teal!!! 4 more years of awesome blog posts guaranteed :P No really, reading this makes me so happy! I just love your "hunger" and I especially love your attitude. You train hard and then you deliver. And if what you delivered wasn't good enough for you, you evaluate and try harder the next time. A standard it is - I have no doubt in my mind that you'll be able to achieve that. It won't be easy, it'll take time, but you'll def get there!

    1. Thanks for your enthusiasm Martina! And the confidence! :)

  3. Hurray!! Best news I've heard all day :) So excited that we get to follow along for 4 more years. I know you have a TON of potential left to explore and I can't wait to see how you progress! Awesome news! :) :)

    1. Thanks, Jenn! It's certainly a fun adventure to continue!

  4. Hi Teal! Found your blog looking for Boston Marathon advice, and I just wanted to tell you how inspirational I've found your posts. My first marathon time was similar to yours, and qualifying for Boston has always been my ultimate goal. However, now you've got me thinking I could qualify for the Swiss Olympic team someday. Thank you for sharing your story, and good luck with continuing your journey to the trials!

  5. Wonderful!! I'm so pleased to hear about your new goal and the fact that you'll continue to blog about it. I find your attitude and your work ethic so refreshing in this era of blogging that seems to be all about short cuts to how to get faster. There are no short cuts, just hard work and it's a joy to follow your progress.
    Autumn, also dreaming big (but not quite as big as you!)

    1. So true, there are no shortcuts. I certainly have my incredibly impatient moments, but it probably wouldn't be as much fun if it were easy! (Right?!?)