Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dreams


I don't know what happened to me when I turned 40, but I was determined to turn some lifelong dreams into reality. In my 40s, I achieved a couple of big goals. Huge, actually. I went back to school while my boys were in grade school, to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. About 15 years prior, in my 20s, I started to pursue that dream, but anxiety and life got in the way. I finished my masters' degree but never finished the coursework required for the NP program. I told my husband one day that I needed to do this. When he balked, I told him that I didn't want to be in my 60s and look back on my life with any regrets. And as it turns out, pursuing that degree was the best thing I could have done. I'm working in the job of my dreams, in the clinic where I get to learn, teach, and care for kids. Imagine that! I still can't believe it. Well, ok, reality does kick in, but I wouldn't want to be working anywhere else. Next stop, the beach....

Retire here? If I could I would...
In my 40s, I began racing again, but this time bit off a big chunk by running my first half marathon, the Door County half, after my mom suggested it. This race is run in northern Wisconsin, a beautiful resort community where I spent all my childhood summers. What better place to get my feet wet, so to speak, in beautiful Peninsula State Park, along the waters of Green Bay? I finished that hilly half in 2:02! After realizing that 13.1 miles wasn't a big deal to train for, I ran a few more halfs. I loved the distance of 13.1. And I fell in love with long distance running. I also put to rest that nagging doubt that I wasn't a "real runner" by running the Chicago marathon at age 49. Of course, we all know that race wasn't the best outcome, but I did it, and I crossed it off the bucket list.

Door County half marathon
As I turned 50, I told my husband that I didn't know what was next. All these big dreams and life goals--including becoming a mother--done. My husband, who isn't a dreamer, just kind of shrugged his shoulders. The guy keeps me grounded. A little more than I like...

But in my 50s, my dreams became more specific to staving off old age. I decided that I didn't want the inevitable to happen--blue hair, cribbage games, wearing Depends, and crocheting doileys. I wanted to still be able to get up on one waterski and to slalom. A few summers ago, at the urging of my sons, I tried wakeboarding, and while it scared the hell out of me, I was pretty proud of myself that I did it. I continued to run and do yoga, but after researching what I needed to do to stay fit, I began cross training and building strength. My awesome coach Becky had me lifting enormous amounts of weights and I began saying to myself, "who's old?" I got up the courage to re-do that Chicago marathon and bested my effort from 3 years ago, finally feeling that I ran the race I was supposed to run.

Oh yeah! Who's old?
But wait, there's more?

Since then, I continue to run faster. So besides running another Chicago marathon this fall, I've put it out there that I want a sub-4 finish time. Isn't that enough?

Nope. Do you even know me?

What do you think my ultimate dream could be? What's so monumental about that sub-4? Are you over 50? Because then you might have a clue.... Dare I say it? I don't want to jinx myself....


My BQ is 4:00:00. Yep, at age 50, the Boston Marathon qualifying time is 4:00:00. For a while, I've been quietly thinking about this. A lot. I've had some pretty good successes with my races this past year, and if I'm going to do it, I think now is the time. I won't lie. I'm scared. Really scared. Never in a million miles did I ever think I could actually qualify for Boston. Until this year. I've had multiple PRs and AG awards. I'm starting to believe...

A 4 hour marathon is 9:09 mins/mile. I've been running races much faster than that. Can I sustain that time for 26.2 miles? I'm starting to believe that I can. My coach says she has no doubt I can do it. The owner of the CrossFit box where I train--himself a veteran of many marathons including Boston says he has no doubt I can qualify. I'd be over the moon if I got to run Boston. If I got there, I wouldn't care what my finish time was--just to be able to qualify for and run the iconic race? Isn't this the ultimate goal for most of us?

Yikes. That's a big dream. And that's my dream. And it's scary.

Time to pull out that mantra from last year's marathon training.



Do you have a dream that scares you?

I'm linking up to DebRuns and Wednesday Word:











And Diatta and Sheila at Workout Wednesday!

91 comments :

  1. Who would ever want to look back and think "I wish I would have..." Not me. Go get that dream, sista!

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    1. From your lips to God's ears. Oh my gosh. Wouldn't it be something?

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  2. I believe, absolutely no doubt, that you can achieve this. ♡

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    1. I wasn't sure if I should put it out there, but hey, why not? Fingers crossed.

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  3. What an amazing dream! So scary, but yeah, I think you've got this! I can't wait to follow your journey to Hopkinton and then on to Boylston!

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    1. Well, first I have to head up Roosevelt Road to the finish...it's a big dream and it's a scary one! :)

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  4. Go for it! That is awesome and sounds very achievable. I don't necessarily have any big scary dreams that I'm ready to vocalize...more like fleeting little thoughts at this stage.

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    1. I was more than a little nervous to put it out there, but what the heck?

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  5. You can absolutely tackle that! Big dreams are totally worth it (and look how well they've paid off for you so far!)

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  6. You can ssoo do it! I'm getting excited for you. Boston here you come.

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    1. I hope I didn't jinx myself by putting it out there!

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  7. woot!! I'm right here, cheering for you and eagerly awaiting this victory for you!!

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    1. Fingers crossed, toes crossed! It's all about staying injury free now.

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  8. you can do it!! you are an inspiration...I don't have the same goal, but you have given me a good push toward mine :)

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  9. If anyone can do it it's you! You never fail to amaze with your recent accomplishments.

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  10. This is so inspiring :) I'm like you in that I'm a huge goal setter (I set three every year, some are crazy ambitious like getting published in a print mag), and feel lost if I'm not working towards something! Last year my goal was to qualify for Boston, and I did it by just under a minute for my age group!! I went from running a 4:07 time to a 3:33 time in just two years with proper training, so I know you can do it. You totally got this!!

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    1. Thank you Bri! That's great that you took 34 mins off your marathon time! I need to take about 20 mins off last year's time, so we'll see...

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  11. If anyone can do this, it is YOU!!!! I can't wait to watch you crush your goals, and I am here to support you all the way!!!!!! YAHOOOO!!!

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    1. I still can't believe this could possibly happen. If nothing else, this dream is keeping me on track with my recovery weeks--the goal is to stay injury free!

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  12. If dreams are based on how much they can scare us I'm on the right track. I have no doubt you will crush a 4 hour goal!

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    1. I hope so! Lots of pressure, but I know that if all the pieces fall into place, I can do it!

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  13. Ah, that is so exciting! You can totally do it! I love that you go after your dreams, I am the same way and I can only hope to accomplish as much in the next 20 years of my life!!!

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    1. The best part about getting older (and yes, there is a best part) is that you really get the confidence to believe you can achieve some of your big goals!

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  14. This is so inspiring Wendy! Reading this I got chills!! You can totally do it!

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  15. I know it is in you. You can so unleash that BQ!

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    1. You got me to that starting line of Chicago! I'm tasking you to get me to Boston...

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  16. Wendy--seriously, you can do that time (and better than). Believe it! And we'd get to meet in 2017, so do it!

    It's funny--with my 50th approaching this fall, I've suddenly had a little kick in the pants to get fitter than ever (not faster, but fitter). I have kicked up my strength training a notch and added in a 3rd day/week. I am already seeing a difference in my body and this makes me feel good. We can make 50 seem pretty kickass, I think!

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    1. Oh, now wouldn't that be fun, finally getting to meet, at Boston of all places? Yep, I think my 50s have been my best decade so far. Who'd a thunk it?!

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  17. YES! I love this. YOU CAN DO IT. I SO look forward to watching this dream happen for you, Wendy :)

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  18. You got this! You can and you will.
    I love that you ran your first marathon at 49, that's the age I will hopefully do it. I think it will eat at me until i can get that monkey off my back.
    Wake boarding is hard! That's awesome you nailed it, I have tried, but couldn't stay up lol

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    1. Never too old, I say! I think it will eat you up until you do it too. That's how I felt!

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  19. I love how you reach your dreams and then get some new ones -- so inspiring! I will look forward to seeing you chase down that Boston dream, that big Kahuna!

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    1. It's really the ultimate goal, isn't it? For runners, anyways...

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  20. You are so incredibly inspirational, Wendy! I love how you've taken life into your own hands and gone out to achieve absolutely everything that you wanted. The picture of you wave boarding looks so bad ass!!! And I have 1000% confidence that you are going to BQ. GO GET 'EM!!!

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    1. If all the pieces fall into place, it can happen.

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  21. I have so many scary dreams! But I plan to go for it anyway.

    I am so excited for you!!!!

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    1. It be easier to play it safe, but it sure wouldn't be as much fun, right?

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  22. WOW!! Loved this "recap" of your goals. So inspiring. I just started running 3 years ago...I will be 45 in 2 months!! Thanks for the inspiration and good luck on that BQ!! I cannot wait to follow your journey!

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    1. Yep, never to old to chase a dream. I chased down a lady with white curls at my race Sunday, I could NOT catch her!

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  23. I know you can do this. You are an amazing runner and an inspiration. I posted that same quote and I was thinking about a marathon but right now, I don't think my feet are capable of more than a 5k. :(

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  24. It's truly amazing what we can accomplish when we put our minds to it.
    I think we don't often realize how far we've come until we stop and look back.
    I don't doubt you can BQ. Running Boston is on my bucket list, it may take me a while, but I'm going for it.

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    1. A year ago, I would have said you were crazy if you told me I could BQ. Who knew?

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  25. I KNOW you're going to do it, Wendy! That's my plan, too!! My goal is to BQ by 50...or maybe I should change it to AT 50, since the qualifying time goes up again - ha! Can't wait to see you do it, girl!!

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    1. There's a definite advantage to being over 50! At least if you want to BQ....

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  26. I LOVE your dreams! And I love that you never gave up on your dreams. I, too am in the midst of dreaming big and going after those dreams. I'm kind of glad I didn't pursue them in my 20's because I would not have appreciated them the way I do now in my mid-30's.

    And you will get that BQ. I cannot wait to read that race recap one day soon!

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    1. Fingers crossed that all the pieces fall into place!!

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  27. Yes!!! I love following your journey, and I believe you will definitely BQ - you work so hard! Can't wait to see what happens next!

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  28. oh you most certainly can and you will! You are truly inspiring! When I hit the 5's I want some arms that looks like yours so I better get cracking! No regrets is the way to live!

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  29. I love it! You aren't letting age or potential challenges deter you. Dreams are things that a lot of people just don't feel like are possible. It's scary and exciting all at the same time.

    I finally was blessed to get into NYC Marathon this year which has been my biggest running dream. I feel excited, scared and such all in one ball of emotion. We can do these things!

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    1. I"m so excited for you! I'd love to do NYCM but I'd be so nervous! Don't ask me why..

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  30. Goodluck reaching your goal. I think you will do great! If you can dream it you can do it. If it's not hard, your not dreaming big enough.

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  31. You can totally do it! As you know this is one of my goals as well...no clue how long it will take me to achieve it though but I'm determined to run at Boston one day. My mom's BQ time is also 4:00...it'd be awesome if she could get that this year at Chicago but we'll see!

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    1. Wouldn't it be great if all of us did it at Chicago?

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  32. I have no doubts that you'll be able to do this, Wendy. I've always thought that age is just a number and you are proof of that theory. I suspect Becky will have some big things in store for you over the next little while! Go forth and chase those dreams lady!!

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    1. You are one of my biggest sources of inspiration! You work as hard at your training as if it were a job. Keep on inspiring me!

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  33. According to McMillan's running calculator a 1:52 half is equivalent to a 3:56 marathon. So, it's completely realistic for you to run a sub-4:00. Just get in a few more miles per week and keep a nice even pace during the race and I'll see you in Boston next April! :)

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    1. That would be awesome Pete! But if I BQ it would be 2017, when I go. You'd have to go again!

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    2. Oh yeah, I keep forgetting that Chicago comes after the qualifying window. It didn't used to be that way, Boston wouldn't reject anyone with a BQ time in the good old days and would not sell out until several months after registration opened. Yes, I will just have to go again (or else you'll just have to run a marathon this summer)! :)

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    3. Haha, not in the cards! This old lady has to play it smart.

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  34. I love that you're living life to the fullest, and that you refuse to look back and think "What if I could have done that?" I certainly hope that you can reach your dream of BQing. Here's to a great training cycle as your prepare for Chicago and go after that BQ!

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    1. You only get one ride on this planet, may as well make the most of it!

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  35. MY BQ dream scares the crap out of me!! You have totally got a BQ coming for you, I just know it!!!

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  36. Love this post Wendy!! If you don't try to BQ, you'll never know if you could....if you try, even if you don't make it, you'll at least know that you tried! If one of your kids came to you and said they want to do something but aren't sure if they will succeed, you wouldn't say "you probably won't, forget about it"...You would say "give it all you have and go for it." So you obviously need to set that example yourself. Will be routing for you!

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    1. And the plus side of all this is that my BQ will keep going up...so if at first I don't succeed and all that, right?

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  37. I'm positive you've got this! I don't have a dream race that scares me, but I have a lot of dreams that scare me. Inspiring to see that you've achieved all of yours so far :D

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    1. Ha, that gives me hope that this dream will be achievable too!

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  38. LOVED reading your dreams... and YES!! You can do it!

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  39. Like my friend Mary, you've put your dream out there for the world to see. It will be fun following your journey toward achieving that goal. Now, go get it, girl! You know you can do it!

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  40. Hey, I love crocheting! And I don't have blue hair yet. But yes, I love having dreams and setting new goals for myself and I don't want to end up with blue hair and wearing depends. Have a great day!

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  41. Love that you are finding more and more momentum (literally and figuratively). I think that watching one's kids grow up and mature and start to imagine what they can become can be either stultifying or empowering--kind of like when I was diagnosed. I could either roll over and play dead, or I could say, ok, what of it? Then grab that energy and make it something. My mom went back to riding horses when she was 40 and I was 5, and after her bad accident 7 years ago, she realized that there were other things out there that she needed to fight for as well. Never stop fighting, believing, and achieving!

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    1. Nope! You're out there inspiring all of us. And that's what its all about!

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  42. You are such an inspiration to me!!! I really feel like there is a Boston Marathon in your future and I'm so excited to follow your training for Chicago this fall!

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    1. I hope so! Lauren, you inspire me! I loved doing that yoga challenge and following your lead....

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  43. Dream on girl! I have no doubts that you will be lacing up those shoes in Boston!!! You can do it!!!

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  44. I am sure that you CAN! Reading your post reminded me of myself...I am the dreamer, my husband the grounded one. I am always planning the next adventure, looking for a new goal. I love that you do that, too. Like you said, I don't want to look back and wish I had done more, and I want to be able to look forward to many more adventures! Here's to staying young!

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