One Step Closer!

My Journey to Boston has officially been in progress for 14 1/2 months now, not counting the months, even years, of training leading up to my qualifying run on Nov. 23, 2014. It’s been a crazy ride! As of yesterday, I am one very exciting step closer to crossing that finish line in Boston. Let me explain with a timeline of events:

  1. Nov. 23, 2014Philadelphia Marathon – BQ finish of 3:43:09. Qualifying time for a women 40 and over (at the time of running Boston) is 3:45:00. *My time qualified me for Boston 2016 because registration for Boston 2015 had already occurred in Sept. and was closed. A person has to qualify for Boston within 18 months of the race they’ll apply for, so the Philadelphia Marathon fits just outside of qualifying for the following year (because it’s after the registration) and fits just inside qualifying for the year after that (because it’s within the 18 month window).
  2. Nov. 24, 2014 – Sept. 30, 2015 – Ten months of bliss, dreaming of April 18, 2016.
  3. Sept. 21, 2015Applied for Boston 2016. *Heard rumors in the running world that the cut-off time (which had been at around 1 minute under qualifying time and at it’s highest, 1 1/2 minutes under qualifying time) would be higher this year. Spent 9 days worried about the mere 20 second cushion I had between the previously record high cut-off time under qualifying time and my actual Philly race time. Would it be enough? For the first time in nearly a year, I worried about if my dreams would come crashing down. I didn’t sleep. I just read and crunched numbers. And worried.
  4. Sept. 30, 2015 Got the news I’d been worried about hearing for the past 9 days. “Regrettably, we are unable to accept your application due to field size limitations and the large number of applications we received from those runners who met the qualifying standards that we have established for the race… Entries from applicants in your age group were accepted through and including the time 3:42:32.” I spent that day frozen in ugly cry face. Ten months of dreaming about an accomplished goal coming to fruition ended with one email, because of 37 seconds. What now?
  5. Oct. 5, 2015 – After a few days of disappointment, thinking, and praying, I decided to turn this devastating news into something good and apply for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. Hundreds of applications poured in for 85 spots. It was a long shot given the amazing stories of survivors and also given that I’m an out-of-state applicant. I prepared myself for more disappointment.
  6. Oct. 22, 2015 – Seventeen very long days after submitting my Team in Training Application I got a call that made me cry once again! “Alyssa, we’d like to offer you a spot with Team in Training for the Boston Marathon.”
  7. Oct. 30, 2015 – I announced my big, exciting news on Facebook and spent the next four weeks in shock and awe as so many wonderful people rallied around to support the team. We raised over $10,000 in just 4 weeks time!!
  8. Feb. 5, 2016 – Fast-forward a couple months, along with a couple thousand more dollars raised to Feb. 5th, which was the deadline I was given for having the minimum required amount of $5,000 in my LLS account, or I would have had to pay the balance myself. This is also the date that I had to fill out and turn in a “Recommitment” form stating that I had raised the minimum amount or was willing to pay and also that I believed I would be able to continue to train for and run/finish the Boston Marathon. I signed this immediately!
  9. Feb. 9, 2015 – That brings us to the final step in the process (outside of the rest of my training miles and actually running the marathon of course)… Applying for Boston (again) via my TnT invitation and waiting for that acceptance email. Getting my email invite yesterday from Team in Training to apply was bittersweet. It certainly brought back bad memories of my first go-round just a few months ago, but it also reminded me of where we’ve come and how God knew a better way all along! So, yesterday, I filled out my application and waited. Thankfully, I only had to wait for a couple short hours before I got the email I knew would come… my official acceptance from B.A.A. (Boston Athletic Association) as a runner into the 2016 Boston Marathon!!!Boston Acceptance
  10. April 18, 2016 – The final step will be here before we know it! I plan to enjoy the training (as much as possible) in anticipation of that great day, knowing that a dream will be fulfilled for me, but more importantly, that we will have collaboratively made a difference in the lives of many patients and families who have unfortunately been impacted by cancer. My team has reached 93% of goal with $621,079 raised as of today!!!Team Goal Countdown


World Cancer Day Challenge!

Today, Feb. 4th, is World Cancer Day! In support of my campaign with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Boston Team in Training, I’m putting a CHALLENGE out to you today! Who’s in?! I’m asking everyone who hasn’t had the chance to donate yet, to make today the day! I’m also asking every single one of my Facebook friends to donate $1 today to my team. Do it in honor or memory of those in your life that have or are fighting this ugly disease! For anyone who donates as little as $1 today to my team in honor of the global fight against cancer, you’ll be entered into a raffle prize to win an Amazon gift card. Along with a $1 donation, I’m asking you to make a difference in someone’s life who has been affected by cancer. Show love. Send a card. Make a meal. Run an errand. Be a friend.



“To everyone who’s hit their limit and even when you think you’re finished… It’s not over yet… Keep on fighting!… Life is the race we run, so run ’til the race is done… Don’t you ever give up!… Hope is rising, never give in, never give up!”  For King and Country
(A special thank you to Kristin for putting this video together!)


January Update: My Journey to Boston 

My training plan is going great! For the month of January, I ran a total of 159 miles, even with the Blizzard of 2016!

My longest run so far this training cycle was an 18 mile run last Friday, Jan. 30th. I took this picture when I finished the run!

Running in snow

The month of January also included 5 cross-training work-outs. Four of them comprised of walking incline on the treadmill, yoga, weights, crunches, squats, etc. And, one of them was a class at 9Round, which is a kickboxing fitness circuit (and kicked my butt!).


So far, Team Alyssa has raised $12,127.60. Knowing the positive impact that this money will make both for research and also in the lives of those who are fighting cancer everyday is what it’s all about! You guys seriously rock!

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 7.49.01 PM

To date, my entire Boston TNT has raised a whopping $484,088!!!! The team is trying to break the $500,000 mark by the training run this Saturday as we work toward our team goal of $665,000. The team consists of survivors, families members who have lost loved ones, and so many people with incredible stories! Many team members are running long distances for the very first time in their lives and the team ran it’s first 1/2 marathon training run this past weekend!

Are you up for the challenge?