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


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