my road to the boston marathon

running to the boston marathon

running: my road to boston

Running has been at the heart of many of my life’s positive experiences.  When I was 13 years old, my best friend and I would run 2 miles to the corner store, buy some Hostess mini donuts and a kiwi strawberry Snapple and share them on our walk home.

running as an escape

During my parent’s divorce, running was my escape. In college, running the UCLA perimeter was a social activity. In 2002 my husband and I did the Powereman Duathlon in Birmingham Alabama through Team in Training. It was then that it occurred to me I could potentially complete a marathon. With this motivation I began training and completed my first marathon in October 2003. I had set my goal at 4 hours and I came across the finish line at 4:00.50.

There are many other things I want to do in my life and each of them is achievable as long as I make the commitment to achieve them.

This marathon taught me two things: 1. I could complete a marathon. 2. What it meant to hit the “wall”. It was also during this marathon that I told myself that one day, I would run the Boston Marathon.

my second marathon

I ran my second marathon in 2004, improving my time by 17 minutes. In 2006, I achieved my goal of 3:30 in the Chicago marathon and most recently finished the Sacramento Marathon this past December. My goal time for Sacramento was 3:20 but I was never convinced that this was an achievable goal. All through the marathon I was keeping pace with the 3:20 group but wary of what I would have left for the end. At mile 22 my husband joined me to mentally push me through the last 4 miles and told me “I already booked the hotel in Boston”. It was then that I told myself “3:20 is your goal and you can do it” -- and I did. I crossed the finish line at 3:20:23.

Since competing in these events I have discovered that there are many other things I want to do in my life and each of them is achievable as long as I make the commitment to achieve them.  As I write this, I am only a few weeks away from the Boston marathon. Although I have finished my longest training run and worked on my speed through tempo runs and interval training, I know that come April 20th, I will have to once again push myself both mentally and physically to achieve another goal that I have been working towards for the past 7 years.

I am nervous and anxious for the difficult course I’ll be up against in Boston. I know that with my training, support from family and friends, and the drive to reach my goal, that nothing will stop me. Maybe I’ll even finish off the race with a kiwi strawberry Snapple and a pack of Hostess donuts.

Carolyn is a senior buyer at lululemon and is featured above wearing our See Me Jacket, a super breathable and water resistant run jacket. To see more photos from our running photoshoot with Carolyn, visit our set on flickr.

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Good luck Carolyn! We’ll all be cheering you on!

Comment by Carolyn — April 9, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

Thanks for sharing your story! Good luck!

Comment by Alana — April 14, 2009 @ 4:08 pm

Best of Luck, Caro!! I already know YOU can do it ;-)

Comment by Lisa — April 14, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

Great piece, C! Very inspiring. :)
Good luck on the big run ~ can’t wait to hear all about it. PS – Love all of the pictures.

Comment by Lauren S. — April 14, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

Go Carolyn. You are my running hero. Let’s train together :)

Comment by Katy — April 14, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

Good luck you speedster! :)

Comment by Abbie — April 14, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

knock ‘em dead C! you’re gonna do great! congrats on qualifying and the race will be a piece of cake (or a doughnut if you prefer!) love the pics! :) marty

Comment by Marty D — April 14, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

Good luck, Carolyn!

Comment by Evie — April 14, 2009 @ 7:09 pm

You’ll do amazingly well. How did you train (with a group, buddies, coach)? Look for lululemonheads cheering you on!

Comment by Lauren Clapperton — April 14, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

You’re a MACHINE C!!! Psssh… you’ve already conquered Boston. PS. the closest Timmy’s to Boston seems to be 52.9 mi in Woonsocket, RI… now THAT should be your motivation. Go get em’!!

Comment by Carlson — April 14, 2009 @ 11:50 pm

You’re going to be amazing Carolyn…looking forward to a post-race treat together once you’re back.

Comment by Amy CS — April 15, 2009 @ 6:18 am

I’m cheering for you, Carolyn!!

Comment by Jackie — April 15, 2009 @ 6:39 am

I too will be running the Boston marathon on Monday. Reading your story has made me even more excited, anxious, nervous…I had goose bumps thinking about it. Good luck! I’ll be dressed from head to toe in lulu and I’m planning on hitting the Prudential Store the night before for the leg stretch and relaxation. Go Boston!!!

Comment by Liz — April 15, 2009 @ 6:47 am

Very exciting!! Such a huge accomplishment to qualify for Boston. Will be thinking of you on the 20th!!

Comment by Christie Keenan — April 15, 2009 @ 6:50 am

YAY! So happy for you! This story is great! I’ll be watching for updates all day Monday! Go Carolyn!!

Comment by emily — April 15, 2009 @ 8:01 am

Good luck at the Boston – can’t wait to hear about your experience in future posts!

Comment by Janice — April 15, 2009 @ 8:44 am

You are amazing! Best of luck at Boston, you’re going to be great. Your story inspires me that I may qualify some day (15 more minutes to take off my last marathon time!)…I’m rooting for you!


Comment by Ro — April 15, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

Have a great race!
I will be back to read about your adventures!

Comment by Cheryl — April 15, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

Best wishes Carolyn for the Boston Marathon. I am sure you will do great, look forward to hearing stories from the road.


Comment by Asif Husain — April 16, 2009 @ 1:56 pm

Good luch Carolyn! I am just training for my second 10 mile road race and was pretty anxious about it until I read your story. Thanks for the inspiration!

Comment by Deborah — April 17, 2009 @ 9:31 am

3:29!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS CAROLYN!!!!! You really are a MONSTOR that I aspire to be. Yeay to bib 8814!

Comment by Carlson Big Daddy Hui — April 20, 2009 @ 10:49 am

oops.. pardon my MONSTER spelling. I like this comment board.

Comment by Carlson Big Daddy Hui — April 20, 2009 @ 10:51 am

Yahoo yahoo yahoo! Just checked your time right now! WAY TO GO CAROLYN!!!!!!!!!! Have you had a donut yet?

Comment by Carolyn — April 20, 2009 @ 11:13 am

Thanks to everyone for all their support!! It was a great race and an amazing experience. Thanks for letting me share it with you!

Comment by carolyn — April 22, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

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