Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is an achievement I have computed the math on many times over many long runs. Not too long ago I tested my limits on the a half-marathon road-run to see if I was capable of at least running a half-marathon at the full Boston-qualifying pace of 3:40 or 3:45 (depending on the year I was looking at). Yes, indeed I could run a BQ pace for the thirteen point one distance. So then what? Soon after that experience my running sights were set not longer and faster, but rather higher. I began training on the trail for higher elevation mountain races and haven’t looked to a road marathon since.
Then Clif Bar & Company opened the door to the one road marathon possibility I might consider if I could do it without risk of too much injury, Boston Marathon. I have attended Boston Marathon festivities without actually running the event a couple of times. I have run the Boston Athletic Association 5k twice to make that historic turn onto Boylston street and touch foot to the finish line. This year is the year I will run the 26.2 from Hopkington to Boylston. Did I qualify? Heck yeah I am qualified. I will live it at that for now.
Atop of massively high peak or the depths of a wooded trail I feel small and free, and I smile. Being in the presence of nature’s grandness provides me faith that there is something bigger at work beyond my individual little world that can seem all-encompassing. This thought is gift to my efforts in living with more grace and ease. It is in the acceptance that humans are not at the center of the universe that makes everything “doable”. It does’t mean I am insignificant. It does mean that those overwhelmingly difficult struggles are manageable no matter how unmanageable they may feel at times. Preserving the grandness of special places in nature that provide me with “smallness” is close to my heart.
Kevin Fedarko, author and speaker at the Conservation Alliance meeting inspired these thoughts with his request that we protect and honor one of the grandest natural places from becoming yet another amusement park. Preserving The Grand Canyon as National Monument protects it for future generations and ensures it remains one of those places where we can all connect with our smallness to thrive within the that which is larger than ourselves.
Here is a little more inspiration from my friends at Clif Bar & Company
How well do you know the National Parks in the United States? Take the CLIF Adventure Quiz to find out!
How well do you know the National Parks in the United States?