I wouldn't usually appreciate anyone describing me as being 'good for my age', but when it comes from the people at London Marathon, it's actually really nice to finally, finally, hear!
In April I ran the Manchester Marathon in 3.40. I was really happy with my new 11 min PB, despite it being 5 minutes later than the Boston Qualifying time I'd been hoping for (currently 3.35 and under for my age group). I was disappointed that I'd not achieved a BQ but soon realised that missing this goal meant I had something to aim for next year. Every cloud and all that.
But I did begin to wonder whether it would ever be a realistic goal...could I ever really run that fast?
Then I remembered my first marathon in Berlin back in 2012. I was ecstatic to finish in under 4 hours (I scraped in with just 20 seconds to spare) and really really wanted to run the London marathon. Unsuccessful in the ballot, I ran it for charity in 2014 and it was the most fun I'd ever had running. It was brilliant. And I wanted to do it again.
I always looked at the Good For Age qualifying times but dismissed them as unachievable by little old me. But with a few years of solid running under my belt I finally did just that. In the midst of trying for a BQ in Manchester, I'd almost forgotten that I could potentially get a GFA for London. Just because I missed one goal didn't mean I didn't get another. So I was ecstatic when I received the holy grail of emails from London Marathon telling me that my GFA application was successful and I would be standing at the start line in 2017, having got there under my own hard work.
So it just goes to show, goals might take time to achieve, but it doesn't mean they're impossible. So maybe, just maybe, that Boston Qualifier time isn't so inconceivable after all.
Get ready London, I'm coming for you!