When I toed the starting line at my first marathon in 2007, I had one goal: to finish. The weather was incredibly hot that day. So hot, in fact, that they called off the race long before I finished. I was re-routed, and after all the training and hard work, I ran about 17 miles that day. I got a medal, but I didn’t run 26.2 miles. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it.

My family came to cheer & I got a medal! But I didn't finish 26.2 miles in 2007.

My family came to cheer & I got a medal! But I didn’t finish 26.2 miles in 2007.

So in 2008, my goal, again, was to finish. My friend Melissa and I finished together, in San Francisco, hand in hand. When I called my parents to tell them I’d done it, I was crying so hard that my mom thought I was hurt! I was just so proud.

It wasn't pretty, but we crossed that finish line.

It wasn’t pretty, but we crossed that finish line.

In 2009, I had a new goal. A marathon time that started with a five. I still stood by my mantra, “Forward is a pace,” but told a few people that I really wanted to get that 5:59:59 one day. Spoiler alert: didn’t get it that year. In fact. the Official End of Race Vehicle beat me. But with my friend Barb and my new friend David Wallach by my side, I still crossed that finish line and finally got a Chicago Marathon medal that I earned.

In 2009 I made a new friend. But the end of the race still beat me.

In 2009 I made a new friend. But the end of the race still beat me.

In 2010, I worked my tail off on my running. Race day brought warm conditions, but my happiest marathon to date. I didn’t chase down my 5:59:59, but I crossed the finish line with my former student, Kay, and I beat the end of the race! A 6:08 marathon felt amazing.

Finishing with Kay was amazing. Can't wait to cheer for her at her first marathon someday.

Finishing with Kay was amazing. Can’t wait to cheer for her at her first marathon someday.

In 2011, I temporarily lost my mind and trained for a Half Ironman triathlon and put running on hold. One month before that race, I got a nasty IBD flare. I spent the rest of 2011 and most of 2012 trying to get my disease under control. I ran two half marathons with Team Challenge, finally got a second opinion, and my diagnosis was changed from ulcerative colitis to Crohn’s disease. I spent time getting my medications in order and finding the right mix for me.

And this year, in 2013, I finally felt healthy enough to take on my old friend, the marathon. I planned to run the Chicago Marathon, but wasn’t able to get an entry to the race. I set my sights on the Twin Cities Marathon, a race from Minneapolis to St. Paul, Minnesota.

A race with a very strict 6-hour time limit. If I didn’t finish in time, I wouldn’t get a medal… I wouldn’t even get a race shirt! But, spoiler alert: I did it. With time to spare!

Less than six hours. 5:52:33. Bam.

Less than six hours. 5:52:33. Bam.

The race was on October 6, and I’m still so proud I could burst. I can’t wait to tell you all about how I finally got it this time!

Anyone else chase down some goals lately? Got a dream you’re working towards?

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8 Responses to Six years in the making: 5:52:33.

  1. JennyB says:

    Congrats Lauren! My goal is to cross the finish line in Vegas for Team Challenge…hopefully before the course time limit :)
    JennyB recently posted..October updateMy Profile

  2. Chris says:

    Just wanted to say congratulations on your accomplishment! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this entry. Best of luck at you continue!
    Chris recently posted..Race Day 25 — The Bank of America Chicago Marathon 10/13My Profile

  3. Teresa Nelson says:

    Yah!!!!

  4. Andrea says:

    Congrats! That’s such a great accomplishment!
    Andrea recently posted..Living with Ulcerative ColitisMy Profile

  5. I just loved reading this post about how far you’ve come since your first marathon!!! Thank you for being such a running inspiration in my life!
    Amy @ Juice Boxes + Crayolas recently posted..Race Recap: Chicago Marathon 10.13.13My Profile

  6. Thiis is very interesting, You’rea very skilled blogger. I’ve joined yopur rss feed and look forward tto seeking more off your great post.
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    http://Websitesosimple.com/noticiasdehoy.co-142681.html recently posted..http://Websitesosimple.com/noticiasdehoy.co-142681.htmlMy Profile

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