I am so excited to start a new series featuring a different runner each week. Every Monday until April, I will be featuring a runner that has qualified and currently training to run the Boston Marathon in April this year.
The Boston Marathon represents something special for many runners. As one of the oldest and most prestigious marathons. Earning the opportunity to even apply for entry is an honor and marks an amount of commitment and sacrifice.
I am excited to give a voice and share the story of a few of these runners. Each story is unique and each journey is filled with moments of success and moments of struggle. My hope is each runner who shares will touch at least one person who is reading this. Gives one person hopes.
I can’t wait to follow, cheer and celebrate these awesome indivuals. Our first featured runner is Shelby
Athlete Name:Shelby Henry
Social Media -@Shenry_runtx
How many Boston Marathons have you run previously? Shelby has run 6 marathons. This will be her first Boston Marathon.
- Can you first, give us your Boston marathon story.
- I didn’t start running until I was 43 years old, all thanks to my sisters. They were running and I was not, and had FOMO. The rest is history. I found a running group through the local MRTT (moms run this town), and we ran so many miles together. From them I discovered the local run stores with their running community.
- My first marathon was 4:19, second 4:10, then my husband said, “I think you’re good enough to qualify for Boston”. I trained with my “posse” and they formed a relay team to pace me. Unfortunately, I missed the cutoff by 2:13. So, 7 weeks later, I ran another marathon and QUALIFIED. Most amazing feeling to know all the work paid off and to be surrounded with my friends and family when it happened.
- What do you look forward to most, about running the Boston Marathon?
- Running the Boston Marathon shows if you have a goal, things are attainable. As a teacher, I want my students to know everyone has goals, and the actions you choose can aid in the attainment of these goals . Also, since I became a runner in my 40’s I hope to be a role model to other late bloom runners. Pace is irrelevant!! #ifyouremovingyoureliving
- How will you define success, on race day?
- Success to me on race day is finishing. I have no time goal other than to have a fun run on an iconic course. I am looking forward to the stories I will share with my family and my students/co-workers.
- Do you have a favorite product, clothing, or tech that you use for racing or training?
- When I race I like to run in a running skirt. My go-to gel is Maurten. Although pricey, it agrees with my body. I also use the Maurten powder before the race as well as during. During summer, I use watered down powerade. I found out the hard way my body does not like gatorade (especially on the course) I also tend to wear bright colors so my family can spot me on the course.
- Any advice for someone trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon or training for their first Boston Marathon?
- Since I’m new to training for Boston myself, I suggest incorporate hills into your training cycle.
- As for trying to qualify, find a group of people who believe in you. I didn’t have a coach, but when I missed Boston by 2 minutes, I stumbled on the Hanson training plan. I had never done speed work, but having added the speed and still doing the 80/20, I saw success. If you feel a coach is needed, find one that works with your philosophy!!
- What part of the marathon do you find the most challenging?
- Time management for training runs. I love the long runs and feel amazing after the speed workouts. I would prefer to run before work because I won’t take away from family time. But sometimes, it’s difficult to find anyone to run with at o-dark-thirty. Therefore, I tend to run a lot of solo runs during the week and enjoy the company of others on the weekend.
- What has been your favorite race (any distance) up until this point?
- I have several favorite races for various reasons…. My heart is drawn to the Dallas Marathon as it was my 1st marathon. The Cowtown is where I BQ’d (the 1st time) and of course, because of that it’s also special. Houston marathon is a fast and a flat course and this was the qualifying race to get me to Boston ‘23. But, I’m looking forward to KC marathon next year because I ran the half and realized all the work is in the front half, so I “just had to sign up”. All races that I mentioned have the best crowd support too. The crowd keeps you pumped up!
- Do you have any pre-race routines, rituals or good luck charms?
- I tend to eat a pasta dinner the night before, on race day, I’ll have bagel. I also apply moleskin on the bottom of my feet to help with prevention of blisters. The race day nerves makes finding a restroom a top priority before you leave the house, when you get the run, and probably again right before the race.
- What (or who) inspires you as a runner??
- I am inspired by the non-elite runners who have family and or career. I like cheering on the moms who run because they need it for sanity, or friendship, or even to get healthy. I find that runners who are near my age are also inspiring. We all have a story as to WHY we run. But, I LOVE cheering at races. It so much fun. But, I find I like to challenge myself. As I have gotten older, running is different, especially the recovery. So, if I can continue to run I feel I keep inspiring myself. I like that my daughters think I’m a badass because their mom Boston Qualified.
Thank you to Shelby for sharing your story. We wish you a all the best as your train for the Boston Marathon. I know I will be following you on Marathon Monday. I hope your students can share in the excitedment with you in some way. Thanks for being such an inspriation to our next generation.
Last week, Kathy was our first featured runner. If you missed it, be sure to click here and read aout her amazing journey and how she is motivated by her twin boys to overcome adversity every single day.
Be sure to comment below, giving Shelby a bit of luck on her journey. COMMENT, LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to hear more stories every Monday!