Keep on Dreamin’

“Some dreams, stay with you forever, drag you round and bring you back to where you were. Some dreams, keep on getting better. Gotta keep believing if you want to know for sure.” ~Eli Young Band

Isn’t it crazy how a song can bring up so many emotions? Good and bad, songs can take you right to a time and place in your life. “Even if it breaks your heart” by the Eli Young Band came on the radio (Does anyone listen to the radio anymore? It was Pandora.) last night, and I couldn’t hold my tears in. Happy tears or sad tears, I just couldn’t decide, but they were tears of memories of crazy times, of wondering what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

In 2011, my family moved to Texas under duress. It wasn’t planned, and it was a really hard move to make, especially since it was so entirely far away from my family and friends in Iowa. I had tried and failed to qualify for the Boston Marathon three times in two years, and I was worn out. I didn’t know if I had the energy and strength to train for another marathon and fail at my time goal. It’s heart-wrenching, embarrassing, really, really, embarrassing, soul-sucking, and I just didn’t know, especially with everything that happened over the move, if I had it in me to go through another disappointment and the stress of training.

Then I heard the song on one hot Saturday morning in Katy, Texas, in the summer of 2012 after running with my group and on my way to my son’s football practice. And I knew, I KNEW deep down in my soul that I had to give it a try, I had to keep trying until I made it. I knew I could do it, it was in my reach, so I knew I had to at least give myself the benefit of the doubt to try again.

“Keep on dreamin’ even if it breaks your heart.”

So, because of that song, I trained for the 2013 Houston marathon and qualified for Boston without even realizing it until ten minutes after I was done.


Before I knew I got my BQ. Thought I missed it by 3 minutes, but actually made it by almost 2.

I ran the Boston Marathon in 2014. The race was a dream come true, just being a part of it, having those memories and sharing the experience of the pinnacle of racing. And I’m sure, if you’ve been reading this blog a while, you know that I did not finish that race on a good note. Dehydration, salt depletion, whatever it was on that hot day, left me struggling to finish as I walked the last 5 miles. It was not the Boston finish I wanted nor felt I deserved.


I was livin’ the dream and went from this…..


To this. I was devastated.

Since then, I’ve tried to qualify for Boston twice and am in training for my third attempt. This would be my sixth attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon, seventh if you count Boston itself. It drains you. It depletes you. It makes you question your ability, your sanity, your everything. Some days I wonder if I should quit. One Boston is enough, right? It’s more than some people can get, right? Isn’t that enough? Well, it’s not enough for me. I know, deep down, just as I did that morning in Texas, that I can do it again. I know I have the ability to go back and run the race of my dreams. As I listened to that song last night, I knew I had to keep on dreaming even when it breaks my heart.


Categories: anything is possible, Boston Marathon, follow your dreams, go for your dreams, learning from failure, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Keep on Dreamin’

  1. Yep, you’ve got what it takes.

  2. Thanks, Raleigh Paul. It’s always quite the journey, isn’t it?

  3. You did it once and you can do it again. Run fast, take chances, and dream big.

  4. Dreaming is what keeps us going!! You will have the race of your life, because you want it!! You have the desire, the motivation and determination to succeed and you will!! The journey is what makes the finish line so rewarding!! Keep your dreams in mind every day as you embark on your training adventures 🙂 #dreambelieveachieve #dreambigworkhard

    • I think I needed to do a re-check and make sure I was doing this for the right reasons and not blindly chasing something. No, I LOVE running and what it makes me feel like (except maybe in July), and going for goals. I’d prefer to keep challenging myself and having fun along the way. Hopefully a BQ will be the by-product of that! 🙂

  5. You will get it again Kelli and I will be there cheering you at the finish line in March!

  6. I know exactly what you mean, having not qualified myself after 3 attempts (four if you include the marathon I cut short to the half and technically got a DNF but probably saved myself from having to take serious time off from running). It’s heartbreaking and discouraging and a part of me wants to say ” the hell with marathons anyway.”

    But I can’t stop the dream of running past the hospital I was born before hitting those Newton hills and crossing that Boston finish line. I need to do it. For the little girl in me.

    And your journey has fueled my fire. I KNOW you’ll do it! I can’t wait to hear all about it when you do.

    • Thanks for that and you’ll get yours too. I think we show our true character when we can attempt, fail, re-group, and keep trying. It speaks a lot about who we are. It’s not easy for us, like it is for so many other runners, which makes it almost sweeter. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve lost sight of what I’m trying to do, but no, I am still having fun and still chasing a very doable goal 🙂 I’ll get there, whether or not it’s in March, but I’ll get there!

  7. I’ve got the Boston dream too…I’m so far away from it but I’m not giving up. You shouldn’t either!! Youv’e done it!! You know you can do it!

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