Marathon Monday: Go Fast Take Chances

Saying a goal out loud is the magical step that makes it come to life. Mine started with a whisper and has grown into a shout through a canyon. My goal is to run the Boston Marathon in under 3 hours.

I’ve always been the type to write things down--I have a notebook full of lists and thoughts, and SMART goals are my jam. But even with this goal written in my notebook, training journal, and emails to my coach, it didn’t seem real. I didn’t fully commit until I started telling people about it.

2017 Boston Marathon

In January, our team filled out Oiselle’s prologue page and shared our goals out loud at our weekly team meeting. When I shared my big scary goals about running sub-3 at Boston and eventually a 2:45 for the Olympic Trials standard, I really did whisper.

“Who am I to think I can do this?”

So many doubts. But affirmation from my teammates gave me confidence and strengthened my voice.

RDP Boston Marathon Picture

It would be way safer to say that I just want to run a PR--I ran 3:21 at Boston last year and a 3:23 during my marathon-in-training run this cycle. It scares me to be open and vulnerable, but owning my goal has made a huge difference. There is no question about why I’m doing what I’m doing. I have a single focus--see the finish line and cross it with a clock that says 2:XX:XX. I don’t care if it’s 2:45:00 or 2:59:59, I’m just excited to trust my training and have fun running fast.

Literally nowhere else in my life do I have an attention span like I do with marathon training. This cycle has been amazing and challenging. I have infinite trust in my coach’s ability to work with my crazy schedule—I ran 20+ miles on 7 Saturdays in a row, including a 26.3 mile workout at 5am before an all-day conference. I raced whenever possible and ran a half marathon PR, fit strength training in regularly (#bodybyAngela), got 7+ hours of sleep, kept up with PT (thanks Run Raleigh:)) and ate like a marathoner (shoutout to Trader Joe’s almond butter and the Produce Project).

Erin & Charlie Pre Boston

This training cycle has gotten me through almost half of my 3rd year clinical rotations--I’ve been on surgery/trauma, family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, and psychiatry. The consistency of rolling out of bed and hitting the road has been the one thing I know I have control over each day and keeps me grounded when I’m changing location every few weeks. Most days I don’t know what time I’ll get to leave clinic or the hospital. A friend who has worked with medical students recently said, “you don’t realize how much good you’re doing for your body,” and I realized that marathon training has done more for my health than any combination of undergrad degrees in exercise science/nutrition and ¾ of medical school. No matter the numbers on Marathon Monday, I am so proud of myself for this season and this year, and I’m excited for what’s next!

Here are my Boston lists:

Race day gear

  • New Balance 1500 racing flats

  • Oiselle crop & shorts

  • Stance socks

  • Oiselle arm warmers & gloves

  • Towel + clothes to donate at the athletes village (+ a garbage bag and maybe an ark b/c rain!)

Pre-race snacks

  • Oatmeal + almond butter

  • All the coffee on the planet

  • Multigrain bagel in the athletes village


  • I’m a marathoner, I can do anything

  • Go fast take chances


  • A goal: sub 3

  • B goal: run a PR

  • C goal: have fun, finish healthy, alive