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A long road to Boston

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  March 7, 2013 07:00 AM

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100klemond.jpg Jacqueline Palfy Klemond is one of six Boston Marathon entrants testing Polar personal training gear and blogging about it for Boston.com
The race on April 15 will be my 10th marathon, but my first Boston Marathon.

I qualified with a 3:39:13 (those seconds matter) at the Twin Cities Marathon in October. Itís been a long road to get to Boston, for me.

I qualified once before, at the Fargo Marathon in 2009. My son was 9 months old, and I was amazed to have finally made my qualifying time Ė and to have mustered through the training with a newborn, breastfeeding and working full-time.

But then in my training, I wound up with two stress fractures in my pelvis that summer. I still bet on a speedy recovery and signed up for Boston in 2010. But that wasnít meant to be. Pelvic stress fractures take an eternity to heal. And then I wound up pregnant with my second baby.

That 2010 race date came and went.

300klemondfamily.jpgAnd then the Boston Athletic Association lowered the qualifying times. I thought I had missed my opportunity to ever stand at the starting line in Hopkinton. Iím dedicated. I can and do get up at 4:45 a.m., to pound out the miles before my kids wake up, before I have to hustle them to daycare and myself to work. Itís what any working mom does, especially one who has chosen distance running as a hobby, and a passion. I donít even think about it anymore. I just go.

But I wasnít sure I could squeeze a few more minutes off my time to meet the new standard. I tried in Phoenix in January 2012. I missed it by nearly 2 minutes. On a flat course. My next chance was Twin Cities in October, which has a notoriously challenging final 10K. Itís a course that has beaten me more than once.

But somehow it all came together last year, and after melting down around mile 23, I got it together enough to just make my time Ė by 47 precious seconds.

Unfortunately, my old pelvic injuries (stress fractures to each pubic ramus) are bothering me again. But Iím determined to not miss out this time. So instead of 50-mile weeks, tempo runs and Saturdays spent winding through Sioux Falls or running to and from nearby towns down gravel roads, Iím cross-training my way to Boston.

The pool. Spin classes. Push-ups. Pull-ups. A month off running, and now a very conservative, bare bones final push to be able to finish. I look forward to trying the new Polar gear to see if Iíve been doing easy runs too hard, and maybe thatís why the years of recurring injuries.

It wonít be my ideal race in April. Knowing that, we planned a family reunion around the weekend. I have three sisters, also marathoners, and weíll be together, with the kids, the husbands, and the knowledge that getting to the starting line is just as difficult, sometimes more so, than getting to the finish.

The goal this year isnít to set a PR in Boston. Itís to finish Ė and not re-injure anything, so I can enjoy another beautiful South Dakota summer running.

After all, you need some kind of reward for running through the winters here.

Jacqueline Palfy Klemond writes about running, reading and raising a family on her own blog, Jack & Viv.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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