Imagine training hard with a dream in your heart--a ticket to Boston! Now picture crossing the finish line full of joy because you just made the qualifying time and yes, you are going to Boston! But wait… what you did not know is that now the qualifying time has changed to a faster time for your age group, and now you will have to do everything all over again. This is exactly what happened to my friend Christian, but he did not give up. On the contrary, it only made him stronger and faster: "After over two years training and a few close attempts, finally a lifelong dream is realized. Official time: 3:02:46 (6:58 pace)." - Christian Lambert. When I saw this post on Christian's Facebook page I knew that I needed to go back to my Runner of the Month section. I have always said that there are no shortcuts to success, and Christian is a perfect example of what needs to be done to achieve a goal. And no matter how big or small our dreams are, the only way to attain them is through dedication and hard work. Now I am here writing about it and feeling proud of having a friend I admire for his dedication and for everything he shares with me about his running life. Here is the rest of Christian Lambert:
Ceci: First of all, I want to congratulate on your great achievement! How does it feel to be a Boston qualifier?
Christian: Thank you Ceci. It feels unbelievable. A dream come true. As a middle schooler in the cross-country team, I imagined running the Boston Marathon. I didn't know at the time how difficult it is to run a marathon or even that someone needed to qualify for Boston. Nevertheless, I pictured myself running it.
Ceci: When do you realized that Boston was a doable challenge?
Christian: After my second marathon in 2011. I clipped the newspaper results of the race and drew a red line where I needed to be to qualify for Boston. I thought if I worked hard at it, I could do it. Funny story: a year later I met that goal but the qualifying times had been lowered. Doh!
Ceci: How long have you been running and how did you get into running??
Christian: I've been running all my life. Since I was 6 years old when my older brothers would take me running with them. They're the reason I started. Then on-and-off throughout the years. But it wasn't until 2009, when I decided to train for a half-marathon that I started to run long distances.
Ceci: What is the most enjoyable thing about running?
Christian:The way running clears my mind and lifts my spirit.
Ceci: What do you prefer, trail running, track or road racing and why?
Christian: Road running is my favorite because I like the feeling of the open road. Trail running is also fun because you have to focus and the scenery is typically nicer. I hate the track because it's for hamsters. Don't get me started on the treadmill.
Ceci: What is your favorite running distance?
Christian: Marathons are my favorite distance. I like the challenge of breaking through the infamous wall, although, I've hit it face first many times; more often than not.
Ceci: How many miles do you do a week?
Christian: Miles per week fluctuates between 15 to 50 depending on where I am on my training schedule or off-season. Above 50, I tend to get injured
Ceci: Tell me a good memory and a bad memory that you have experienced as a runner?
Christian: The best memory so far was seeing my daughters at the finish line of my second marathon. I was overwhelmed with emotion when they called out "Dad!" Bad memories only occur when you're not running or you can't run; typically because you're injured.
Ceci: Do you look forward to do a particular running event? Which one and why?
Christian: Someone's first marathon, whichever it is. I like to share in their experience especially if I can help them reach their goal by supporting their training, pacing them, or just cheering them on along the course.
Ceci: Any advice you want to give to the new runners?
Christian: Run your race, no one else's. Unless you're on a relay team, then you should also cheer on your teammates in addition to running your race. Haha.
Ceci: How do you overcome running injuries?
Christian: Preventive maintenance - massages, foam-rolling, ice baths, rest days, sleep (including naps for days you get up early for a long run), good nutrition, KT tape, and my favorite... a lacrosse ball.
Ceci: Do you have more running dreams now that Boston is in your list?
Christian: Yes, I have many more dreams but I like to keep them confidential. They're my motivation. My hope is that I get to share them with my friends in the coming years
Ceci: Describe yourself in 3 running words.
Christian: Consistent. Competitive. Helpful.