Raica Mirza '19: Running the Boston Marathon is My Dream

April 13, 2018

Raica and Sabika Mirza after race

Raica wasn't just training for the Boston Marathon—she was embarking on a journey.

Running the Boston Marathon has been Raica's dream for as long as she can remember. Today, that dream comes true. We caught up with Raica about her passion for nursing, her love of Simmons, and what kept her going during the long months of training.

ON PURSUING NURSING: To be there for someone at their most vulnerable is something very special. You need patience, empathy, compassion and a love for what you're doing—that's what nursing is to me. I want to wake up everyday and make an impact in someone else's life the way people have made an impact in mine.

ON CHOOSING SIMMONS: Simmons is more than a school to me, it's home. This community has a funny way of pushing you beyond your limits—it's challenging, supportive, and so caring. Simmons gives me the tight-knit community I'm looking for in the middle of beautiful Boston—it doesn't get better than that!

ON RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON: Running the Boston Marathon has been my dream since I can remember. For me, this is so much more than a race—it's the end of a tough weight loss journey, it's showing everyone, but most importantly myself, that I'm capable of anything I set my mind to. This has been something I've worked very hard for, and it all boils down to a teacher I met in high school. She inspired me to get fit and to dream big about running this marathon—I have her to thank after all these years!

Raica MirzaON HER TRAINING ROUTINE: I do 3 small runs a week, anywhere from 2-5 miles, and then a long run on the weekend. I sprinkle cross-training days in between, doing anything from spin classes, Insanity workouts, yoga, or even going for a walk. I keep one rest day, which is usually Fridays or Sundays.

Fitting my training schedule into my school life is one of the biggest challenges. Finding the motivation to go for a run at 10 p.m. (sometimes midnight) when my day is over has been challenging! I'm also very injury prone—I've already sprained my meniscus and I'm still working through that. Discipline in terms of diet has been hard too. I'm such a foodie, so it's been tough to stay away from desserts and such for almost 6 months now.

ON THE DAY OF THE RACE: I'm so excited to be surrounded by friends and family who I hold so close to my heart. Training for the marathon and everything else leading up to this day has been life changing, and I'm ready to do this for myself. So after I cross the finish line, I'll be ready for an ugly cry! I'm going to hug my twin sister, Sabika, and tell her how much I love her. She's always been my inspiration to dream big, and I want to see her first before anyone. Then I'll meet the rest of my family and friends and let them know how much they mean to me! I'll also definitely eat some cookie dough ice cream and Tasty Burger because it's what I've been craving!

Raica MirzaON HER RUNNING PLAYLIST: Anything by Post Malone, Kanye, or Taylor Swift because I LOVE HER, especially her song,"Delicate." Overall, I do a mix of fast and slow songs as you can see on my Spotify playlist! My finish line song will be "Whatever it Takes" by Imagine Dragons. There are days when I listen to this song on repeat through 7-8 miles and by the end I'm literally sobbing!

ON CHOOSING HER CHARITY: I'm running for Plummer Youth! It's a charity dedicated to helping kids in and out of foster care find safe, secure homes. I babysit 2 girls who have been touched by an act of kindness like this. They're doing so much better because of it and I want nothing more than to see more miracles like that!

ON HER SIMMONS MOMENT: During my first summer as an Orientation Leader, I was sitting on a panel for parents. All of the people/departments at Simmons who have impacted me the most were in that room: Kat Michael, Bethany Tuller, Corey Zohlman, Susan Antonelli, Amelia McConnell, Public Safety, UG Admissions, etc. One parent asked me why I chose Simmons and as I was telling them how much I've grown to love this community, I started to cry! In that moment, it was so obvious to me that I had found my home.