I saw the link on Facebook, and I knew I shouldn’t click it, but I did anyway.
Oh, boy. People have asked me before if I had aspirations to run Boston. My reactions has always been a scoff, chortle, half maniacal laugh half choke. Followed by N – O. My first marathon took me 5:37:39. To qualify for Boston, I’d have to run a marathon in 3:35:00. (That’s just to qualify. The way registration works, I’d have to run even faster to have a shot at actually running the race.)
If you aren’t much of a math whiz, I’ll break it down for you, that’s two hours I’d have to take off my time. Two hours! 120 minutes!
I would say that is ludacris. (In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s the exact word I used the first time someone mentioned me running Boston.) But….but I did manage to run my 2nd marathon in 4:24:54. That puts me over an hour closer. Now I don’t think that I’d take another full hour off of my time in just one more race. I think it’d probably take me a few more marathons and lots of training if I really wanted to attempt to qualify for Boston. But I guess that’s the question: Do I really want to attempt it?
The appeal of BQing:
- The prestige. (Only 10% of runners ever BQ.)
- The challenge. (This is a goal definitely outside my current scope of abilities but not impossible.)
- Because it’s there. (a la George Mallory.)
The cons of attempting to BQ:
- It takes so much time.
- It takes so much work.
- I don’t want it to suck the joy out of running.
When I trained for Big D, I didn’t do any speed work. Like none, zero, zilch, nada. I’d say that I hate speed work, buy I haven’t really done that much of it, so I don’t know. I more hate the pressure of racing against the clock. (I know, kind of strange for a runner to say.) I’m scared about getting my heart set on Boston and then failing spectacularly.
But how will I know if I could do it if I don’t ever try? Now might be the time. I’m not working, I have free time, I need a goal. If not now, when? So I’m going to go for it. I’m going to start making a concentrated effort to run faster. I’m going to look for races, I’m going to read more, I’m going to strategize, I’m going to maybe eat better (<–that one is scary), and I’m going to go for it!
The only contingency I have is this: if attempting to qualify takes the enjoyment out of running, then I’m going to stop. It’s not worth it if I’m going to be miserable. It’s not worth it if it is going to run my life in a way that I don’t want. It’s not worth it if it makes me crazy. But until that happens, I’m gunning for Boston!
(Saying that makes me want to crap my pants. Holy Moly.)*