Monday, April 19, 2010

Boston Marathon - Is it possible?

I have the curse of youth. Yeah, you heard me...the curse of youth. (Proceed with hating me.....NOW)

I get carded at bars, clients think that I am 18, people mistake me for Justin Bieber, and according to BAA I must run a 3:10 (7:15 pace) marathon to qualify for Boston. To look at it another way, go to your local track, run around that track in 1 minute 49 seconds, and then repeat 104 more times without slowing down or stopping. (I love the track analogy for a marathon.) Makes me want to crap my pants just thinking about it.

By the time this is posted, people are already boarding buses on the long drive to the starting line of the 114th Boston Marathon. To say that I am jealous would be like saying Count Dracula from Sesame Street hates it when his green cape gets caught in doorways (he hates it...a lot).

As I think of those runners boarding the buses, I can't help but wonder if I will ever qualify and run the Boston Marathon. I posted this very question about a year ago when my current marathon PR was 3:29:29. It is now 4 minutes faster at 3:25:30. So, I am getting closer, but I am still a world away from as speedy of a marathon as is necessary to qualify. 4 minutes faster per year is not going to cut it.

During last year's post, I asked the question: I’ve often wondered to myself if running at the speed required for me to qualify is something that is purely genetic, or if it is something that can be trained. That is, can anyone qualify if they train their ass off?

Honestly, I'd like to think that if I train my ass off, I CAN qualify - it is the commitment to completely lose your ass (because of training it off - duh) that is the tough part. Either way, that is exactly what I am planning on doing. I believe that my long term plan will put me at 3:20 by November and 3:10 sometime next spring. I don't have any spring marathons planned, but I think that I should be able to find one that will be Boston qualifying friendly. (Like one that includes a cycling section.) At least, that is my plan. Of course, the details to get there are still being worked out.

As you ponder my question, I want to leave you with a quote I found that struck me as so true. I'm not sure what it is about that race, but it seems to have a hold on me. "I'd rather be at the start of the Boston Marathon than at the finish of any other marathon." Call me short sighted, call me ignorant of other GREAT races, but don't call me focused - because I am focused on this race.

Finally, I saw a tweet (follow me!) late last week that puts a funny spin on some of the statistics of the Boston Marathon. For example, did you know that if you added the force of all of the foot strikes that each runner makes, it would measure 3.3 on the Richter Scale!? Those crazy MIT nerds and their smelly BO.

13 comments:

EZEthan said...

I'm right there with ya... I just turned 31 and my first marathon time was 3:39 so my goal is to qualify for Boston before I turn 35 and the time goes up to 3:15... which actually means qualifying when I'm 33 so I can run it when I'm 34... which means I have to qualify early enough so that registration isn't full that year... which mean's: yep, I need to start training my ass off.

Razz said...

Bet your ass it's possible! I'm waiting to run it when I'm 70. I think I can hit the qualifying time by then.

The Sean said...

I went 3:25, 3:20, 4:(COUGH COUGH), 3:19, 2:58, 3:02, 2:56

So, the difference was all in my head. Patience and consistency, less speed more base.

In short, for me, I spent less time trying to qualify and more time just enjoying the process. From there things fell into line.

You'll get there.

RunningLaur said...

3:10 to Boston. Brilliant.
I know you'll keep working at it, and you;ll get there!

Chad said...

I was fooled by this, but I guess you weren't.

http://mybaa.org/BostonMarathon/2011.html

Ulyana said...

I WAS 16 SECONDS AWAY!

And I'll beat that time fo'sho'... only I think by the time (and if) I'm fit to run a marathon I'll be much older... BUT that means I won't have the curse of youth, and a slower time will apply to me... so i guess - yay!

Pat said...

Did you read in the paper today about the guy that is running his 20th Boston and his 101st marathon?

You can do it too!

ShutUpandRun said...

I agree with Razz. Wait until you're 80, then I think you just need to run an 8 hour marathon.

Her Name is Rio said...

That's great you have that goal! I do think it is possible for you. Rootin' for you!

inspiREDtorun13 said...

How sweet would it be to run the Boston Marathon with blue hair and a walker? Just sayin'.

I guess this is something most people wouldn't want to do because they'd rather offically qualify, but I met a girl who ran the Boston Marathon b/c she fundraised for a charity.

I say chase your dream. You're going to do it. And it's going to be awesome.

But thought I'd share this...although I'm sure the link is a "duh" for the majority of your followers.
http://www.bostonmarathon.org/BostonMarathon/Charity.asp

Glenn Jones said...

"go to your local track, run around that track in 1 minute 49 seconds, and then repeat 104 more times without slowing down or stopping"

I had never thought of it in those terms before. Pretty mind boggling...

As far as whether you can train to qualify? I know a lot of people who have. I think it helps that they weren't carrying around an extra 50 pounds like I do....

Go for it Adam!

Nat said...

I am impressed with your current marathon PR. If it was me, I'd have to wait until I was 80. Even then, I probably wouldn't qualify. But, I think you could do it with your current plan!

Morgan said...

I really think you have it in you and yes it will take hard work, working your ass off and then some. My coach told me anything is possible but in a marathon nothing is certain. You just have to believe in yourself, your training and hope it propels you to the Finish line. Maybe I'll see you there when I finally qualify. I'm hoping on next spring...