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.