Friday, October 22, 2010

Running after Marathon & Boston

I went on my first run since the Denver Marathon yesterday morning. It was ROUGH. 4 miles at 8:00 pace. It was one of those runs that felt like I was running through pudding.  Believe me, if you've tried to run through pudding it is NOT fun. (They've done it on Mythbusters, looked hard.)

I had originally planned on running yesterday but still had some lingering soreness in my quads. This time I'm trying to balance my recovery with knowing that I have my last "A" race of the year in 3 weeks.  So, this week will be a down week, and that is fine, but next week will be pushing 50 miles.  Balance. You know, like a BigMac with large fries and a Diet Coke. Fatty, carbtastic, aspartame balance.

On the bright side, I had been a bit “bound up” since the marathon and running the 4 miles cleared that right up. SO, there is that……..which is nice.


Boston marathon registration opened on Monday. Honestly, I’m still 13 minutes away from qualifying so I could care less. What is interesting though is that in previous years, it took months to fill up. This year? 8 hours. EIGHT HOURS. Or, like I call it, 2/3 of a workday.

That said, while I don’t care about current Boston registering, I DO care about FUTURE Boston registering. I'm on my slow death march towards qualifying.  I'm currently on track to make a run late spring.

Since the race filled up faster than Lidsey Lohan wracks up DUIs, there are calls for the Boston Athletic Association to “fix” the process.  One of the things they are throwing around is to make the qualifcations HARDER.

There is a LOT of really good chatter about this out on the blogosphere.  For example:

Beth from Shut Up and Run maybe agrees with the Wall Street journal article (written by two MEN by the way) that raising the qualification standards is a good idea - at least for women.  And she can say that as a female (I know I sure have no right to).

DC Rainmaker gives 5 good reasons why the race sold out so fast this year, with "because people thought it would", "because it is cheap", and "more people are running and qualifying now" being a few.

Even the Runners World Forums are a buzz with a number of postings where people speak their mind on what to do with the sellout "epidemic".

I know what you are thinking: where are the foot pictures?  "But Adam, what do YOU think!?".  From my perspective, I'm not quite sure what the right answer is.  I've never qualified, so I am not quite sure that I am even qualified to give any sort of opinion.  But, if someone told me they would kick me in the face if I didn't come up with a solution (happens more than you would think) I would say that they should just increase the field size.

Currently, the Boston Marathon is capped at 25,000 runners.  This is mostly because there are rules in the towns that the race goes through that prohibit any additional racers.  That said, the wave/coral start currently lasts about an hour.  BUT, if I remember right, The Boston Marathon doesn't start until 9:30am.  So, you move back the start time an hour, add some more coral waves and port-o-pots and everyone is happy.  I'm a bit confused as to why that is so hard??

What do you think?  Even if you have no desire to run Boston, what do you think should be done about races filling up as fast as they do now?  Chicago fills up in days/weeks, Flying Pig in 37 minutes, same for any number of very large races, so it isn't just a Boston Marathon issue - it is a MARATHON issue.


Emz said...

I'm with Beth. 100%.

I do just like saying that but I also AGREE with her 100%.

Jamoosh said...

Thankfully most of the races that fill up quickly are ones I am not interested in.

Evolving Through Running said...

I think they should let the folks that came up with the BCS for college football come up with a solution. Clearly they've got it all figured out.

Agree with your approach of additional staggered starts, with the first wave going off earlier. I guess that makes too much sense.

C2Iowa said...

I am not qualified to express an opinion.

However, this may tick some people off, but I have no desire to run Boston and like I read this morning... there are others that are just as challenging and difficult.

So, you did not get in this time -- find another place to race. You might find out that it is better than any other place you could imagine.

Chad said...

Congrats on your dump. Also, congrats on blogging about your dump.

Pam said...

I don't give a rip either way about Boston because it's so far out of my realm that I will never have to worry about it. File under NOT MY PROBLEM.

LOL @ Chad's comment.

Morgan said...

Spike & I have been discussing this for days now, we even had an IM chat with Running Laminator on it the other night. In the end we all agreed that to keep this race prestigious adjusting qualifying times is the only way to go. Does it make me happy? No because I can't imagine trying to run any faster than a 3:40 but I will surely try! Another thing I think that may help is that first time Boston runners get priority over repeat runners and if you get bumped from the first year you get first dibs at the following.

Adrienne said...

I'm with Pam in that I'll file under "Not my Problem".

But since YOU--The Boring Runner asked I'll give you my opinion for what it's worth (nothing)

In my small experience with races, Boston seems to be like the "cool kids club" and yet I'm cool and not a part of that club. Usually when this happens (rare) I start my own club and then our club turns out even "cooler" than the first initial club.

So with that said I guess my response is Boston can do whatever they want because it's their club. If you don't like it don't join or start your own.

The End.

P.S. Sweater airplane guy is so creepy

Adrienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Sean said...

How about giving ALL 25,000 spots ONLY to QUALIFIED runners.

If they are worried about charity runners compaining, I am sure we'd all chip in an additional $20 for a charity of our choice.

That's 25,000 happy runners donating a half a million spackaroos.

Or, have another 'Boston' in the fall.

Chris K said...

I agree with The Sean - my company alone gets 100 slots that they give to non-qualified employees through a lottery. That's just one company!

I also think that some groups' qualifying times should be adjusted. It would not be hard for the Boston Athletic Club to do a study to determine which Gender/Age Groups are currently relatively easier than others. I'm sure this is the case.

To be honest, I have been expecting my Age Group qualifying time to be shortened by 5:00 minutes. I just hope it's not 10:00.

RunningLaur said...

surprisingly, i've heard very few people suggesting making the field larger. seems like it's almost too obvious for people to mention? or people just love to stir the shit and be super controversial.

Angie Bee said...

It could be a combination of changing the qualifying times and letting more people run by taking cues from you.

Hows that for diplomacy.

Her Name is Rio said...

I guess the race organizers can do whatever they want. With the limited field, it seems they are aiming for a small field anyways. Having a lot of folks not get in is not THEIR problem. But if they wanted to make the qualified runners happy, they could reduce the number of charity runners.

Glenn Jones said...

I think the solution is capitalism. Price elastiity of demand. Or else prove how eating twinkies and ho hos are really heathy (ever watch the Woody Allen movie "Sleeper")?

kilax said...

Ha. I didn't realize the field is so small and it starts so late! Done and done. Duh.