Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The People’s Olympics and Taper Madness


The Boston Marathon was yesterday.  This year the marathon was hot, times were slower, and no major records were set.  (How’s that for a headline!? I should be a writer) In fact, because of the heat there was a bit of controversy. The marathon organizers let anyone who wanted defer their (speed) qualified entry until next year.  Not a huge deal, but every single available spot in the "People's Olympics" is very precious.

The race is  known as the “People’s Olympics” because it is as close as nearly everyone will get to participating in an elite race.  That is, unless you strip naked, paint the word “Track Baton” on your chest with an arrow pointing down, and run on the track in London.

Whenever I talk about the Boston Marathon on this blog or with people in person it seems that there are a few types of responses that I receive:

  • OMG, I would sell a kidney to be able to run THAT race
  • What do I care? Unless I raise $100,000 for a charity I don’t care about I’m never going to be able to run
  • Seriously, TAKE MY KIDNEY, I’ll meet you at the Citgo Sign!  


Unfortunately for me, I’m in the first category.  But, turns out, because of a steady diet of wine and breakfast cereal my kidneys aren’t worth much on the black market. So, I continue to train.  I don’t talk about it much here, but essentially I’ve been working towards Boston qualifying marathon for the last two years. I’ve become increasingly serious over that time to the point where I have started to allow myself to daydream about what running a 3:04 marathon would feel like.  In short: it would hurt somethin’ fierce.

While I was running this weekend, I was trying to decide if it is more frustrating to be as close as I am now to qualifying (call it 5-10 minutes away) or more frustrating when I was 30 minutes away.  I have to think that it is a lot like people who only match 5 numbers on the lottery and not 6.  Sure, you still win $250,000 with 5, but it you didn’t win the full $540 million.  Both are more amazing than any other day, but.....one is just a BIT more special.  For the last two years, I’ve been missing the "Powerball".

In two weeks, (10 days?) I’m running the Eugene marathon.  No matter what Dr Phil-ism you use (I like “the hay is in the barn”) I’m now in taper mode and nothing I can do will affect my fitness on that race day.  The goal now is to get to the race with a clear mind, refreshed legs, and an empty colon. I don’t have a goal of running a Boston Qualifying race in Eugene.  But then again who knows? Someone HAS to win the lottery once in a while, right?

28 comments:

C2Iowa said...

I'd give more than my kidney to qualify!!

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

Well, I hope you love me, because I've decided to stay away from boston for several years - I think I can continue to qualify, and I'd like others to get a chance! So maybe in 5 or 10 years I'll go again and see if it's any cooler!

Brian said...

Good luck! You'll get there.

I get a little bit of Boston envy now and again...I'd love to run it, but I'm so far from qualifying that it's not worth worrying about right now nor am I sure I love running enough to train hard enough make it realistic. I just want to run a better marathon than I can run now and then maybe worry about a BQ.

Runners Fuel said...

You'll do great!!

Bean said...

I think I am gonna let my qualifying time come to me. My plan is to run it in about 45 years. Good luck at Eugene!

pensive pumpkin said...

I'm about as likely to BQ as get a sex change. But people who do either are much more dedicated than I!

Jen said...

Boston isn't really on my list because, yeah, me qualifying is as likely as me actually winning the lottery… though I think I like my chances in the lottery better…

And for a Jersey girl like me, NYC is my big dream. Now that's one I actually am hoping for a little luck in the lottery on!

I think once I run NYC, then maybe my Boston lust will commence.

Good luck in your upcoming Marathon. Try not to lose it during taper!

Terzah said...

I'm in the kidney category, too, and also about 6 minutes too slow. Sigh.

GOOD LUCK in Eugene! I do think the men's qualifying standards are harsh.

XLMIC said...

Wishing you a speedy run in Eugene!

P1t0 said...

I would give a nut to qualify.

Shannon @ Tales from an Average Runner said...

I have now decided that I am on the 8-Year Training Plan to Boston. I have eight years until I turn 50, which is when qualifying times start dropping into a realistic zone for me. Of course, I would still have to shave about an hour off my best marathon time.... LOL Anyway, a person can dream.

You sound like you have a very real chance, so GOOD LUCK and enjoy the experience either way. No matter what, it sounds like you are getting closer and will get there relatively soon.

My Boring Triathlon Blog said...

a work colleague offered me a free corporate spot to run boston this year. i thanked him but turned him down

Evolving Through Running said...

You'll definitely get your BQ. Maybe not this weekend (then again, maybe yes), but it will come. You seem to be doing all the right things, and clearly have the capacity for it, so it's only a matter of time. Best of luck in Eugene. Very cool logo for the race too.

Meredith said...

Eugene is supposed to be a great marathon. Good luck but mostly, have fun.

Jeff Irvin said...

Go run your race buddy and it will come!

Quix said...

Here's hoping Eugene is good to you! I'm figuring I'll be able to qualify for Boston and Kona when I'm about 80, so it's just a waiting game of trying to stay healthy and fit for another 47 years :). First things first, actually COMPLETE a marathon and ironman race.

Anh said...

BQ last year at 3:12 at old BQ time of 3:15 but don't get in. Now I have to cut at least 10 minute off the time so I am feeling you. So close yet so far away.

Shannon @I Survived and Now I Run said...

Godspeed to you in Eugene...I am not a fast runner and will probably never run the Boston Marathon but I can live with that. I just want to continue loving to run and not make it a chore I hate to complete. Blessings!

avc said...

What is your plan for Eugene? I'm sort of in the same boat as you are, but my A time goal didn't change when the qualification standards did. I figure I will whittle away at my PR until I hit the magical number.

FWIW, there are somewhat sneaky ways to experience Boston. Champs get numbers for life and can give them away; local running clubs nominate members; but the best I've come across - the one I jumped at - was the chance to lead a visually impaired runner through the course. Pacers volunteer but are given all the perks of the race; I paced a blind runner from CA with a PR of 3:20 when I lived in Boston it was the most rewarding race of my life and I didn't have to fundraise.

Jamoosh said...

Dude! "...no major records were set."

Um, the wheel chair division records were SHATTERED!

Beth (i run like a girl) said...

Eugene is a fantastic race. Good luck and run strong out there!!!

JFord said...

I'd also give them your kidney to run Boston!

gene @boutdrz said...

Jamooooosh! YES! it was eerily amazing to watch the first wheel chair come around the corner onto Boylston. Last year they were neck in neck. This year.....just the lead dude. No chaser. For almost FIVE MINUTES!!!!!!
insane!!!!!

And Adam, seriously, when you DO make it to Boston, we MUST run my special trail and take a group picture of Uranus.
(booyah)

Lora @ Crazy Running Girl said...

Good luck! I think with a good, fast marathon you could easily cut off that 5 or 10 minutes. Chicago is a good one, if the weather is right. I had a great race in Houston as well, which is in January.

FitFirmFast said...

It is definitely more frustrating the closer you get (I was 73 seconds off on my last attempt). I used to run fast enough to qualify but had no interest in running Boston and now I really want to run Boston...well, I will keep trying until I get it. You should do the same!

Fruit Fly said...

I haven't been able to read blogs in a while, so I'm completely out of the loop ....

I'll keep my eyes open for you in Eugene!! And come on, it is Pre's territory - that right there sets the ground work for you to BQ!

Melissa Fleury said...

Good luck in Eugene! We'll be cheering you on from Phx. ;)

Stephanie Anne said...

Good luck!!