This is a blog post that has been a long time in the making. It’s no secret that my mission, probably more accurately my obsession, since I started running marathons has been to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
At first it seemed like a distant and out of reach goal. After a couple marathons I managed to shave quite a bit of time off my results and my goal seemed to be within reach. It was at that point running Boston became my main focus with regards to running.
Then I got to a point where I was close to meeting my qualifying standard of 3:10 but not close enough – 3:15 and 2 x 3:12 in Ottawa, 3:14 in Toronto. In each of those races I was on track to meet my goal time but I either made a mistake or simply ran out of gas over the final 10 km of the race.
Last November in Philadelphia I made my most recent attempt to qualify. Coming off a 3:12 finish in Ottawa in the spring and due to the fact that I finally got to add 5 minutes to my qualifying time since I will be 40 on race day in 2017 I was confident it would finally be my time to qualify.
Despite not running a pb, off by 11 seconds, I managed to meet my new qualifying standard of 3:15 with a 3:12:29 finish…
Since I only managed to beat my qualifying standard by 2:31 I would have to wait almost a year before finding out if I would get to run Boston. Despite that I did celebrate my BQ with beer and made sure to order what I thought was an appropriate selection…
I planned to take a shot at improving my time here in May but a heat wave put an end to those thoughts. I went into the Ottawa Marathon with a more conservative race plan and finished more than 10 minutes over the qualifying standard. My time from Philadelphia would have to be enough.
Two weeks ago I finally got to submit an application for entry and last Wednesday after a week and a half of waiting I received an early birthday present with the confirmation that my application had been accepted. I beat the cutoff of 2:09 under the qualifying standard by 22 seconds.
It feels weird in a sense to finally be able to say that the next marathon I run will be Boston. At the same time I am also very excited to finally have a chance to run what many consider to be the holy grail of marathon running.
It is time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.
Here are this week’s stories…
A good way to add more vegetables to your diet.
A look back on the Boston Marathon two weeks later.
On the topic of Boston, two posts from bloggers I follow about qualifying for Boston last weekend – A whole lot of soles and the rendezvoo point
A story about how running changed a life.
If you have not already done so there is still plenty of time to get entries in for the giveaway of a copy of 4:09:43 Boston Through the Eyes of the Runners.
Once again this year I completed two marathons, one in the spring and one in the fall. This year they came with mixed results with one getting me close to my goal in the marathon and the other being a setback.
I’ve mentioned before on here that my goal is to run a 3:10 marathon to qualify for Boston, more accurately that would be just under 3:10 in order to qualify. For a couple more years yet this will be my goal given where I fall in the age categories for qualifyingas a result, both of my training cycles this year were aimed at getting me in a position to run at my goal pace.
As you can see from the picture above I came pretty close to my goal in the spring. That result had me confident I could build on the result and hit my goal in the fall. My training for the fall went well but I unfortunatley experienced a setback in Philadelphia a few weeks ago.
So now I am motivated both by the knowledge that I was closer to my goal than I have ever been and I had the disappointment of having an off-day in my fall attempt.
A recent post on an online message board got me thinking about this question. I have now run six marathons over the last four years and I registered for number seven a matter of hours after completing number six.
My current focus on the marathon distance does not mean that I don’t enjoy the shorter distances. In fact, at some point I know that I likely won’t be able to dedicate the time needed to train for a marathon and that focusing on going faster in the shorter distances will be a a better option for me.
Training properly for a marathon takes a big time commitment. For now I try to minimize the impact of marathon training on my life by running in the morning before I go to work, running home from work and by bringing my daughter along for my weekend runs in her Chariot.
Now that still leaves the question of why I do it. Simply, I like the challenge of preparing for a marathon over the 16 weeks leading up to race day and I enjoy the sense of accomplishment at the end of the marathon. The marathon distance is a tough distance to prepare for and even after 16 weeks of training you need a lot of elements to come together so you can reach your goal.
After running my first marathon I set myself the goal of eventually qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I have been fortunate to progressively get faster with each successive marathon while at the same time avoiding injury. Following last Sunday’s Ottawa Marathon I am more confident than ever that it is a realistic goal. That more than anything motivated me to quickly commit to a fall marathon again this year by registering for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Do you enjoy training for marathons or do you prefer working on going faster at the shorter distances?