So, I hinted in previous posts that I was wrestling with a difficult running decision lately – to run a spring marathon or not to run a spring marathon. That is the question.
Well, I think this past weekend may have been a turning point (and not just for me). Let me back up a little first though. Saturday, I decided to go out and run long again after my success running 9 miles at the Mill Cities Relay last week.
I decided to aim for 9 miles again, and I threw in a few challenging hill repeats along the way. My average pace was generally around 8:30/mile, with some slower splits on the miles with the hills and on my warm-up/cool-down miles, so I was pretty pleased with the effort. I’m still slightly in shock that I’m in a place where I can run sub-9 minute miles consistently over a long run. Part of me wants to keep building on this and see just how far I can get. And then part of me says, But what about the snow/ice/freezing temps that have GOT TO BE coming eventually? So, that’s been the root of my indecision I guess – the practical part of my brain arguing with the crazy idealist in me.
After my morning run on Saturday, I went home so that I could go to our running club’s holiday brunch run the next day. It’s always a well-attended event because this is when our club awards 2 runners waivers for entry into the Boston Marathon (the BAA sends our club 2 entries as a thank you for promoting running in the New England area.) You have to apply for the waivers and my mom and I had not applied, so we knew we weren’t going to get it, but we still wanted to go and support the club. Watching the waivers being awarded got me really excited. And now, I have to admit something (even though it’s kind of terrifying) – I really want to run the Boston Marathon someday. (and I want to do it by qualifying.)
My mom’s marathon time at Baystate this fall was great – she beat her previous time by 30 minutes, and now she is only 16 minutes off the BQ time needed for her age group. I KNOW with the right conditions she can get it. I’ve only run the one marathon (the Rochester Marathon), and my time there is WAY OFF where it would have to be for me to qualify for Boston.
But, I really don’t think that first marathon reflects where I’m at with running now. When I ran my first marathon, I was coming off an injury and I was just not running the paces that I’ve routinely been hitting lately. If Baystate is any indication, I think I could go sub-4 in a marathon now. And maybe, (and that’s a very strong maybe) with the right course and conditions, I could qualify for Boston. I know some runners work on this goal their whole life and don’t qualify, and so it’s incredibly nerve wracking to admit that this is something I want. But I also like a challenge. I’ve never been the type of person to just enjoy coasting by. And since I’ve moved to the Boston area, it just feels like fate. How can I live in the city that hosts the world’s premiere marathon, and NOT at least try to run it?
So, I *think* my mom and I will be signing up for a spring marathon. We’ve been scouting some potential options and looking for where we can get some new states crossed off. Nothing is finalized, but I think we both caught the marathon fever this weekend. One thing’s for sure, if we do end up registering for a spring marathon, you’ll be hearing about it on the blog!
Good thing I asked for a thousand running-related gifts for Christmas.
How was your weekend? Have you ever had a HUGE goal that you didn’t know whether you would actually be able to achieve?