Weekly Race Shout-Outs and My Feelings on Boston

FIRST: HUGE AMENDMENT to yesterday’s Chicago Marathon Recap.  I accidentally added 10 minutes to Aaron’s finish time.  He actually came in at 3:27:21.  If he had come in at 3:37 I would have passed him, and I was not so focused as to leave my poor distressed husband on the side of the road just so I could BQ.  Goals are fun. Being a supportive wife is a top priority.  But non-issue since he came in more than 6 minutes ahead.  Sorry, Aaron for making people think you were so slow.

Also, the recap has a few photos added to it that came from Aaron’s phone.  They really aren’t exciting (I guess my mind is somewhere else pre-race).

Sending Fast Thoughts To:

Jen who is going for a Half PR in Wine Country!

Christina is running a half in Baltimore!

Julie is earning her Tiffany’s Necklace at Nike Women’s

Laura is going for a big 10 miler PR!

Good luck to you ladies and everyone else racing!

**********************************

(I realize that this post will probably make me sound like a jerk).

On Monday, we were sitting in our Bacon and Beer Bar (Paddy Long’s), and I saw a message come through from Julie letting me know that Boston registration was open.

Confusion.

On Sunday evening when I went to the site, registration was closed because the max field had been reached.  I actually wasn’t too heartbroken.

But Boston made a mistake that they blamed on an IT issue.  The max field had never been reached (well, until yesterday.  It is really closed now).

But here it was, a renewed chance to run Boston in 2013.  I sat in this bar deep in conversation with Aaron in tears, trying to figure out if I really wanted to register.

HUH?

But Amy, the whole point of this blog for the last 4 months was for you to qualify for Boston. What the heck is going on here?

Well, I realized something about myself and my goals on Monday.

I made the goal to qualify truthfully independently from actually running the marathon.  I mean, I did want to run it, kind of, but more than anything I wanted to run an awesome marathon.  I wanted to reach for the stars and attempt the impossible because it isn’t something that I get to do very often if ever.

Also, at the time I didn’t think I’d get in until 2014.  2014 is a long time from now.  And running Boston hasn’t been a lifelong dream.  I only found out about it 2 years ago, and I only started caring about 10 months ago.  But I wanted to be really good at something, and Boston qualifying times seem to be the standard of what constitutes a really good runner (self-satisfaction just never does it for me).

As part of the pre-marathon freak out, having to register for 2013 was put on my plate.  But, I didn’t think registration would still be open by Sunday afternoon, AND I really didn’t think I’d come in under 3:40.  It was something else to stress about like tornadoes (Chicago is in the Midwest) and the apocalypse.

I was relieved when registration was full on Sunday.

But then, on Monday evening I faced the decision. And this is when all the emotion came loose.

This is not how I wanted it to be.  I am supposed to run Boston with Aaron.

Running has become a source of personal enjoyment, and I’ve realized that even on the blog I talk about Aaron less and less (he’s still here all the time by the way).  But without a doubt, the whole reason I run is for our marriage.  It is our thing to do together.  I know some of you know this story, but after Aaron and I had been dating for a few weeks, he asked me to be his girlfriend and at the same time asked if I would run a half marathon with him because he wanted me to understand his lifestyle and his passions and interests.  And now, 4 years later, running and active living is really our thing.  The thought of training for and running the world’s most prestigious amateur race without him literally brought me to tears.

So, we had a serious discussion in the Bacon/Beer bar.  I could use my time for 2014 still.  But that is a long time from now. Who knows what could happen in our lives between now and then.  I may only ever get this one chance at Boston and I’d hate to think I passed it up if something happens in those many months.  Also, just because my 1 minute and 5 seconds below BQ got me in this year doesn’t mean it would get me in next year.  People are out for revenge after a hot spring racing season.  Plus, the chances of Boston hitting temperatures like that again are like 1 in a million.  And people are getting faster.  And there are so many new runners kicking butt.  I would hate to run a qualifier and then NOT get in.

Plus, we had to realistically assess Aaron’s ability to come in at 3:04:49 in the next 11 months (and can we just discuss for a minute how much crazier men’s qualifying times are?  I think I got off pretty easily).  Possible? Yes.  I think he easily had the ability to come in at a 3:10 even after missing a month of our training due to injury.  And he is out to kill a marathon if it’s the last thing he does.  But there is no guarantee.

And on top of all this is this horrible, nagging feeling of guilt.

I don’t deserve this.

I feel like Lindsey Lohan in Mean Girls when she’s giving her prom queen speech and breaks the tiara.

Some people spend years working very hard to reach a BQ.  People run marathon after marathon in an attempt to run Boston only to be unsuccessful.  Most people who want this will never get the chance. And what? I waltz in here like a cocky B and do it in one try.  I’m talking people who’ve run their whole lives and people who could run faster than me any day.  Real runners who give up beer for 4 months or who never miss a workout during training.  NOT FAIR.  Not fair to the people who have worked so much harder for so much longer just to run a marathon with a unicorn as it’s mascot (for the record, I really like unicorns).

I’m not looking for affirmation of my hard work and dedication.  I know I trained well and pushed myself and made sacrifices and haven’t slept in on a weekend in months.

But I can’t help feeling like I didn’t pay my dues.

So, if you’re keeping track…I talked non stop about qualifying, made it my obsession for 4 months, QUALIFIED, got in a year ahead of schedule and I’m not happy about it???  Royal jerkdom.

I decided to register anyway, and I ‘m trying to make myself be more excited about it.  The least I can do is be appreciative of this opportunity and go out and run hard for the people who may never get the chance.  And I’m sure after the initial shock has worn off, I will be talking non-stop about how crazy excited I am to run Boston.

And please let me know about Boston (the city and the race if you’ve done it).  I literally know NOTHING about Boston aside from what I’ve seen in Good Will Hunting and The Town.

ANYWAY.  Thanks for letting me share that with you.  As much fun as crying over my bacon platter was.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  CRUSH your long runs and races!

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26 thoughts on “Weekly Race Shout-Outs and My Feelings on Boston

  1. This was a really sweet post, Amy. I can relate to the relationship part — I love that my bf and I share a passion for running. I can also understand the mixed emotions re: Boston, but please don’t dwell too much on whether you “deserve” it. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone because you’ve already proven yourself! Sure, you can credit some luck and fortune, but a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into that marathon. Own it!

    p.s. Thanks for the race shout out. 🙂

    • Haha. Thank you! It is a problem in my head because everyone has been so supportive and wonderful and I’m pretty sure nobody is even caring about this as much as I am. I think also maybe this is part of the post marathon depression. I am feeling better about everything today though! Maybe I just needed a good vent session.

  2. First: thanks for the shout out.
    Second: I feel horrible! If it weren’t for my persistence, you wouldn’t have this dilemma. 😦 I am so sorry. I guess I was a little too excited for you. I also felt like I had a little bit to do with it, and really wanted you to follow in my foot(run) steps.

    I totally get it. Qualifying is a huge feat, and just by qualifying, you at part of an elite running club. But, honestly, running it is like nothing you can imagine (I have goosebumps writing this). It is an indescribable experience that you must experience. Running in 90 degree heat was not fun, but it was Boston and I felt honored to just be there. And after? When you are wearing your unicorn jacket and medal? You are treated like royalty. Oh, and on top of it, Boston is an AMAZING city! In my top 3 on the US (with Seattle and San Fran).

    So, I do apologize greatly, but I am just so proud and want you to experience the greatness of Boston, too. Oh, and even though Aaron didn’t qualify this time, being there as a spectator is magical, too. 🙂

    Great post, Amy.

    • Oh no! I definitely don’t want you to think that you in any way had anything to do with my dilemma! I mean, it’s all I’ve talked about for MONTHS and I even caught myself off guard when I realized that actually wasn’t all that concerned with actually running that race. Plus, there were so many other people encouraging me along too. You were just the one who actually let me know about registration still being open!

      I know I will enjoy the experience. I think it is just playing out differently than it did in my head. And really, I know waiting a year when I didn’t have to would be dumb and I’d regret that too. It is a privilege to run Boston, but maybe one that I wasn’t expecting to kind of fall in my lap!

  3. You might have qualified in one marathon (took me 8!) but you were able to do that because of years and years of maintaining a good base level of fitness and then a solid training cycle. You deserve to be there and you’ll get back. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Boston … I love that race, done it the past five years.

  4. I can see why you feel the way you do about the BQ, but it doesn’t diminished the work you did. Even if you want to chalk it up to a talent you didn’t know you have, you got out there and found the talent. So many people do not.

    Heartfelt congratulations. Wishing you and Aaron speedy, injury-free training cycles!!

    • Thank you! I think I’m sorting out through all of these post marathon emotions (I’m typically not an overly emotional person, so this is a whole new experience for me!).

  5. I think you need to take advantage of this opportunity because in no way did it fall in your lap. I can understand how running and racing is an Amy and Aaron thing for you, because he’s the reason you got into it all, but Aaron will be by your side every step of the way as your train for Boston, and most likely will probably train with you anyway (I would think, but I don’t know him, so who knows!).Things happen for a reason, as cliched as that sounds, so just go for it! Are there any BQ’s that Aaron can run before the next Boston Marathon?

    • Haha…he actually said that he would run and train with me! I just know it will be hard for him to be on the sidelines. He had to sit out a 5-K in July because of his injury and it nearly killed him. I can’t imagine what it would be like to sit out Boston!

      He’s already looking at several possible marathons…but then that means I’ll have to re qualify for 2014 since 2013 is closed.

  6. You are right…you do sound like a jerk! You know I am kidding. Like Sam said above, you may be new to running but you have probably always been focused on staying fit. It’s not like you went from the couch to the finish line and are just magically athletically gifted (maybe a little). Now have fun in Boston…and then maybe New York, and then maybe Los Angeles, and then maybe San Francisco and then…

    • I’ve decided I’ll only run marathons if they are part of the World Majors. Or Disney World. I think almost every other marathon has a “half” version.

  7. How sweet are you!!! Don’t ever let yourself think that just because you haven’t been running as long as others that you didn’t earn your way to Boston! It will just be that much sweeter when you can share it with Aaron!

  8. Wow ! What an exciting/slightly heartbreaking update.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Things worked out this way for because you guys worked and trained so so hard.

    Can’t wait to hear your stories in the run up to Boston. I am hoping to run either Edinburgh or Stockholm in May/June next year…. so I we’ll be going through the same sort of things at the same sort of times next year as well 🙂

  9. I LOVE BOSTON! I will tell you things to do.

    I’m glad you posted this. And you are totally not a jerk. You worked your butt off to BQ and everything you’re saying makes total sense!

    • Thanks for understanding! I remember you posting billions of yummy looking photos on twitter from your Boston trip. You suggestion of Portillos turned out to be a winner in Chicago, so I trust your opinion!

  10. Yay for Albuquerque runners heading to Boston! Glad you made the decision to go. I am one of those runners that had to run many marathons (4) before finally qualifying in my fifth. But I don’t hold that against you! You earned it, now be proud and get excited for April, it’s going to be awesome.

    • Thank you! I think it is really something more in my head that I’ll have to get over. We’ll have to get together before we go (it would be silly for us to meet for the first time across the country!). 6 months from today!

  11. O…M…G!!!!!! I’m catching up on blog reading…just scrolled down your page looking for the recap of Chicago…skimmed and saw “Boston” and O…M…G!!!! YOU BQ’d!!!!!!!!!!! That is so freakin’ awesome!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!! Seriously…I love Boston! It is an amazing city and I hope you can take some time to enjoy it, and not just on the run!! Did I mention, ‘OMG’ already???? Holy goodness. Wicked proud of you (BTW, get use to saying “wicked”..that’s very much a Boston thing)!!!!!

    • Haha! THANK YOU! I’ll have to pick your brain on cool things to do there since I have no clue about anything there! Although “wicked” reminded me of witches and Salem and Hocus Pocus, so that might be a fun side trip!

      • Definitely, definitely, definitely recommend Salem and it’s really easy to get there via the commuter rail!! Maybe you should arrive a week before the race just so you can get some sight seeing done!

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