Friday, April 10, 2009


Over waffles this morning I read about the Boston Marathon, in the current issue of Runner's World magazine.
I've been a runner for only a couple of years, and when I started my goal was to run for 20 minutes continuously.
Then I decided to run a half marathon, using the run 10 min, walk 1 minute approach.
Then I decided to run another one, and try to finish just a little bit faster.
This year I am attempting to just run, flat out, the entire half marathon.
Quite often on my long training runs I daydream. A recurring scenario is me crossing the finish line in record time. Sometimes, every now and then, I think about what it would take to qualify for Boston.
The Boston Marathon is the only marathon that you have to qualify for. For non-elite runners, making it to Boston is the ultimate achievement. It is the Holy Grail, the El Dorado of running, and only 10% of American marathoners are fast enough.

To qualify, I would have to run a marathon in 3hours, 40 min. I have yet to even run a marathon at all, never mind at such break-neck speeds.
(That would be a half-marathon in 1 hour, 50min. To date, my fastest time is 2:16.)
I can't even wrap my head around running that fast for that long.

But still.

When I read the article about one man's qualifying attempts, I'll admit I got a little teary-eyed. He qualified with only a 21 second margin, after "running through the worst cramp of my life and lay(ing) my guts out in a ropy strand up Michigan Avenue." Because that's the kind of effort it takes to be one of those 10%. Everything you have, and then a whole lot more.

For now, I'll focus on today's hill workout, but dreams of Boston will probably linger. With any luck, they'll make my step a little lighter and my pace a little faster.

Time to lace up.

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