The Ever Elusive, BQ
If you are a marathoner, like me, you have at least had one thought about running the Boston Marathon. Now that I have said that, let me clear up a few things. I am a die hard New York sports fan. I love the New York Giants, Rangers, Knicks, and Yankees. Because I love New York sports teams, in general, I hate Boston sports teams. I hate the Celtics, Red Sox, Bruins and Cowboys. I know, the Cowboys are from Dallas. I can’t really hate the Patriots because I am not a Jets fan and the two times the Giants played them ended in victory for my favorite team. Why am I telling you this?
I have no reason to travel up there except to run this race. This elusive race that we all think about has such a mystique. Of course one can get into the Boston Marathon using methods other than time but I won’t talk about that here. It has such a reputation that I have honestly never looked up other methods of getting in. It’s a bucket list thing. I have vowed to only visit Boston again for one reason. To… run… that… race. I didn’t enjoy my last trip to Beantown. When I qualify it will be a business trip. Before I get into the trip I have to talk about… cue suspenseful music… qualifying.
So, based on my PR, I will qualify for Boston when I am 75 years old. That’s 50 years from now.
If you believe that I have 50 years before I hit 75 there is a bridge I could sell you too. In any event, I’ve never been fast. In reality, I’m a mid pack runner that falls in the middle of the majority of the races where I toe the line. Right now, I need to run a marathon in three hours and twenty minutes. That’s about the 20 mile mark for me. So now it’s time to work.
One of the reasons I started running marathons is because of the game day feel. Most days of the year, outside of my amazing wife and kids, I’m pretty anonymous. There aren’t people outside of my car cheering me on as I leave my home. Every time I run a marathon there are people on the streets cheering me on, giving me high fives, and firing off encouragement. The cool thing about a marathon is the fact that one needs to work in order to do it. You can get out of bed on a random Tuesday and run a 5k. A 10k requires a bit more effort but not weeks of planning. In order to run the marathon distance you have to plan everything.
How many miles per week? Which week do you start? What the hell is a taper? What can I eat that doesn’t make me feel like absolute poop? How do you poop while running for three or more hours? There are a million questions and lots of planning. But the planning to qualify for Boston is a different beast.
You will have to do speed work. You will need to document your progress. If you’re training for a marathon the job is to make sure that you can make the distance. Usually, when someone decides to run a marathon, the goal is to finish. That’s unbelievable and only a small percentage of folks that live in the United States. When someone decides that they want to run that distance and run it fast enough to be allowed into the longest running marathon in the country is an entirely different game plan. The work that goes into playing a football game or any of the other major sports is the reason why people are so entertained. That same level of work is required to qualify for Boston. That level of work is precisely what attracts me to the challenge. That word challenge is why I keep running. As runners, we love to challenge ourselves. I will not be satisfied until I have that medal around my neck and I know, for certain, I don’t have to go back to Boston… ever again.