As most of you know I’ve been hitting my training runs hard during this marathon cycle and I have made mention of a “lofty” goal. Before I get into this “lofty” goal (AKA The Elephant) I need to tell a little story of my actual most controversial post.
Picture it. Florida, 2009 (or early ’10, I’m not an elephant. I forget.). A new-ish runner/blogger named B.o.B. writes a post about what all the hubbub is surrounding the Boston Marathon. Said newish runner hurts some feelings, gets folks all riled up, feels really bad about it and takes down post.
Honestly, I used to think the Boston Marathon was a crazy obsession. (SEE: why I hurt some feelings.) And since I was no where near being fast enough I would joke that I’d have to get there when I was 80 or when my age and the time just converged organically.
The thing is, after the that post, I talked with my running buds about it and they all had different reasons for wanting to qualify and most of those reasons were really just about setting a goal and reaching it. Or qualifying with friends. Or just flat out feeling good about themselves and using it to get through rough patches in life. Hell, isn’t that what running in general is all about? In my naivety I didn’t understand this and still feel sheepish for having written that post. Who was I to crap on someone’s dream?
All of that being said, I started getting faster. I started looking at those qualifying times. I started wondering if I could do it. I wondered if I should just push myself or keep my goals more manageable. But of course, like my typical maniac self (SEE: ran first death march marathon with 7 weeks of training) I decided to give it a go. I’m at a time in my life where I want to push myself. I also need the focus required of this goal.
Granted, I have to cut A LOT of time to qualify. I went back and forth on writing this post because I wondered how I would feel if I didn’t qualify and had to face you all and also how I was basically eating my words from a few years ago…but then I remembered how awesome and supportive this blog community is. I am human! You all are human! What the crap am I so worried about? People make mistakes and if I don’t qualify, it’s OK.
As I said in my first look at this BQ stuff, if it happens for me when the stars align then that’s when it’s supposed to happen. And the beauty of setting such a lofty goal is that even if I don’t hit the goal time needed to BQ I’ll still have a shot at a killer PR. Not to mention, a wonderful trip to Miami with about 30 of my running buds. It’s really a win-win regardless of what happens.
What are your thoughts on the BQ stuff? Are or were they the same as mine?
Way to hold yourself accountable! It's not a goal I have but that's because running is the weakest sport for me, I do however have goals that I need to decide on for my upcoming 2012 and I have some of the same qualms you had about posting this… You are awesome kick butt!!!
Honestly, I just want to run. I don't feel the need to run (BQ) Boston or any of the other large, popular races. But there is nothing wrong with those folks who do.
Thank you for sharing this!
I used to think I would never qualify, I wasn't fast enough. But with time and consistency, I got faster. I've made some significant time improvements – I'm still not fast enough to qualify, but I'm not ruling it out either. I truly believe I'll get there. I believe you will too! Good luck my friend!
You are AWESOME!! And based on all of your killer workouts lately, you are well on your way. GET IT GIRL!!!!
I go back and forth with wanting to qualify for Boston. To me its the marathon experience that I love. I have run Boston but I did it as a charity runner. In 2007 I raised $3000 for American Diabetes Association and toed the line at Boston. It was an amazing experience and I didn't feel cheated that I didn't qualify. On the other hand I completely understand people's feelings around wanting to qualify. It is an amazing accomplishment…just not one at the moment I am after. Who knows….I may be like you and want to do it one day. Until then I'll raise money or run smaller races! I know you can do it and no judgment from me!
I think it is phenomenal. You can "beat" 90% of people by not quitting. That is not good enough for you. There is nothing wrong with setting a goal and reaching it. Pretty soon the goals get loftier and loftier. I think you should commit to it and get it done. You surprise yourself all the time and the rest of us just go REALLY? Your surprised? we werent. GO GIRL, do work, GET IT DONE!
I'll admit that I really don't get the whole Boston thing. Yes, qualifying is cool and an excellent goal. I hope you meet that time! But the race itself seems big, crowded, and not a particularly good course. It seems popular for the sake of being elite, but I prefer smaller races on nicer courses. I guess I'm just one less person fighting for registration.
I can't even talk about it yet.. You will get there way before me!!!
With the training you've been doing, I am as sure as the day is long that you've got this. You are stronger and faster than you've ever been! All your previous marathons have given you the mental toughness that you know how to run the 26.2 at a steady pace. The only thing that may not cooperate with you that day is the weather and you can't do a damn thing about that. I remember standing outside of the corral in Vegas crying on Warren's shoulder because I thought I was going to make a colossal fool out of myself, so I doubted myself right up until the gun. He told me to suck it up and go do it because he had blackjack and craps to play!
It took me 11 years of running and racing till I finally (At age 47) qualified. I think it's a great goal to have! Go for it girl!!!
GO FOR IT! If it's the right time, and you have the drive, awesome. I say do it.
I think its a great goal that many people shoot for (including myself), but like anything else, it is just another race. Runners come in all shapes and sizes and just because someone is faster, doesn't earn them more right to the same benefits of running as everyone else. So if that's your goal, I say go big with no regrets!
Whew! I was wondering when you would put it out there to the "world". That's a big a** elephant to keep walking around or avoid, especially in your apartment, car, office space, and Panera's.
Now that you pointed it out, it's not so bad looking. Skin is a little dry but overall he/she is kind of cute actually.
You also now gained a bigger cheering section!!
I wouldn't worry about the Heffalump, it's the Woozles that are the problem. Besides if you don't make it this time, you just keep going after it until you do. I won't be talking any smack if you don't get there, because I'm a hell of a lot closer to DQ than BQ (I think I just thought of a new blog gimmick).
It's all good to feel one way and then change your mind. No one will judge you for it or begrudge you a BQ if you get it!
I have mixed feelings on Boston. Here's where I get into trouble–i still think the standards, for women at least, are a bit too easy. It's the one and only race in the world where you have to qualify. It should really, really mean something. That said, I'm going, I'm going to buy the jacket, and I'm going to love the experience, as I have in the past. And I get why people want it so badly. WE're all entitled to our wide variety of opinions.
i can see where having been a green horn back in 2009, that the Boston marathon didn't seem all that important. And, i can see where having done a blog post (sorry I missed it), about how it isn't all that big a deal would ruffle some feathers but it's all in the interpretation. writing it from a newbie's point of view with no prior knowledge, like the history behind it and the qualification standards, it wouldn't seem all that special and in all likeliness, it probably wasn't of any importance to you at that time but to someone already immersed into the running scene, it is the holy grail of marathons. But now you know and i think this post has a lot of redeeming qualities. Your penance should be tons and tons of puke inducing wind sprints at the track tomorrow! Then you are completely absolved of all your running sin from years past.
I qualified for my first Boston marathon at my 3rd marathon, with less than 1 minute to spare but I also had no intentions of qualifying. Better said, I had no idea that I was going to run as well as I did that day. I only knew when I finished that I had qualified and was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes things work out for the best when no pressure is involved.
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!
"I think a lot of people start out feeling like that, like it’s so far out of reach, but then you get better, faster and suddenly the impossible becomes the possible. " – Pasted from our email 🙂
You've got this Boo and you know I'm cheering for you. I don't doubt for a second you won't achieve anything you've ever set your mind to! Believe to achieve!!!
This post has been removed by the Running Gods…….. HA, Run Forrest Run….. You can do it WaterBoy.
I got my first BQ in marathon 5 (my 4th actual attempt to qualify). Is it a lofty goal? Yes. Is it possible? Yes? Can you do it? Depends on the day, but so far I say yes. Will the sun come up the next day if you don't make it this time? Yes.
Always have the courage to make the attempt, whatever it may be.
You know my feeling about qualifying and you know that I failed in my first attempt and you know that I still smiled after the race and haven't stopped smiling since.
I set lofty goals for myself all the time. I want to qualify for Kona and Vegas and not when I'm 80 but NOW. These are dreams and goals and some will happen and some won't and that is ok because it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.
I have been shit on for being to obsessive about my goals and in the end I don't give a shit what those nay-sayers say b/c that is more about THEM than it is about ME.
It takes balls to toss your name and goals out there but it takes nothing to crap on others. I'd rather have balls and go for it then be a person who just wants to toss negativity into the air.
Go for the goal and if you don't get there you can sit in the corner of the room with me wearing the failed dunce hat but you know what: We will have a ton of fun in that corner……
GO FOR IT!
You should definitely go for it! I think the only reason I am not obsessed with a BQ is because it is so far out of reach for me. If I felt like I could get there with a little effort, I would be all over it!
I can completely understand why you were so nervous to hit 'publish.' It's a big goal. But it's also a great goal, and not just because it's Boston. Because it's great to set goals and see what you can accomplish. And hey, if you don't make it this time there's always another! Try to have fun and you never know what might happen!
When I started training for my first marathon in the summer of 2008, I was barely aware of the Boston Marathon. I didn't even know one had to qualify to run it. As summer moved into fall and my race got closer, I realized that I was getting a LOT faster…like nudging up to BQ time kind of fast. A fantastic 20-mile run led me to wonder: could I BQ in my first marathon?
As it turned out, no, I couldn't, but I was within reach. I needed to cut six minutes in order to BQ at my next marathon. I trained like mad for 18 weeks. I had one goal for my second marathon: Qualify for Boston. There was no other goal. I was going to do it. When I lined up in Cleveland on race day in May of 2009, I was ready. I had worked SO hard. I wanted it SO badly. In the end, I did BQ that day. I squeaked in with 45 seconds to spare. When I crossed the finish line, stopped my Garmin, and realized I had qualified, it was one of the greatest moments of my life.
Not even three years earlier I weighed more than 200 pounds and could barely run a half mile. Running a marathon was as farfetched a possibility as my winning a Nobel Prize or walking on the moon. And now I had not only run two marathons, I had run one of them fast enough to be allowed into the Boston Marathon.
I still sometimes wonder how the hell I pulled it off.
I think you will know when you're ready. You'll know when it's going to happen. You'll believe you can do it, and you will.
I like your attitude as opposed to BQ OR I WILL DIE. it's IS a win-win.
Boston is a big goal! I think you should go for it. For me personally, I would have to shave over an hour off my PR. Possible? Yes. However, at this point in my life (with demanding job and small kids), I am not willing to put the time into the kind of training it would take to shave off that much time from my PR. Maybe one day, but right now is just not the time.
I think if you continue to work hard, it will happen! Either way (like you said), you will have an awesome PR!!!
"He who will not risk, cannot win" – John Paul Jones
i had BQ as a goal just because… not because i was obsessed with running the race like some people. which is fine, but in my opinion it's just another race. but when i heard there was that 'standard' out there, i set it at as a goal. i dunno, seemed logical to me. i just want to always run and always run fast(er) 🙂
you can do it!!!
I may never BQ. Honestly, it would take me another 5-6 years of running to ever get close. So I have no interest in or delusions of it.
That being said, I believe wholeheartedly that it is vital for every athlete to have some kind of "lofty goal." Whatever yours is (BQ, an Ironman, beating your best time for a 1-mile run), GO FOR IT. It can only make you better to try.
I don't ever see myself qualifying for Boston, but every other race, I dream– me crossing the finish line in Boston. My sweat ethic isn't to that level of training yet. But I think it's a great goal and you're putting the work behind it. BQ or PR either is a lofty and worthy goal. Remember falling short isn't failing. Good luck!
I know I will never qualify and that is fine. I totally get the lure or goal of BQ'ing…makes sense to me to have those kind of run goals.
You are so going to get there!
I think it's great to have lofty goals because they force us to push ourselves and improve! You have a great attitude about shooting for a BQ and I think you are doing everything right to put yourself in the position to get there!
I don't have any desire to run Boston but I can respect others who have that as a goal. I am not even sure I'll run a 2nd marathon… but if I do and it is fast enough to qualify for Boston, I doubt I'd try to register for it. It's just not on my list of things I want to accomplish, ya know?
First, I'm sure you can kick some qualifying time ass, if not now, later. Second, if you fail on your first time, we will be bummed you didn't reach your goal, but NO ONE will think less of you because you couldn't reach it the first time! So be ambitious, why not? If you don't set yourself an ambitious goal, then for sure you'll never get there! Here's sending you luck! (And sorry I'm super late on catching up on blogs after my trip to Guam!)
Yes. I'm really this far behind.
Something about killing myself during a training cycle, and then spending gobs of dough to go somewhere on a "vacation" only to not be able to enjoy myself before the race ("preparation") and after the race ("recovery"). Send me to Hawaii instead….