I have removed all traces of doubt, uncertainty and condition from my goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon. All that remains is an inevitable. It is not a matter of if but a matter of when. With this public declaration, I now have to qualify. I am far too proud to publicly fail. The confidence in this unconditional statement makes the vision of crossing the finish line under a 3:35 time vibrant and sharp rather than unfocused and blurry, as it was when BQ’ing was only a distant dream.
I am not a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination. I finished my first marathon 3 years ago in 5 hours even. The next year, I shaved a full half hour off my finish time. I had an inflated ego about this for about 8 months until the spring when I decided to dabble in speed training. When I ran the Chicago Marathon last year, my time was 4:07, down another 23 minutes. Still not necessarily fast, but I beat my goal time of 4:15, so it was a happy ending.
After Chicago, I reflected back on my running career and noticed that I made significant improvements in my time from year to year without expending significant incremental training effort. I also did this without a trace of injury (knock on wood). It suddenly occurred to me that it would be such a waste if I didn’t attempt to qualify for the most famous marathon in the world. I’ve caved to the fact that I’ll be running marathons until I physically cannot, so why continue to run them at half capacity, especially when the thrill of a PR is one of the greatest life has to offer? That’s like working at the same job for years without ever getting a promotion. Why continue to be a mediocre runner when I have the potential to be a great runner?
I will qualify for the Boston Marathon.