Posts Tagged ‘What now?’

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So it’s finally sinking in. I did it. Almost 2 years ago I started running. Shortly thereafter I had the audacity to think I could qualify for Boston. A little under a year ago, my first shot ended in a Frankenstein’s Monster walk (3:54).  Next came the surprise of Boston 2010 as an invitational runner ending in heartbreak on Heartbreak Hill (3:32).  That was followed 2 weeks later with the oppressive heat and humidity of Providence (3:30).  Although I finished each of those marathons, they all ended in a failed attempt to qualify. I was inching closer, but a BQ still seemed like an impossibly difficult dream.

But two and a half weeks ago, I did it.  3:19:19.  I qualified for Boston with a little room to spare.  It has finally sunk in (I was one of the lucky one who signed up Monday morning at 9AM when registration opened). With New York less than 3 weeks away I have been wondering, “what now?”   Whether I decide to gun for 3:15 in New York or not, the truth is, for the last 16 months I have been focusing on one thing – a BQ.   As amazing as the feeling of finally accomplishing that goal was, the joy was in the journey. My three failed attempts fueled a fire and made the story that much more meaningful to me.

That journey is done, and despite my growing excitement for the New York Marathon and my anticipation of running Boston in both 2011 and 2012 (hopefully), I am now left with a feeling that something is missing.  In my world of running, I have done it!  I have achieved my goal.  It is time for a new journey.  So what’s next? What’s the next goal?  I’m still not sure, but here are two things that I am considering.

First, the probably impossible dream of a sub-3:00 marathon. Despite taking nearly 35 minutes off of my marathon time in just over 11 months, the idea of taking off another 20 minutes sounds downright insane. Plus, at my age, I’ll be lucky if I don’t start slowing down significantly very soon.  Still, it’s alluring.  Much like being able to say I BQ’d, how cool would it be to be able to say I had a sub-3:00 marathon under my belt?

The other possibility that I am seriously thinking about (and yes, Doug, I do remember that I did promise I would do it if I qualified for Boston at Smuttynose) is running the Vermont 50 this coming September. I have never run an ultra, and 50 miles is about as far as I ever want to go. I am definitely intrigued by the idea.  But this isn’t just 50 flat miles.  No, this is 50 miles through the Vermont terrain.  The elevation profile frightens me.  Because Smuttynose was run late in the year, I actually not only qualified for Boston 2011, but also Boston 2012 as well, so there won’t be the urgency of running another marathon in the fall – that is if the BAA doesn’t change the requirements for qualifying in light of this years rapid close.  If they do, that may be the tipping point for me.

So, what do you think? Do I go back to Hampton next October and shoot for a sub-3:00 marathon or do I head to the mountains of Vermont and run a 50 mile race?

Fortunately, I don’t have to decide just yet, so I’m going to concentrate on New York.  3:15 anyone?

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