To face the pitch black mornings, the icy streets and whipping wind of winter. To pile on the miles, log speed work on icy streets and tap into my strongest self. To face my fears and come back to the course that made me want to beg for mercy. To stare Heartbreak Hill square in the eyes and be ready to bring it. To race 26.2 miles of the longest running, most prestigious marathon in the country. To cross that finish line with a huge grin knowing that I gave it all I got, yet still wanting more. To Boston or not to Boston: that is the question.
The question that needs to be decided very very soon. By September 16th, actually. While Boston registration officially begins on September 14th, September 16th is registration day for those who have met the qualifying standard by 10 minutes or more- that’s me! (I met the 3:35 BQ time for my age bracket with a 3:16 time at Chicago fall 2014.
Not only are Boston Marathon qualifying times a little confusing, but the date at which you will register for the event is dependent upon how much you surpass your qualifying time. Read additional info about this on the BAA website: HERE.
Running- and really training for- a marathon is not a decision that I make lightly. While many runners will casually run 3, 4 or even 5 marathons a year that is simply not my style. My life (career/family), my body and my approach to training does not allow for 3 or more marathons a year. My husband and I agree that 1-2 marathons a year is what we able to commit to as a family. To be clear, I have never ran a marathon alone. Each of my past 3 training cycles my family has ran it with me- in their own way of course. Who is going to watch Lillian during my Sunday long runs? Owen. Who is going to be going to bed early Saturday nights to accommodate my extra sleep needs? Owen. Who is going to pick up the slack around the house in regards to the cooking, cleaning and gardening when I’m out training or passed out on the couch inside. Owen. Who is going to rub my feet and sore calves when I’m tired… well, here’s hoping!
A few nights ago O and I took a long walk together. Since we’re on vacation and the rest of the world has temporarily stopped spinning O and I attempted to get on the same page and started talking marathon. We asked ourselves: Is our family ready to train for another marathon?
Ever since I crossed the finish line at Boston 2015 I knew that I had to come back. There is no question in my mind- I WILL run Boston again. The real question here is should Boston be my next marathon? It pains me to say this, but I’m just not sure. I think about it every day and I still feel torn.
Every time I ask myself the Boston question more thoughts and questions pop up in my mind:
- Winter: Do I really want to train through winter again?? Evil, brutally cold winter?? 18 miles on a treadmill. -20 degree wind. Worst winter in history!!
- Half distance: The half distance is VERY manageable time wise for the fam and training doesn’t leave me spent like marathon training does. Would it be wiser to continue working on the half distance for the spring and then marathon in the Fall?
- Missing the long run– I miss loading up the miles and running for hours on end. I know in my heart I was meant for the long run … And boy do I miss it!!
- PR: How badly do I want to PR? I want to break 3:15 if not 3:10 at my next marathon.~ It is not impossible to PR at Boston, but it is easier to PR on other courses… like Berlin. 🙂
- Time: Do I have enough time to truly commit to training? I work at the running store full time, manage a quickly growing coaching business, actively contribute to the blog, a daughter and husband who I’m kinda fond of and a home to tend to. Is there enough of me to go around? Or will I spread myself too thin for marathon training?
- IT’S BOSTON!?! HOW DO YOU NOT RUN BOSTON!?!
As I set my eyes on Boston I’ll admit it, I’m truly torn. On one hand, how do you NOT run Boston? On the other hand do I want to embark on winter training again and risk it all with Boston?
I have thought about this every single day since I finished Boston last April and I still don’t know!
For now I will sit back, relax and continue my vacation with my mind on marathons and future marathons on my mind :-).
Never Stop Running,
The Lone Runner