Saturday, April 24, 2010

Boston in the Bucket

"I'm going to run the Boston Marathon!!!"

That's what I felt like shouting this past Monday as I followed the race online. I really got caught up in the moment this year, tracking elites, people I follow on Twitter and even runners from the local area.  My emotions ranged from excitement at times all the way down to sympathetic at others.

I was downright giddy when it became obvious Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot was going to set a course record. And I was disheartened, yet inspired, to see how others, like Steve Walker, were both struggling and overcoming challenges throughout.

I should mention I have never run a marathon. I've run a few - and by few I mean three - half marathons, but nothing farther than that outside training.  Quite frankly, running a full marathon is something I haven't thought much about. I think partially it's because the allure of the distance has been diminished. It seems like everyone's running a marathon these days. And when celebrities like Oprah and Will Ferrell can complete them, what's the appeal?

The appeal of the Boston Marathon is that you have to earn the right to be there. Either by running for a good cause or by posting a qualifying time at another approved marathon. This, combined with the countless, inspirational race recaps I read, made me want to be a part of it.

Anyway, I decided to wait a few days before composing this entry to give myself time to think. I didn't want to make any proclamations while on a high. Besides, it's not like I just get to "decide" that I'll run Boston. That's up to the BAA.  Still, five days later I'm stepping out on a limb and going on record.

"I'm going to run the Boston Marathon!!!"

Now, here's where I clarify and hedge. As I said, I've never run a marathon.This is a long-term goal, and right now, according to the McMillan running calculator, I couldn't qualify. The statisticians and physicists on McMillan's staff say I should be able to run a marathon in 3:31:30, but I need a 3:20 performance to qualify in my age group. I would have to pick up the pace by 27 seconds per mile! For 26.2 miles! Is that even possible?

Until I get a marathon under my belt I'm not making any projections as to when I think I can qualify. Will I make it on my first attempt or my twentieth? I don't know. I do know that the Boston Marathon is now on my Bucket List and I will work towards meeting that goal in the months and/or years to come.

I want to hear for myself the encouragement of a half million spectators. I want to run through the scream tunnel at Wellesley. I want to conquer the Newton hills. I want to run into Copley Square.


  1. Good luck on seeking a place at Boston. There is no reason to doubt you will make it there. "Is that even possible?"; he says. LOL. Get those pessimist voices out of your head.

  2. You will my friend! You will!