February 18, 2011
(for those of you who care and know what I'm even talking about...)
I just had a realization.
I'm done with my whole Boston Marathon dream. I don't think I'd wear the jacket anyway.
It's not that I don't think I can qualify under the new rolling admission standards and the 3:35 age group cutoff--because I know I'm capable of all of that. I was a great runner in high school, I can still run a sub-six mile without much trouble, and I'm lucky to have a VO2 max that allows me to gain fitness quickly.
I know, in my heart of hearts that I'm capable of qualifying for Boston--I just haven't had my day.
But you know what? The new rolling admission system is already stressing me out, and I haven't even run a qualifying race yet. I sat up last night doing math over and over and over in my head...
"....Okay, so if I go ten minutes under the 3:40, what's the probability that I'll get in? What if I go five minutes under? What's the pace for a 3:35? What'll happen to the BAA website when registration opens up to all qualifiers?"
If it sounds complicated, that's because it is. And let me tell you, the last thing I need is one more complicating factor in my life.
Do I think the BAA is wrong for the way they're approaching registration? Of course not. They own the race, and they can do whatever they want with it. Honestly, if they required that you walk across the finish line on your hands to be able to register, I guess I'd just start practicing my gymnastics skills if I wanted it badly enough.
I've seen a lot of comments from enthusiastic, well-attituded runners that say things like, "Well, just another reason to train harder!" and "I guess I'll have to get faster!"
You won't hear that from me.
If I train harder, it's because I want to train harder--not because the BAA has cornered me into making that choice.
If I get faster, it's only because I've been working harder for my own sense of self-satisfaction--not because of an outside standard that's been placed on me and my community.
My motivation to run comes from somewhere in my gut, not from the BAA. From this point forward, you'll never hear me say that I'm trying to qualify for Boston--I'm just trying to run my race. I'm trying to reach my personal potential. I'm trying as hard as I possibly can to do what I love, and to do it well.
From this point on, I'll never feel disappointed when I cross a marathon finish line again, because damn it, I just finished a marathon. There should never be any shame in that. And these days, even with a respectable "BQ," there's not guarantee that you'll get to run the race anyway.
Now don't get me wrong here, if I happen to meet the Boston qualifying standard, you bet your ass I'll try to register and run that race. But the difference is, this is no longer about being good enough for them, this is about being good enough for me.
I'm not planning to get a boob job because the media tells me I should, and I'm not about to take on a different career just because my paycheck seems wimpy compared to other peoples'. I'll never convert to a different religion that the masses accept as more mainstream, and you can mark my words right now--I'm not gonna start training harder because the bar's been raised by a race organizer.
I want to get faster. There's nothing, nothing, that beats of feeling of running quickly and with ease for mile after mile after mile. But I want to get faster for me, not for the jacket--and believe me, up until today, I really, really, realllllly wanted that jacket.
So I'll run, and I'll try to run well. I'll run the races I feel like running, when I feel like running them. I'll have babies when I want more babies--not after I finally get to run Boston. And I'll celebrate every single marathon finish like, well, like I just finished a marathon.
Thank you for the changes, BAA. You've finally set me free. I mean that.
What else can I say? The sun is shining and it's a great day for a fast ten miler.
P.S. There's another new post down there.
P.P.S. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm bagging any BQers out there. I think you're all incredible, and I'm jealous no matter what I say! This is about my feelings only...nothing to do with anyone else!