Boston!

It won’t be long now.  Awesome runners from all over the world will be descending on the city of Boston, Massachusetts.  The cream of the crop.  I’m assuming that all of these runners are suffering from taper madness as the big day approaches.  Man, I wish I was joining them!

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Getting into Boston is no small feat.  The standards for qualifying are strict, and it really takes a lot of effort to pull off a qualifying time.  I am currently shooting for a 3:25:00 marathon just to call myself a qualifier.  My age group for the 2016 qualifying period is 45-49.  Yes, I will be 46 years old when Boston 2016 takes place.

My attempt to get into this years Boston Marathon was foiled when at 15 miles into the Big Cottonwood Marathon, I ran out of gas.  I ran out of gas in a big way.  I finished that marathon in 3:41:59, sixteen minutes too slow qualify.  My personal record in a marathon is a 3:32:24 at the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon.  That race was only seven minutes off the pace I need to get in.

I am getting closer.  Closer to Boston.  I must get to the starting line though, before I can get to the storied finish line.

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Here is my plan, and my goal race for this year.

My 2015 has started out pretty well.  I’ve been getting in some really quality runs.  I haven’t burned myself out.  So far this year I’ve run two marathons and one half.  These races were all familiar to me, and races that I could work on mental fitness, and tweak my breathing and pace.  Progress!  I feel good about how my races have gone this far.  I have another Half coming up, and then a hilly marathon in May.  Both of these races will again be tests of fortitude, but will not be attempts to qualify for Boston.

My BQ goal race is in Denver this July.  So, after my marathon the first weekend in May, my training will turn to downhill work, and pacing.  I will be pushing myself more than I have been so far this year.  Getting into Boston is important to me, but not everything.  I need to push myself harder during training than usual though if I plan to have a successful attempt.  No pain, no gain.  Luckily I can say that my running has gotten me close to Boston, but in order to get there, I need to find a way to ramp up my pace.  I need to break another barrier in my running, and that is just not easy.

Boston has only been a dream of mine for about two years now.  I just wasn’t sure that I could run well enough to be among the elite athletes that run that race early on in my marathon career.  Now that I have run 18 marathons, I am convinced that I have what it takes to get there.  Lofty dreams require work and dedication.  I have to find the inner spirit to push through and break that 3:25:00 barrier.  I believe, I believe!

Now comes the harder work to get there!  Boston!  One day you will be mine, and I’m gunning for April 18, 2016.

Are you gunning for, or have been to The Boston Marathon?  Any tips you can provide to push through that final wall to qualify?

What? Qualify for two Boston’s at the same race? Yes, please….

The Boston Athletic Association has announced registration periods and dates for the 2015 race which will be held on April 20th next year.  They have also now announced when the qualifying period for the 2016 Boston race will start.  Drumroll please…….

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The Big Cottonwood Marathon in Utah, as promised, becomes a race you can run on September 13th, and qualify for two Boston Marathons.  That’s right, two!  September 13th is the opening day for qualifications for the 2016 race.  It’s also registration week for the 2015 event.

Two for the price of one, as they say.

Buy One Get One.  BOGO!

I am extremely excited to hear this news.  Not that a Boston Qualifying time is a sure thing, because for me, it certainly isn’t.  My best marathon finish thus far is seven minutes off my BQ standard, so I have work to do.  I have a training plan in place this Summer, which will hopefully put me in good standing for a wholehearted attempt.  I plugged my marathon best into a calculator which predicts finish time at the Big Cottonwood, and it puts me well under my standard.  So, if I have a great race, I can register for Boston.  You see, the Big Cottonwood marathon is not a flat race, it’s mostly downhill, and has a great record for qualifying runners for Boston.  This is the original reason I signed up for this race a few months ago.

Why don’t you join me in Utah this September?  It’s a fast, and beautiful course, with an amazing atmosphere from what I’ve read.  Great race medals, and swag, and for heavens sake, a shot at two Boston’s?  Who wouldn’t want to run this race?

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Go Big at the Big Cottonwood marathon with me this September 13th.