Some Boston Talk + This Half Marathon Thing This Weekend

It’s Boston registration week and I feel the need to talk about it a little bit.

For those of you who don’t know how Boston Registration works, let me lay it out for you real quick:

Registration opened this past Monday the 14th for people who qualified by 20+ min. Wednesday, registration opens for those that have qualified by 10+ min. Friday registration opens for those that have qualified by 5+ min and next Monday are for those of us that qualified by less than 5 min.

For those of us that would be keeping all our fingers and toes crossed for a spot on during week two, they add this little disclaimer

“If space remains after the first week of registration (Monday, September 14 through Saturday, September 19), then registration will re-open for all qualifiers from Monday, September 21 at 10:00 a.m. ET through Wednesday, September 23 at 5:00 p.m. ET.As during the first week of registration, entry during this period (Sept. 21-23) will not be first-come, first-served and the fastest qualifiers in their gender and age group among these submissions will be granted entry as space allows.”
BAA Website

I made the decision not to register a while ago, and I’ve been okay with that decision. In fact, things have worked out pretty dang well. Rather than training for a marathon during a semester of school where I’m taking 2 (maybe 3) classes and working full time, I’ll be training this fall/winter while I’m only taking one class. My marathon is February 14th, which means I’ll be tapering by the end of January–typically around when school work will begin to pick up.

I also have the amazing opportunity to go to Peru this April instead. And that trip will be incredible. Jeff was in Peru almost 5 years ago when he met the couple that told him about Flagstaff. After returning, he applied to the job he has now, moved six months later, and we met for the first time just a few months after that. Peru means a lot to him, and I’m excited to be able to experience that with him.

In spite of that, however, I’m feeling sad this week when I see other people on social media declaring their registration success. I know that qualifying again this February with that 3:30 time, guaranteeing my entry in 2017 (note my confidence) will end up being a more enjoyable experience. I’ll be done with my pre-requisites by the time training for 2017 Boston will come around and I won’t have to worry about juggling school, work and marathon training. I’ll be able to enjoy it, and most of all, enjoy the hell out of my Boston experience.

Rationally, sure it all worked out for the best. But, emotionally, I’m sad that something I worked so hard for isn’t coming to fruition this week. I am so happy for those Internet friends that get to register and will be running this year–I mean, 30,000 people gotta do it, I’m bound to run into one or two of them on the internet 😉 — and I’ll continue reminding myself that this experience will  make running 2017 all the more special.

I’m ready to start working hard in order to make that Boston dream come true, which brings up to this half marathon thing this weekend.

Flagstaff Marathon

I’m at once terribly excited, and terribly frightened. This is the first time I’ve ever run a race that I hadn’t trained hard for, and didn’t have a some crazy “A” goal time. I’m running it to just run it.

So, here’s my plan for this Saturday.

The race starts at 9am and the weather forecast is for clear and sunny, high of 71. The race also starts at 8,000ft, so it’ll be a bit cooler. I am SO relieved for that, because, honestly, I was getting real nervous about the weather after my 80* run last weekend. It’s also nice that it’s a late start in my hometown. Sleeping in!

So, let’s talk goals.

  1. Come in under 2 hours. This may seem like a silly “A” goal, considering my Half PR stands at 1:42, but with an elevation profile that looks like this:
    Flag Half Elevation

    Sorry for the teeny picture–that’s the best I can do

    2 hours is just fine and dandy for me.
  2. Have fun and race my race. This may include walking, and I’m okay with that. Physically, I’m a lot stronger than I was a few months ago, but I’m also not in the best shape ever. I’ve tried to run UP a lot, and I think that has helped things, but I’m not under any impression that this race will be “easy”. 13 miles of climbs on dirt trails sounds like a hell of a lot of fun, but not something that will allow for a PR. So, instead, I want to just have fun and run how I feel. If that means walking at times, then I will walk. I just want to come out of this enjoying my hometown race and feeling good about where my fitness IS at.
  3. Finish. If everything else goes wrong, I just want to cross that finish line.

The purpose of this race is to just enjoy it. It’s a trail race, it’s my hometown race, and it’s a fun distance. It’s by no means an accurate gauge of my fitness at this point in time, and it isn’t meant to be. I’ve done absolutely zero speed work for this race and will be happy with however my body decides to handle the elevation and milage.

I’m going to go out conservatively on the uphills and then try to bomb down the downhills to make up sometime, but truly, we’ll just see how my body feels. There’s no pressure on this race, and I definitely don’t want to add any!

I hope everyone is having a spectacular week so far and that your Wednesday is as good as a Wednesday can be!

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10 thoughts on “Some Boston Talk + This Half Marathon Thing This Weekend

  1. I’m so excited to see how you do this weekend! I bet you are going to crush it. There really is something to be said about going into a race with no expectations. A couple weeks ago I ran a 10K and I didn’t even bring my Garmin, and I ended up doing so well – not a PR, but MUCH better than I expected! Just try to relax and let your body do its thing. We run better when we’re not loaded down with stress and pressure, so I bet you will surprise yourself with how well you do!

    I think it’s normal you’re having such mixed emotions about Boston. While your trip to Peru will be awesome, it can’t be easy watching all of this unfold knowing that this was supposed to be your week, too. But this just means that next year’s registration will feel EXTRA special to you. The rougher the road, the sweeter the victory.

    It all makes me wonder about my own BQ aspirations. With the way things have been going the last few years with the increased demand, I wouldn’t be surprised if they knock our qualifying time down to 3:30 in the near future. That will be my goal BQ time anyway, but I’m trying to brace myself for the possibility that it’s going to be even harder when I’m finally ready to qualify

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    • Ohh man. I haven’t even thought about not bringing my garmin…I might have to give that some serious thought over the next few days! You killed that 10k! There is something to be said for running completely on feel. Not sure I can do a long race like that though.
      Really, I think unless you nab a 3:30 at this point, you can’t count on getting in…which really sucks. I almost wish they would just change the time so you don’t get excited to run, and then are unable to register!

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  2. I think feeling some twinges of disappointment are completely normal and to be expected. You trained really hard to get a BQ and if I were in you position I too would be a bit disappointed that I don’t get to cash in all of my hard work and run Boston, even though it sounds like it is really better to shoot for in in 2017. Peru sounds like it will be a wonderful experience.

    Your half this weekend looks crazy difficult. Good luck with all of those hills!

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    • Thanks Heather! It was a tough decision, but I do feel like it’s working out for the best! And those hills are a little terrifying to me haha! It should be interesting

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  3. I don’t think you will regret this decision one bit! Peru is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and Boston will be there year after year. It’s going to feel disappointing right now, but I really think you will be so thankful in the spring when you can focus on your classes and enjoying that trip instead of stressing about training. There is so much increased hype about Boston that everyone wants to qualify as soon as possible, but I think that perfect Boston race sometimes takes a while to get to, even if you have the speed (which you obviously do). You should be proud that you ran the qualifying time, even if you aren’t running the race this year!

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  4. Oh man, that elevation looks intense. I think running without the Garmin is a great idea. My best running experiences have been when I go more by feel than by pace. Either way, good luck! It looks like an awesome race!

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  5. THAT COURSE! WHOA! Awesome, lady! You are going to do great. Looking forward to reading about it, good luck! You made a good call with Boston…although would have been fun to meet up! One of these days 🙂

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