Monday, September 26, 2011


Rough day today.

I lost three students in one day who, for various reasons, decided to drop German from their schedules.  The German program at the high school where I work was almost canceled this year due to low enrollment, and saving the program is among my list of goals this year.  Losing students will not help me achieve that goal.

I got an e-mail from someone I've never met personally inviting me to audition for one of my favorite shows of all time (Picasso at the Lapin Agile by none other than Steve Martin) based on my previous work.  It's incredibly flattering, and I would love to be in the show, but I'm already committed to assistant directing Jesus Christ Superstar which runs at the same time.

And then the BAA kicked me when I was down with the following e-mail:

That's not even the worst part.

I ran 3:09:45, meaning I missed the cutoff by less than a minute.  This new process of rewarding faster runners hadn't been in place when I ran my BQ.  At the time, I thought as long as I came in under 3:10:59 I would be fine.  When I knew I had the BQ in the bag, I slowed down a bit in the final mile to give my aching body some respite.  If I had known about the new registration policy, I would have tried my best to keep up the pace.  I could have made up that minute.

For a week I allowed myself to imagine toeing that line in Hopkinton next spring and running through 26.2 miles of history, basking in the knowledge of how hard I worked to get there.

I'm crushed.

I read the e-mail directly after school, and I immediately let out a scream of frustration while looking for something to punch.  Then I heard it, a small voice from the doorway behind me:

"Herr Partenheimer?"

One of my 9th graders looking for extra help on the homework.  I put on my best teacher face and turned to face her.  Losing Boston is hard, but at least I have other goals to attend to.


  1. I nvincible
    M anly

    P artenheimer
    R unner
    O mg
    U nstoppable
    D aring

    O n your way to great things
    F ast

    Y ou
    O n you go to your next adventure
    U p - you're movin up up up

  2. Ugh, I'm so sorry :( I know this won't cheer you up, but just remember that none of this is a reflection on how awesome you are. The class thing? Probably due to kids not wanting to be challenged or something came up in their lives. The acting thing? Because someone saw your work and wanted YOU personally to be in the show. The running thing? Well, despite the difficulty in being accepted, you are still among the elite runners in the country having qualified for it at all. And you inspire people like me to work harder and continually strive for improvement. So, they suck and you rule. ::hug::

  3. Keep you chin up, Boston will be around for a few years I guess and I am sure (not knowing you personally and judging from the distance) you will be able to run another BQ time and get in eventually.
    All the best from Germany,

  4. Thanks for the comments, everyone. I appreciate them.

  5. I saw your video from your Runners World post and wanted to say that you are amazing. Your video was awesome and I was crying at the end knowing that you wouldn't be running Boston. I have been sitting on a BQ since January and know how stressed I was the past 9 months not knowing if I would be in that race. The look of your face crossing the finish line mimics mine when I crossed my finish line at Disney. I hate that we didn't know about the change, but based on your hard work, I am sure that wasn't your last BQ. Good luck on your next training cycle, I know I will see you at Boston one day.

  6. I find it incredibly unfair that the rules of who they're going to accept into the race were changed on you, but even though you won't be running Boston this year, you did qualify. You'll be forever a Boston qualifier, just with a good example of how life isn't fair attached to it.

    Is there a way you can document why the three students dropped? If it's because of scheduling or that they didn't want to take a foreign language in general, that's a helpful narrative to have behind the numbers if a discussion ensues about how effective the program is.

  7. Tough to run the time you did and still not get in, but as Kirsten mentioned, you're still a BQ, which I never came close to being. It is definitely aggravating, but the course can hold only so many people and the race is so popular they can't grant entry to everyone who meets the time criteria. Then there's the issue of Boston (and NY) selling numbers to raise money for charity.

  8. Oh no, Scott : (

    I have no doubt you can BQ again if you want to. Make it a revenge race and hand 26.2 its own ass. (Sorry, that was violent, but that's how I would feel if I were you!)

  9. This was the worst day of my week...missed by 33 seconds!


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