Thursday, November 21, 2013

Post marathon thoughts

Welcome to my living room

I've taken up residence on the couch this week, eaten foods I haven't touched in months, and haven't given running a second thought.  It's been amazing.

The day after the marathon I showed up at school wearing my marathon shirt and limping severely.  I got a lot of congratulations, and had the following conversation with a coworker who has also run 10 marathons:

Coworker: Did you BQ?
Me: Yeah, I ran 3:03:05.
Coworker: There's only one bad thing about that time.
Me: Now I want to break 3 hours.
Coworker: Exactly.

Three years ago I qualified for Boston under the rules in place at the time of my marathon.  Just three months after I qualified, the BAA changed the registration process and lowered the qualifying times, and I never got to run Boston.  I was heartbroken.  I sulked for a bit, but then decided to just suck it up and qualify all over again.  It took three years, but I'm proud that I kept at it and never gave up on the dream.

For three years I got used to saying 3:09 when asked my marathon PR.  That race had felt like such a Herculean task, and I'd never been more proud of myself for achieving what I did that day.  So it's an odd feeling to have lowered my PR by more than six minutes, especially when I'd expressed so much doubt that it was even possible.  

The marathon is a fickle beast.  You train for months and get exactly one chance to make good on your goals.  Anything could happen on race day: extremely hot or cold weather, rain, wind... I could have gotten sick or injured.  I could have gotten to the starting line healthy and just had a bad day.  It's remarkable the factors that go in to performing well.  I consider myself incredibly lucky that things worked out the way they did.

But the idea of a sub 3:00 marathon begs one question: do I feel fulfilled?  Am I content?  For now I have Boston to look forward to (assuming BQ-1:55 is enough to get in), but what happens then?  What happens when we set insurmountable goals for ourselves and then actually achieve them?  At what point can we be satisfied with what we have?

For now I am driven by one burning question: what am I made of?  Boston is only the tip of the iceberg, my friends.


  1. "I'm proud that I kept at it and never gave up on the dream." This says it all. You should be proud. "Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind."

  2. I share so many of these thoughts. So many.

    1. We are obviously brothers separated at birth. We will be reunited in Boston in 2015.


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