Boston Dreamin’ (My Crazy Plans for Spring)
|September 6, 2013||Posted by Lauren under Running|
If you’re a runner who pays even a tiny bit of attention to current events/social media, I’m pretty sure you know that Boston Marathon Registration opens on Monday Sept 9th. You probably know that they’re planning to expand the field to 36,000(!) runners to accommodate the increased interest. And I’m sure you also know that everyone and their brother wants to run it.
I have a long and not so positive history with the Boston Marathon that I won’t bore you with again. Basically I ran it once in 2009 and haven’t made it back since — despite having a qualifying time every year. Like many runners, Boston holds a special place in my heart. And after the horrific events at last year’s race, I feel more motivated to run it than ever.
So why is this even worthy of a blog post? (Well, besides the fact that all bloggers really do is post their mental drivel online for everyone to read…)
Cheese Baby is due on December 21st. Boston is April 21st….exactly 4 months to the day after I (might) give birth. This is not a lot of time to train for a marathon, especially when you factor in the 6-ish weeks of recovery, sleepless nights with a new infant, winter in Vermont, and the fact that I’ll sort of be starting from scratch. Even I can accept that it’s sort of crazy and a potentially unrealistic goal, especially since I haven’t been through this whole birth/raising an infant thing before and really have no idea how I’m going to feel.
But I also feel like it might be doable. I’ve even mapped out a tentative plan. So humor me for a minute…
If Cheese Baby comes right on her due date (which I know is unlikely, but go with me here), I will have 17 weeks and 2 days to get ready for Boston. Figuring in 6 full weeks of no running puts me at a little over 11 weeks to actually train.
Just a snapshot of my craziness…
Obviously this plan is completely arbitrary. Like I said above, I have no idea how I’m going to feel after birth or how many miles I’m going to be able to handle once I start running again. I know my body is going through some pretty dramatic changes during this pregnancy, and an aggressive build up under those circumstances is not ideal.
But, I’d be running with the following assumptions:
I do not care about my finish time. In fact, I fully expect a PW. I really just want to be a part of that field celebrating in Boston.
I’ve run marathons before and know I can handle the distance. Yes, I know going through labor can change things, but mentally I know I can make it to that finish line…even if it’s a shuffle.
My training is not going to be ideal. I won’t be focusing on speed work and I’ll only get in one 20-miler before the marathon. The entire goal will be to get enough miles under my belt to be able to safely complete it.
I don’t know when I’ll get another chance. Honestly – I don’t know what next year is going to bring. I don’t know if I’ll have any sort of speed when I make my return to running. I don’t know how long it’ll take me to reach my pre-pregnancy levels of fitness. In short — I don’t really know when (or if) I’ll be able to qualify again. And I certainly can’t count on doing so before registration opens next year. I have a qualifying time now. So it’s either 2014 or…some date far in the unknown future.
So that’s why I’m turning to you, internet strangers! Some of you have been there before and can tell me definitively if I’m being absolutely crazy and stupid to want to attempt this. And all of you are at least removed enough from the situation that I can pretty much guarantee you’re looking at it more rationally than I am right now.
What would you do? Attempt the race or be content with just cheering on the sidelines for another year? Am I being completely unrealistic here? Go ahead and call me crazy…I promise I can handle it.
My qualifying time from last year’s Manchester City Marathon is 3:18 and change. Which means I have until Wednesday the 11th to decide. At this point, I really don’t know what I’m going to do. All I know is that I’m already dreaming about spring races. And that no matter what, come April 21st, I plan to be in Boston one way or the other.