Boston Mania & Why I’ll Never Qualify

Boston Mania is in the air!  We are excited.  We are ready.  Yet, most of us aren’t even running! 


The 117th running of the Boston Marathon will occur Monday morning at 9:30 am Eastern or 8:30 am Central Time (Chicago area).  Most of us will be glued to our computers working as the elites and our fast friends take to the the streets of Boston.  For many, the Boston Marathon is the race of all races.  The one that runners dream about for years.   The one for which most will never be able to run due to the fast qualifying standards.  The one that has become tradition for so many of the “faster” marathon runners.

It’s a race that holds me on the edge of my seat for approximately 2.5 hours each Patriot’s Day.  I love watching the race.  I love rooting for our American elites, hoping that this will be the year that one of them can hit the finish line first and win the Boston title for themselves and all of the rest of us who love this race so much.

Regardless of how much I love this race, I have no illusion as to toeing the line anytime within this decade.  My current age group requires me to run a 3:40 (actually a 3:45 since I will turn 40 before the 118th Boston Marathon but that’s still an 8:35 min/mi pace).  The standards are HERE if you need to look.   However, the thought of running that fast for that long makes me want to cry. 

The ladies from our area who have been busting their ass training all winter for Boston have really been going after it.  This is no joke.  Although, I do believe talent plays a major role in those who are able to BQ, it also requires a lot of work.  Focused training.  The overwhelming desire to hit the times, paces and tempos where most of us would just wuss out  walk away.  I am amazed by their efforts.  I am amazed by their dedication.  I am amazed by their push.

Seeing these women train has cemented the fact for me that at this point in my life, I do NOT have what it takes to BQ.  I don’t have the desire or the push.  If I want to walk, I will.  If I want to run slow, I will.  I just want to run without any time or pace requirements attached.  I’m not really even following a training plan for the Lansing Marathon, which is a mere 8 days away.  I ran the long runs on the schedule but didn’t do the speed or tempo work.  I ran more than I was supposed to on many days, did zero cross training and ran less than I was supposed to on other days.  I’ve heard people say, “Fail to plan, plan to fail” but I don’t believe that.  I just think that at this point in my life, managing work/family/life is more important to me that nailing a training plan.  Maybe I’m lazy.  Maybe I’m tired.  Maybe I just want there to be one aspect of my life which doesn’t require a “plan”. 

So my  lackadaisical approach to running will be the reason why I won’t be hitting that BQ any time soon.  Of course, I can always hope that after Susan M finishes the Lansing Marathon, that she will come back for me and carry me those last 6 miles.  Then I might have a chance.  Smile  Or maybe not.

How about you?  Are you killing your runs and workouts?  Are you aiming for the coveted BQ?  Or are you like me, just content to run relaxed and watch the Boston Marathon streaming on your computer?

**  Too Tired to Check The Training Plan **  Amanda – TooTallFritz **

22 thoughts on “Boston Mania & Why I’ll Never Qualify

  1. I agree with you completely! I’ll never be fast enough to run Boston. But I’m the same way, if I want to walk or run slow- then I want to be able to do it. I have been following my training plan, but not 100%. I should be running 4 days a week, but usually only do 3. I always get my long runs in though. I haven’t been doing speed work either. I guess since it’s my first marathon (in 7 days!!), I just want to finish. Hopefully by Chicago, I’ll be faster and better!

  2. I’m normally joking about, but here, right now … I am dead serious that you can and will make the qualifying time for Boston. 🙂
    Be inspired today, this weekend and especially Monday morning!

    • If I make that BQ, I will probably fall over with a heart attack, if I didn’t already expire in the race. :o)

      I’m aware of the time but all the stars would have to align correctly and I certainly wouldn’t want to use up my lucky stars for a BQ. I’d rather win the lotto. :o)

  3. I agree with you! Sometimes I run for a particular goal, but qualifying for Boston is probably out of my reach. This weekend I’m doing the More Women’s 1/2 in NYC with the girls and we’re mostly looking forward to the foot massages promised after! It’s important to have balance but mostly to have fun. 🙂

  4. I am in Boston….waiting to run my race. I will walk at some point…just for you. You can plan or not plan and run whatever…failure is a matter of definition…what n how you define it.

    • I am also in Boston. I am planning on taking a few walk breaks as well! Just wait until you are eligible to qualify as a 45 year old. The qualifying standards relax a whole 15 minutes from those of 39 year olds, and you will probably be close to the same shape you are now!

  5. I’ll never qualify for Boston either as much as I’d like to. I’m too short and too heavy for my legs to carry me fast enough. I’ve run halfs with both planned training that I stuck to and unplanned training… I actually did better with the unplanned because I just went out to run for fun. That doesn’t mean I rolled out of bed and ran the race, I was capable of running the distance, I just didn’t dedicate myself to running my best race and I did it anyways. Have fun in Lansing. You’ll be by where I went to college. Its a nice area.

  6. I love this! I will never qualify and I am okay with that, although I do live under the delusion that if I tried really hard…I could. LOL Good luck to all the racers!

  7. I think maybe *someday* I could qualify, but I’m still a ways off. PR 4:09, and I have to wait a year longer than you to get that 3:45 🙂 I’m not that concerned about it. Baby steps. I’ll try to get myself under 4 hours first. And hey, if it doesn’t happen, oh well. It would be amazing, but I only want to get there if somehow that pace becomes comfortable.

  8. My running is at it’s all time best. Not every run is awesome & perfect, but over all it’s going great. I plan to BQ at the end of the month. I never came close to doing it, but I know I can do it! Based on my 1:40 half marathon that I posted last weekend I should qualify no problem. I’m so excited!!

    Having/knowing a lot of other running friends & bloggers who will never qualify doesn’t make them any less amazing than me. It’s really about each person’s story and journey that makes them amazing and good runners. Never qualifying for Boston is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just who you are as a runner.

  9. Kudos to you for prioritizing a balance between running and the rest of your life. My competitive side thinks that some day I’d like to try to qualify someday, but I know that being able to balance my life with my running is key, especially if I don’t want my fiance to be mad at me. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with not caring about a BQ. The important thing is that we keep running, no matter what pace we’re running at. 🙂

  10. I was just writing about the exact same thing. Waaaay too many things would need to happen for me to even make a run at a BQ–like scientists helping me grow longer legs. Sounds like you have great priorities and they’re in order. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

  11. Hey TTF, I will qualify when I turn 65. Only 26 more years to go! There’s my shot! I applaud all qualifiers, but the back of the pack is where the fun really is 🙂

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