It’s official! This landed in my mailbox on Monday morning:
I should have been jumping for joy, but I was surprised to find that my joy was dampened by some other emotions. I remember all too well the feeling last year of getting a very different email, one that said my qualifying time of 3:44:26 did not meet the minus 1:02 cutoff for Boston 2015 and I would not get to race that year. I re-doubled my efforts and stayed strong at the end of the Phoenix Marathon last February to make sure that I qualified this year by more than the standard minus five minutes, coming in at 3:36:58 for a BQ minus 8:02. Online speculation predicts that this year’s cutoff will come in somewhere around minus 1:30 to 1:50, even harder than last year, and my heart goes out to all the people who worked so hard to beat the qualifying standard and yet will face the disappointment of that “we’re sorry to inform you” email. I hope the BAA comes up with a better solution, either by tightening the qualifying standards or figuring a way to expand the field safely to allow all qualifiers to register if desired. In the meantime, I will do my best to appreciate the opportunity to run the race. I am particularly grateful to my parents who generously offered to pay the $180 registration fee!
General Training Update
It feels very strange to be registered for my seventh marathon when I have yet to complete my sixth! I never do that! I always wait to see how I feel after a race to set my sights on my next goal and my next goal race. But this time I am in the middle of training for REVEL Canyon City, which takes place November 7, about 6.5 weeks from now! Training is going well, although I have regretted my choice of training plan this time around. I thrived on the Run Less, Run Faster and Smart Marathon Training plans that called for three targeted runs per week plus two cross-training sessions and some strength training. Bumping up to 4-5 runs per week plus training on some hills to get ready for Canyon City left me with a painful case of shin splints — medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) to be exact, which is a fancy way of saying pain on the inner part of the shin. I have managed to run through it over the past five weeks while trying many different remedies (rest, ice, compression socks, strength training) which I will be happy to share once I have beaten this overuse injury once and for all. I’m happy to report that this morning’s 8-mile run was my first completely pain-free run in a long time and it felt fabulous. I lost a bit of the joy of running when I was feeling the weight of injury, and it felt so freeing to run strong this morning (fingers crossed, knocking on wood).
Do you have an opinion on the Boston Marathon qualifying standards and registration process? Are you training for anything right now?