Oct 12, 2010

Chasing the elusive 3:10

A few days before the Chicago marathon I woke up dreaming that I was wearing the famed blue singlet with "Boston Athletic Association" on it. I was on Heartbreak Hill pounding my way to the finish line. Last Sunday, I was at the start line of another great marathon in downtown Chicago feeling a bit nervous but confident of all those grueling training sessions I had put in. The long runs in freezing cold winter and the tempo runs and track workouts even in 100+ degree Baltimore heat should pay off, right? Nada. Doesn't matter. All that matters is what you do after the starter gun goes off. Dreams don't count, passion is only for the movies, and certainly no extra points for sucking up the IT band pain in Chinatown (mile 21) and continuing to run. You either make it or end up 10 minutes late -- 3:20:54.

*Wisconsin was a training run
As a runner the best you can hope for is continuous improvement. Goals change but training never ends. Looking back on all the marathons I've done in a year, all I have is to look forward to the next marathon knowing that my qualifying time might just be a marathon away. Or two.

Why do I want to qualify? 3:10 seems like an arbitrary goal. Why not 3:00 or even 2:50? Preparing and running for a BQ to me has been much more than that. It is knowing what I'm made of. It was the same thing that made me run a 50 miler in June.


Quinto Sol said...

Great job on the PR... on a warmish day... 20 minutes... wow! A BQ is around the corner.

Sean said...

Nice job, keep plugging away. And the singlets are back to yellow now ;)

WhatTheRun said...

Thanks! I wrote this post in a very dismissive mood but now looking back at it 3:20 doesn't sound so bad after all. It's only made me more hungrier!

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