Dreaming of Boston

This morning at work I put the live feed of the Boston Marathon on my second monitor and undertook the mindless task of checking every single price in our pricing system at work for accuracy.

On my main monitor, amongst the roughly 10,000 prices I checked, I found quite a few incorrectly priced SKUs. On the second monitor, amongst the tens of thousands of runners on course, I found an incredible amount of personal inspiration.

Boston calling

I’ve never really felt all that drawn to the Boston Marathon, mostly because I’m not nearly fast enough to qualify to run it. The last thing I’ve wanted to do over the last five years of running marathons is to get obsessed over a specific, unreasonable time and feel disappointed if I didn’t attain it.

I visited Boston in the fall of 2010 and ran across the finish line just a few months after my first marathon in Ottawa in May, 2010.

I visited Boston in the fall of 2010 and ran across the finish line just a few months after my first marathon in Ottawa in May, 2010.

But this year was different for some reason. I watched the race from start to finish and then kept watching the finish line live stream and tracking map as my friends and fellow runners finished their races.

I found myself thinking about what running Boston would be like. I felt drawn to it.

Reality check

My personal best for the marathon is 3:48:30 which I ran last year at the 2014 BMO Vancouver Marathon. Currently, I’d need to run a 3:15:00 marathon to qualify to race Boston next spring. In reality, I’d probably need to run a few minutes faster than that to account for the fact that there have been more qualifiers than spots in the race the last few years.

Knocking more than 30 minutes off my time at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in May just doesn’t seem possible right now so I’ve put it out of my mind. But I’m turning 44 in a couple of weeks and it turns out that the qualifying times for men aged 45-49 is 3:25:00 — a ten minute difference.

Looking forward

In the back of my mind I think a 3:40:00 is probably possible for me, maybe even this year in Ottawa. Add the additional ten minutes I get next year for getting one year older, and I feel like I could be within striking distance of that magical 3:25 qualifying time in 2016 or 2017.

I confess that for the first time Boston has a bit of a grip on me today. Nothing in running is ever a sure thing, but I think that over the next few years I might be able to commit to the significant training required to bring my marathon time down below 3:25:00.

For the first time, I feel the way others feel about Boston. And I think I’m okay with that.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Phil says:

    Hi,

    I feel the same way you do … I never focus on Boston because the qualification time was too quick for me. I hope one day to get a BQ, in a few years when the qualifying times get around 3:25:00. Of course, the challenge is to get faster every year while getting older, not an easy thing to do !

    Good luck !

    • James Koole says:

      So far I’ve been able to get a few minutes faster every year since I started (11 minutes since 2010). The kids are getting older making adding more training a bit easier as well. We’ll see…at least it seems possible now. Fingers are crossed that they don’t lower the times again like they did a few years ago.

Share your thoughts!