It was a warm and sunny 2017 Boston marathon, perfect for spectating and somewhat less ideal for propelling oneself rapidly over 26.2 miles. By noon, I felt hot simply watching, and most runners don’t start the race until after 10am.
My partner did not finish as fast as I think he could have, but I’m really proud of him because it sounds like he hung in there despite having a tough race. The heat played a factor as well as some things that I have guilt around, mainly lack of training, stress, and probably lack of sleep. Eeesh… Parenting is difficult! I can’t help but think that maybe I should have taken on more of the load like he did for Ironman.
I spectated with my aunt. It was a kid-free weekend, too, which was a nice treat. Overall, WE had a great time. Can you tell?
But, this year, I’m above my usual weight. My running shorts ride up and my thighs rub in places they never used to. My arms look big in photos and I even have a little tummy. I oscillate between feeling like this is “no big deal” / believing it will quickly come off when I start moving more frequently and feeling pretty bad about myself. In the bad moments, the weight symbolizes lack of disciplined training, lack of training of any kind, actually.
Even when I’m in good physical condition, the Boston Marathon has a way of surfacing feelings of inadequacy. People inevitably ask, “Have you run Boston before?” To that, I respond, “nah, I’m too slow.” And I wonder why I’m incapable of committing to something as simple as regular running. Certainly if I tried hard enough it would be in reach. I can’t even run a sub-4 hour marathon.
In 2015 my race times improved dramatically. For the first time, I did speed work weekly, and things started to fall into place. I PR’d in the 5k, 4 miler, half marathon and marathon all within a few months of one another. I felt inspired. Perhaps I can improve if I work at it again.
But, to inspire the work, I know that I need to ask myself some tough questions:
- Do I really want this? Why or why not?
- What does qualifying for Boston mean to me? How is it related to my values and the vision I have for my life?
- What will I tell myself on days when I don’t feel like training?
- And ultimately, how can I design a lifestyle that makes training possible?
Have you recently taken on an aggressive goal? How did you decide to undertake it? And … how’s it going?
Congrats to all of the Boston finishers!!