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Unfinished Business in Boston

Posted Sep 12 2012 9:30am

When I officially made the  decision to drop out of Boston this year , all I could think about was getting another chance to stand on that starting line. I had been so excited to run this historic race that last year at registration time, I was practically dancing for joy . Because up here in New England, there is nothing like Marathon Monday. No matter what, when Boston rolls through town, you want to be running.

Initially I tried deferring for the race, not because I didn’t have another qualifying time, but just because it meant that I was guaranteed a spot in 2013. Unlike last year when I had celebrated being able to sign up the very first day, my time no longer gave me a 20 minute buffer from the new standard . But – as the result of a few unfortunate events (including being stuck in VT while I sent my husband to Boston with the wrong form…oops) I ended up missing my opportunity to defer.

Which was fine. I knew my 3:18 still gave me a good chance to make it into the marathon. I could still get the redemption that I craved.

But as the months have gone on, I’ll admit that my desire to run Boston again has dimmed more and more. I still wasn’t sure what I would do, but I now longer felt like I needed another chance.

I haven’t really had the best history with Boston. I first ran it in 2009 and while it was an amazing experience simply for being Boston, I went out way too fast (combination of the downhills and the crowd support) and majorly fell apart. The race knocked me out for weeks after. For two years after that, I was blocked out of the race because registration filled up. And then in 2012, when I finally had my chance again, my knee prevented me from even starting the race. It was devastating.

Like I said — not the best track record. All my frustrations and bad luck with this marathon mean that Boston and I have some unfinished business. I grew up watching this race. Soaking in the magic of Marathon Monday. I don’t want my last Boston memory to be the time I got injured with only a month left of training.

Today at 10:00 am ET, registration opens for those who have met the qualifying standard by 10 minutes or more. Which means that today at 10:00:01 am, I could officially register for Boston for the third time and hope that (maybe)…the third time really is the charm.

And although on some level it feels like I’m giving in to the frustration that defined my running this year and giving up on Boston, today at 10:00:01 am (or on any of the days that follow) I will not be pressing “register.”

I like to think that by not registering, maybe I will be giving one more lucky person who has worked so hard to qualify the chance to run. Someone who really wants it….who deserves it more than I.

Okay, okay. That isn’t really why I chose not to sign up. I mean, maybe me not registering opens up another spot for someone that might not get in otherwise (and I really hope it does), but I know better than to give myself that much credit.

Not registering for Boston opens up my spring for another cool race (or races). It may not seem like it during spring in New England when everyone has Boston Fever, but there are other marathons out there. Some really great courses that are better for PRs or courses that I’ve always wanted to run but haven’t been able to yet. Like this one in my new home state  on the day before my 29th birthday. Can’t really think of a better way to bring in my last year in my 20s than with a marathon…

IMG 1346This is Vermont. Which is the only thing remotely relevant about this photo…

I want redemption in Boston. I really do. And I’m sure that I’ll have a twinge of regret next April when it seems like every single runner I know is preparing to run. But I have my whole life to run that race again.

So in 2013, I’ll be back in what’s becoming my regular spot on the sidelines (mile 20 FTW!) cheering on all you crazies, and feeling slightly better about not running as I get drunk off the marathon magic.

Are you running Boston 2013? Congrats to everyone who is and good luck to all those still waiting for their chance to sign up. I know how hard you have to work for a BQ, and I hope you get your chance to register this year!! 

Yes, I know…I just managed to write an entire post about something that could’ve been said in one line. As though all of you were on the edge of your seats, just waiting to see what I would decide about next year’s Boston Marathon. Isn’t blogging wonderful? ;)

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