I essentially took a year off of any real running after being burned out on the sport post-college. Actually, more like burned out during college. Anyway, I have a runner's bucket list of things I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime. Most had been done along with a few surprise extras along the way. However, one Goliath stands in my way:
Running the Boston Marathon.
I mean, thousands of people do this every year right? Can't be that hard. Well, it's not a matter of just registering and taking off. Turns out I have to qualify just to register with a previous marathon completed in 3:10 (roughly 7:15 per mile for 26.2 miles). So obviously I have to run one marathon to get into my goal race.
After all, I've got my whole life to do it and the qualifier times just get slower as I move up into older age categories. What's the rush? I don't believe that's the way to approach a bucket list though. If the opportunity is there, grab it while you still can. In just over a year I'm getting married. Sure I won't have kids or anything right away to take up more time but married life will be different than my current single life. I don't know what will happen with my time after that event. I figured while I'm still only really responsible for myself and my own time, might as well go after the marathon now.
The way I see it, it's now or never.
Running is one of the hardest things to get back into after a hiatus. I've learned this over the last couple of months of only running when I felt like it the last year (which was hardly ever). The longer I wait to tackle my marathon goal, the harder it will be to achieve it. I've got just enough base leftover to be able to jump back in with relative ease. Over time, workouts have felt more natural and my long runs keep getting longer.
When did I realize I was taking this seriously again?
This past weekend. I decided to forgo going to a party out in Logan Square just so I wouldn't miss my long run for the week (which was around 16 this week). I'm also trying my hand at racing again. I've only ran one 5K run since graduation so racing is going to be a new re-adjustment.
Who knows? Maybe my first race back will be mildly successful? Maybe the workout after that? Maybe I'll achieve that masochistic rush that depleting yourself gives you after doing a 5K/10K double an hour apart here in two weeks?
Over time, the running will feel more natural. My goals will become more ambitious with every little victory (whether that victory come in a race or workout).
Why settle for 3:10 for the Chicago Marathon this fall? Why not sub 2:50? On 10-10-10, we'll find out.