Tuesday, October 5, 2010

To Boston I Go...Or Not


My 2009 and 2010 Boston Medals, each one loaded with different, yet equally fond memories.  I proudly display them on my dresser mirror, where I can see them daily and am reminded of those very special days.
As I sit and gaze at my October calendar, my eyes constantly drift to the 18th. 

Many of you know what this date signifies, but for those who don't: it's Boston 2011 registration day.  I am torn on what to do.  Do I register and run it again and get that miserable 2010 finish line 4:30 monkey off my back?  Or do I let Boston go, grateful for the 2 experiences I had there - afterall, 2009 was a supurb race (3:51) and I ran my heart out and left nothing on that course (even part of my stomach at mile 22 with the most severe stomach cramps I've ever endured). 

I AM grateful for both my runs there; Boston shouldn't really be about a time or a pace - it should be about the experience, and I certainly experienced both ends of the spectrum.  2009 was all about fitness and racing and seeing what I was made of.  2010 was about my birthday and celebrations and forging real-life blog friendships.  Both races hold a very special place in my heart.  I'm filled with gratitude from head to toe to have been one of the fortunate enough to have run there.  Twice.

It should be enough.  I should gladly close the door on Boston and seek out my next grand adventure - my 50-miler.

I should.  But I can't help but look at that October 18th day and NOT want to hit the registration button.  Something is drawing me in, and I can't even tell you exactly why.  I have nothing to prove there or to earn. It's not a course I even like. It's expensive as hell.  I have anxiety getting around in that city (I'm sure poor Katie A.'s husband was read to strangle me!).  I didn't stand at the start line of Boston this year with the butterflies and thoughts of how special it was to be standing there, unlike the previous year, so I'm certain I wouldn't feel that again next year.

So why would I even think about going back? 

I guess it's a series of many thing, all totally ridiculous when you peel them apart and examine them individually.
- I guess that 4:30 time isn't sitting too well and I'd love to get back into prime marathon racing shape and run it hard one more time.  Just to see if I can.
- The fact that I'm probably in the worst marathon racing shape ever - having Boston as a focus would make me have no excuses to train at that level again.
- A ton of friends are going this year - I'd love to meet up with them.  I love friends.  Some blog friends I've never met, whom I'd love to, especially Petra, who lives across the big blue pond in England.  I may never have the opportunity to meet her again.  She is a great friend and we email frequently about our training woes; I feel a very special connection with her.
- And well, hell, it's Boston.  I earned a spot to be there, I feel I should take advantage.
- I've had two amazing experiences there and Boston is never to disappoint as far as building happy memories.

Do you hear the BUT coming???

But, I'm kinda Boston burned-out.  To qualify for Boston was a dream of mine for many, many years.  I never worked as hard nor sacrificed as much to earn my BQ at St. George in 2008 and it meant the world to me.  It now no longer does and it's no longer a dream.  There's no magical spark and it's nothing I crave to earn my place there.  I've hit the "been there done that" phase with Boston.  I feel it's time to let it go and move on to other dreams, ya know....like my 50.

Why not do both, you ask?

Ah, good question.  Really, I could do both.  And I haven't ruled that out as an option.  But I don't think I want to.

I'm not like the rest of you young uns.  I'm 47 and training for these races to perform at the best of my ability takes a lot more recovery time.  There was a day when I could do a 50-miler and a marathon in the same month, that's no longer the case.  Well, it's no longer the case if I want to race them well....and let's face it, that's just how I tick. 

I'm done lolly-gagging through marathons half-trained.  I understand that there are no guarantees come race day.  Race day is always a mystery unfolding. That's what's so humbling and so beautiful about it; that's what keeps us all coming back - because you just never know.  But when I now race a marathon, I want to be in top shape so I stand on the start line having left no stone unturned.  Oh, I may use a marathon to train for the marathon, as I've done in the past, but I don't want to step on the start line of an end-picture marathon not having given it the respect it deserves by training to the best of my ability. At least not now. I think one day I will reach a point when the intense insanity of marathon training will leave my heart and I'll enter them just for fun, to enjoy with friends, or just to visit a new city.  But not right now.

Many of you asked in my last blog which 50-miler I was thinking about.  After emailing Kovas back and forth with many options I thought about doing the JKF50 or similar in the fall.  Which could leave me doing Boston in the spring - doing both next year.  And I'm not ruling that option out.

Here comes that damn BUT again....

1) I don't relish the thought of running back to back to back 30+ miles in the heat of the summer.  I have heat-related issues which I can quickly assassinate myself if I'm not careful.  That's why the treadmill and I are pretty well bonded.  2) I fear if I sit and think about this 50 for too toooo toooooo long, I'll chicken out.  I've been in this 50 mind-frame before and I have yet to do one.  Enough said.  3) I'm ready for a new challenge.  I want to continue on my marathon quest, but I want to check off this 50 soon, before I get cold feet, before I get older and it gets harder and then go back to marathon racing.  Who knows, maybe I'll actually enjoy the 50 and want to continue on?  Doubtful...but I'd never say never.

So the 50 is what's tugging at my spring-time race heart right now. 

So there's my delimma, my thoughts.  All races in the future, of course, stem on the heel and how it behaves and if I'll ever become a real person in society with insurance who can go have this thing looked at by a real podiatrist (latest word: all paperwork finally in to the insurance mediator, who is pondering over all the biopsy results.  Should know a decision "soon" (his words) and if accepted, it's about a 2-3 week process for the insurance coverage to start.  There's always a possibility the mediator may yet again deny me due to too much time lapsing between negative biopsy and now.  Cross you fingers that's not the case!!).

I had a solid 33 miles of running last week. That's 18.43 % increase over the following week, for all you statistician math freaks out there.  Extra 50 bonus points for the heel being about 88.9 % cooperative.  That's HUGE!  I take each day one day at a time, grateful for the every single mile logged; I can't help but get a little excited that maybe there actually IS hope for me to race this spring.

Is it Boston?

Or is it time for the 50?

Time, and my heel, will tell.  I'm not too worried about it, the answer will come.  But for now, my treadmill is calling....it's MP mile repeats day - I LOVE those puppies!

Week 38:Running: 33 miles
Total 2010 miles: 1279.21
Total 14er's climbed: 0
Elliptical Trainer: 5.5 miles
Wt Training: 1
HCC: 1
I am finding as I slowly crank up the miles, I'm cutting out my wt training - I must be more diligent about getting that back in!!

57 comments:

lindsay said...

well *i'm* not running boston so obviously it isn't worth running in 2011.

lindsay said...

ahaha. ok that had to be it's own comment. anywayyyy. yeah it sounds like there are more "cons" to doing boston than "pros", and kind of like you'd only be doing it "because it's boston". yeah, to most people boston is the mecca of running, but i don't think it's end-all-be-all. it was a goal of mine as well, obtained, and ran, but i'm not brainwashed by it. i don't get the people who seem to be OMG BOSTON IS THE ONLY RACE WORTH RUNNING. yes, it's a great race but it's not the only one out there. i do want to run it again, but i need some time before i reunite with it cause i want to whoop it's a$$!

anyway. 50miler, PP, and JFK in november... ;) that's my vote.

Ewa said...

I am only going to wish you that you make a decision you are happy with and that you make it before the 18th.

Running and living said...

Honestly, Boston is overrated. I did it twice and I am over it. Also, for me, I feel like I want others, perhaps some first timers, get a chance to run it, because, as much as I put it down, Boston is the end of it all in marathoning!
I say, forget about the pros and cons, and just sit in silence and think about what you want to do. Your answer will come to you.

marathonmaiden said...

gahhh i'm torn about running boston this year as well. i can't wait to see what you decide. i'm leaning towards a yes at the moment

Andrew Opala said...

Maybe I haven't been bitten yet, but are there not other Marathon's around?

The world is not just the United States - being part of the marketing and the hype for so long may make you feel guilty for missing it, but the challenge runners face comes from the inside - not the outside. You can be challenged as much in Chicago, Big Sur or heck!, you could even leave the US and try somewhere in Canada or Europe.

Make sure your decision is for the right reason and not your perceived peer pressure about Boston.

Angie Bishop said...

I wish you peace and clear thought in your decision. I hope to someday be burned out on Boston and contemplating a 50 too, although for me I think it will be the other way around :)
Have a wonderful night!
Cheers,
Angie

Heather said...

It seems like you already know what you want - don't feel bad about following your heart!

ajh said...

I hate tough decisions. Good luck with this one. I have a feeling you already know what you want to do. Go for it girl!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

or maybe a different 'cool' marathon with a spankin' great pr time? new york? chicago? if your gonna spend the money on Boston, and have already done it, set your sights on a dif course and a new pr.

or...the 50 miler/trail running sounds awesome. really.

i think either a cool NEW marathon or the 50. those are just my thoughts, but this is a blog, and you ask for our comments..so those are mine;-)

ERG said...

Well, the 2011 will only be my second marathon. So, if you throw in, give me a jingle!

But if you don't...I totally relate. The 50 is a big goal. I don't ever want to half-way train for a race. I have no idea how to run a marathon to train for another race, either. :) It's not in my bag of tricks.

I am actually doing it just to get R done and out of my system; and a big piece of my choice to go has to do with representing my small town and my family who helped me get there.
Sounds like you've already done that!

William Plock said...

I don't know you at all, but I have a feeling we tick somewhat the same, and based on your blog it seems like you just have to do Boston again and go for your best time ever. Retire from Boston after you have given it your best, even if the time doesn't beat your best, if you walk away feeling good and knowing you gave it your all I think you will be more at peace.

Katie A. said...

You and I are in the same boat. I'm so greatful of my experience in Boston with you - and no, the hubbs loved you! I think you already knew that ;)
I want to be selfish and tell you to run Boston, only because I will be there and Boston won't be complete for me with out you there and us trudging through the city for that damn bakery! Hahaha! But also because, I know you can do better. I know you can enjoy it. I know you have it in you. I know you already have your mind made up, and I'm gonna suppor you, that's what friends do. But one finaly push to say, "do it" is what I had to do - for me ;)
I'm excited for the 50 miler - you're ready for that. I hope you register!
Big hug to you! Let's chat by the end of the week!
xoxoxo

jgf said...

Whatever you decide, you need to be comfortable with it. Once it is made, go with the flow. Personally, I think the 50 is an awesome idea for you. New challenges are great for focus!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

It sounds like Boston, while it holds a dear place in your heart, is a thing of the past. It is a BIG thing to a lot of people, and some people that really want to run it can't get in. So, to me, if you're not feeling it, I say give your spot to someone who really wants it. Maybe you could even do a marathon some place new, or one that you've always wanted to do!
Plus, you have an awesome 50 miler to train for! Your heel is going to heal and you WILL race this spring whether it be a marathon or an ultra! :)

Meg said...

I can relate with you, totally! I would LOVE to run B with Steve and that's about it. I SO want him to experience it once. I'm one of those people who do not think that race is over rated nor easy...it's just a special race that one needs to run at least once. I'm also thinking of other races for next year...something international? A very tiny marathon? There's so many options, I think you're smart to question and look for other new experiences. You know what's best for Jill, only YOU know...HUGS xoxo.

Jamie said...

From this it sounds like you really want the 50 more. Good luck figuring it out. It will come to you soon I'm sure.

Slomohusky said...

forgot them all and go really far. 100?

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Would love to meet you in Boston, but I HEAR you.. maybe it is time for a new Chapter in the book of Jill. Good luck with your choice, whatever it may be.

Kenley said...

Hmmm. I have never done Boston and never will probably, even if I BQ. You have done it twice which is very remarkable and accomplishing of any runner if you ask me. But with my experience in my running, The question I ask myself sometimes is "why Boston?" "whats the deal with Boston?" I know its the oldest marathon in the states so, since you have done that twice, try to figure out what the newest marathon is in the states and go for it. Better yet, why not a marathon in Mexico, or Canada, or even better, Asia, or the UK? Go for London. I think that you are craving for something different deep down inside. That's Dr. Phil talking. hehehe. I love your attitude about the Treadmill. Great training tool. I say go for the 50 miler. Go Ultra Jill! or.....go find a New Boston. You could do the Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon in NM.

Jamoosh said...

Special memories are hard to recapture. It seems that the follow-up leaves one a little empty and maybe even a bit disappointed. I know that marathons are a little different, but not always. I ran Disney for the first time in 2005 and it was a fabulous "Disney" experience. I've never equaled it again and don't think I will.

Jennifer said...

Why not run something really fun in a new place? There sre so many great runs! It's tough but have fun deciding. Cheers!

C2Iowa said...

"You are at the border. Cross now. You see what you are becoming.

There is another stopping-place beyond.
Legend describes it as an oasis."

I do not remember where I read that part of a poem. Sounds as if you are at a cross-road. Now is the time to step straight ahead or cross the street.....whichever you decide - decide with confidence and never look back. Either way, you are a winner!

Tom (aka CLT Runner) said...

First, I must say...this is a toughy. But what about the possibility of going to Boston to cheer on your friends instead of running it? Could be a win-win and the 50 miler will be your New Boston!!

Velma said...

Come and run in St. Louis!!! Seriously, I think you know what you want. If you aren't loving Boston, wait a while and see if you want to do it again in the future. The 50 sounds fantastic - I think your body will give ya feedback along the way that will be helpful.

ShutUpandRun said...

Only you know the answer...but...Boston is such a commitment in terms of cost, training, scheduling, etc that if you aren't feeling it, don't go just 'cause it's BOSTON. You've been there, done that and now you're on to other things. Maybe it's time to close that door and open it wide up to the 50 miler...if that's what gets you excited.

Marlene said...

Hopefully writing it all out will help you make a decision... sometimes that is the best way to work through it.

Choices, choices!!!

Jamie said...

That’s a tough one and I know you’ll make the wise decision, but I say concentrate on your 50 miler. After you’re done there and IF your Boston demons are hanging around; re-qualify and head back to Boylston. You’ve had the chance to run Boston twice, regardless of your finishing time be happy, be at peace and focus on the next adventure in your running life…

Matt said...

It's much easier for your legs to follow your heart than for your heart to follow your legs. Good luck with your decision!!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Boston 2011 RockyRaccoon 2012

funderson said...

Mystery unfolding indeed... I'm digging that paragraph today.

onelittletrigirl said...

I want you to go because i will be there cheering and would love love love to meet you!!!

With that said, I think you know the answer in your heart and need to listen to it no matter what.

Christi said...

I am sure you will make the decision that comes from your heart. I know that whatever you decide the blog world will support you wholeheartedly!

misszippy said...

Are you my twin? I am in the SAME place. I think I'm going to hit that registration button though, and you should too. You don't want to ever look back and wish you had when you didn't.

Bethany + Ryan said...

hmm. At first when i was reading this i was thinking to myself "JIll realllly wants to run Boston! she definitely should do it!!" but then as i read on i was like "err, i don't think she wants to." how will you feel if you DON'T do it? 2011 will be my 6th Boston BUT i live right in Boston!! you got me thinking, if i DIDN'T live in Boston would i want to fly out every year for it? prob not. Boston is a very exspensive city, there's always the option of my futon, which by the way is still availble for that weekend, ha. WHy not do an international marathon and go meet Petra in her country? I say do something different. the 50 miler sounds fun. My first 50 miler is 1 month from today. good lu ck with your decision!

Runners Fuel said...

I think, since you've already ran it twice, stick to you 50 miler.

Emz said...

50.
50
50
50
50.

It's a must - I'm sorry. Well, I'd go to Boston just to meet Petra but other than that. YOU want the DAMN 50.

You do.
Trust me.

DRog said...

I like to hear the enthusiasm, excitement, life in your words when you talk about your year long adventure or starting toward the goal of a 50. But then again Boston. . . . . .

Im not much help am I ?!!

Derek

Julie said...

Hi Jill,
Oh boy girl, what a tough decision to make. I know that you will think on it and do what your heart tells you to do:) Good luck!

Matty B. said...

I haven't run Boston yet and it's actually my big running goal for this year, so I'm keen to dismiss the cons and say "go for it again", but this has to be about you because of the time, energy, money aspect.

I forgot to ask in your previous post if you've ever run "Lare o' the Bear" just outside of Red Rocks in Denver? It's so, so gorgeous there this time of year!

aron said...

good luck deciding, i know thats a tough one but i think deep down you know what you want to do! although it would be so fun to meet you in boston :)

Ulyana said...

Life is short. You've done Boston TWICE. Time to do a 50-miler. Marathons are not going any where.

And, personally, I just don't like going back and "avenging" something. Like - I didn't run so well last year, so I've got to go back and do well. What's in the past is in the past. What's done is done. Better take on every experience - be it your third Boston or first 50-miler - like a brand new, exciting experience. :)

Good luck with the decision!!!

The Happy Runner said...

Well, you only regret the things you don't do, so if you'll regret not going back to Boston, I'd say go. Run Boston hard and kick its butt. Then move on.

Molly said...

I don't know. I think Boston is always going to be there, but the 50 miler hasn't been done yet. So nail that sucker, then Boston will be a breeze next year....like they say, third time's a charm.

xo

Molly said...

you know what I mean about Boston next year....the year AFTER next year. Holy crap, it's october already.

Anonymous said...

What a great dilemia to have. To run 50, or to run Boston, or both! Hope the insurance rules in your favor. That may help speed uo the process dramatically! I so understand the Boston thoughts. I ran it in 1996 and 2000. I don't have the same yearning to run the 50 miler. I am thinking the 50 meter dash may be coming soon. Good luck with the heel and the TM. I don't share the same love of the TM! Bubble Boy

The Green Girl said...

Oh, Jill, I hope you can find peace in your decision - whatever it may be. ::hugs::

Listen to your heart.

Petraruns said...

Dang I'm loving me right now - I'd got to Boston to meet me (and as happens with every smart*ss comment I ever make it'll sock me on the head and I will SO meet myself there...).

But seriously! Do what you want to do - really really really. You and I will get to meet and run together. Absolutely we will and it does not have to be Boston - remember Mountains can come to Mohammed as well? Don't you have any good races in CO where you can whip my sea-level trained butt?

All Things Jaime said...

I'm still hoping to get my BQ so I vote for Boston! But, I understand where you are coming from.

Will you regret the decision if you don't sign up? When registration is full in November, will you have wished that you would have signed up? If you think there is any part of you that will, sign up! If not, go after that 50 miler!!! :)

Johann said...

I’m with EMZ on this one. Boston to meet Petra but the 50 must be the main goal. Good luck!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

If I were in your running shoes, I'd pick a new challenge to shoot for - the 50.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

You might already remember but I am not into big races or BIG bucks to run them thus multiple BQ times and I have never ran that race and maybe never will. I just don't have the desire. So I kinds don't understand why everyone is so excited about it?! I don't care that most of my marathons noone has ever heard of. BUT.
You have history there so...it's a harder decision. I think your focus is on that 50 and if Boston works in that plan okay if not, let it go. I am realizing that having too many conflicting goals at the same time gets harder as the years pass. Every single day I get closer to this next ultra I remind myself that if I want to improve my pace I MUST take a rest day. (actually NOT run for a 24 hour period) But everyday I still go run. this weekend I will be paying for it when I run this 10k and ask my legs to push it and they say "yeah right!" because I didn't rest them enough.
I love distance. Go for 50! Who knows maybe if you do JFK in the fall I can be ready for a 50 then too!!! *hugs*

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Sounds like a new adventure may be right for you. On the other hand, I'm sure you would not be disappointed if you go to Boston again either. Hmmm! I'm no help!

I can tell you, for myself, I could go back in 2011, but I choose not to. I'm more or less in the "been there, done that camp". I will say, if I ever re-qualify, I can see myself going back one more time. But how could it ever be as special as your first Boston???

Tara said...

Lot of good advice here, don't know that I could add anything else. I'm sure when the time comes for you to register, you'll know what to do.

That being said, I just have one word or phrase of advise that you told me about Chicago and that's if your heart is not in it, it makes it hard to train for a race, so keep that in mind when you are choosing which race to train for. Maybe Boston would mean more to you if you had to qualify for it again. Although, running Boston twice while you are the same age would be pretty damn cool!

Ok, as you can see I'm no help, so I think I'll go indulge in some sugar. Sign me up for a tub of cookie dough will ya?

Abby said...

I have to say, it sounds like you're far more excited about the ultra than about Boston. Boston is a huge accomplishment and definitely not to be taken lightly (especially by someone - me - who hasn't gotten there yet!), but you've proven, to yourself, that you can do it. It seems like you're looking for a different kind of challenge at this point.

And from your last several posts, the trail running definitely seems to get you going. Might be worth it to yourself to see what you can do with it.

Just my two cents :)

Glenn Jones said...

Tough decision Jill. I wish I had the opportunity to even contemplate Boston. But that would require some training on my part (in short supply right now).

With me - just the lure of the trail and hills have pretty much put my road racing days behind me. I get excited just thinking about 50 miles in the Sierra Nevada next spring.....

Adam said...

50 miler.

I'm surprised at my answer too. I'd do pretty unspeakable acts to get to qualify to run there (not a charity entry) but for some reason it seems like a 50 miler is a new fun challenge?