Thursday, October 10

Houston Marathon: Back to Work

This is the first installment in a multi-part series documenting my path to the Houston Marathon.

A couple of weeks ago my quest to run the 2014 Boston Marathon took a detour. I was notified via e-mail from the Boston Athletic Association that despite qualifying, I would not be accepted “due to field size limitations and the large number of applications received from qualified runners.” As I wrote that post, I wasn't entirely sure what my next step was. I knew deep-down that I was going to make another attempt, I just didn't know where or when.

Now I do.

Qualification for Boston does not roll forward to the next race; you have to re-qualify. This means that if I were to qualify again, I would be running at the 2015 Boston Marathon. A couple of days after I received the e-mail with the bad news, I began looking at potential races and consulting with my Coach. Lots going on in 2014, combined with marathons being ‘seasonal’ in nature, has provided for a narrow window optimal for re-qualifying. After weighing the options and coordinating the logistics, it’s been settled…

On January 19, 2014 I’ll be running the Chevron Houston Marathon.

The goal for this race will be to qualify for Boston, and then some. As I just experienced, qualifying isn't good enough, which means the goal will need to be more aggressive than simply running a sub-3:05. To avoid this situation from ever happening again, I’m going to leave no doubts on the table by running a sub-3hr marathon. Ambitious? Yes. Doable? Yes. Based on the statistics of this year's field and several years past, any marathon time beginning with a “2” will all but solidify me a slot in 2015.

The past three months have been strange.

I thought back, and since September of 2009 I've had an athletic goal of some sort. It started with my first marathon, White Rock, in December of 2009 and has carried through to the recent Newport Marathon in June of 2013. That’s three and a half years of always having some target to hit, some objective to work toward. After Newport, it was gone – as if someone had yanked a rug out from underneath me.

The past three months I have been on a running and training hiatus. Admittedly, some of this was necessary for physical and mental recovery as I borderline experienced burn-out and fatigue. But the x-factor and underlying theme that I believe drove my behavior was the lack of a goal. You see, goals are what push me to perform. Whether in religion, at work, in relationships or athletically – having an end target to achieve is part of who I am.

In all seriousness, this hasn't been just a journey. It’s been a quest – an emotional and physical roller coaster spanning several years. And it continues. It is my hope that you’ll follow along with me as I regularly update you on my training leading up to the Houston Marathon. I’ll provide details on different training strategies, including the workouts, recovery and nutrition. I’ll continually update you on my progress over the next 15 weeks so that you can hopefully take away some concepts and apply them to your life, whether or not you're training for a marathon. And at the bare minimum, perhaps you'll find my quest interesting!

After a couple of weeks of sitting in the dark crying and sucking my thumb, I've decided I’m OK.  I've done my venting, reflecting and letting the shock simmer.  The quotes on perseverance are abundant yet again. Time to get back to work.

Back to the Houston Marathon home page.

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