About that BQ

[Warning: this post might make at least half of my readers stop following this blog...]

When I picked up running about 20 months ago, I kept reading all these reports on BQing and even trying and training to BQ. All these race reports on the Boston marathon. To me it seemed - at that time - that getting that BQ and running Boston would be something to train hard for. Something every runner wanted. The Holy Grail of running. That Boston marathon turned itself into my dream race. At least...in my head it did. The wish to BQ even earned itself a spot on my 5 Year Plan list (check out the tab at the top of this page for the complete list). Trying to get that BQ, and maybe even working my way to that BQ (if I'd ever find a way to ramp up the speed...), would make me a 'serious and dedicated runner'. Well, at least that's what my twisted mind made me believe.

Oh, the ignorance.

After 28 years I knew that little about nutty little me. Apparently.

I love the mountains. I've always loved the mountains. How could I honestly believe that running on asphalt, and on flat courses would be the most fun kind of running for me?

After the Swiss Alpine ultra (well, actually already before that...while training for it) it started to dawn on me that training hard to get that BQ had become less important to me than continuing to train running up- and downhills, and ultra distances. Way less important. Huh? Actually, I could very well state that I no longer care whether or not I get that BQ (might be for the best...since I'm slowwwwww ;)). And running Boston: when and if given the chance to do so (some day) I'd love too, but if I was given the choice between running Boston and - for example - running Western States... No brainer. WS - no doubt in my mind.

Being given the chance to run those trails, hills, dirt, mountains is a true gift. To me it is.

So, there you have it. That BQ just lost its spot on my 5 Year Plan list. Well...it's still there...written in pencil. Hard to read. Because, uh-huh, if I ever manage to get a BQ - by accident...obviously - it would be fun, wouldn't it? ;) I'll find another dream race to fill that spot. I guess there's another 'Boston' out there for me. No worries. ;)

Any thoughts on Boston? Your dream race?


Emz said...

Girl. I. Love. This.
There is so much beyond Boston.
My dream race is NYC.
Wanna trade?! ;)

Silly Girl Running said...

Trade for a 24-hour Treadmill run? Heck yeah! :)

Anonymous said...

i love Boston. Truly love it and will run it again...not sure if I will ever BQ though. I will always accept that charity spot when invited and I find no shame in it. But i hear ya! Would I love to BQ? YEP! But do I enjoy marathons (the actual experience) way too much to blow through one with only one thought in my head...nah

M said...

BQ isn't even on my radar screen. Hell, a marathon isn't even on my radar screen. I'm more likely to drop a blog from my roll if someone announces they are only valued on this earth if they BQ - not the opposite :)

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I don't care about Boston either. Never did. I BQ'ed multiple times when I started running marathons and had my hubbs not told me I had, I would never have known. After several decades of running and a complete shift away from road racing (barring a few local benefit events) I sights are on trails and trees; creeks and mud; elevation and challenges. I no longer ask myself how fast can I run, I ask myself how long can I run how high can I climb?

You now, I'm glad so many LOVE and DREAM of Boston, it's keeps my trails a little less populated!

The Green Girl said...

Honestly, I get really bored on roads, especially when they are flat so I totally get you on this. I don't do well on flat race courses.

I run so much faster when there's the beautiful scenery and it's challenging.


Cody said...

Great post! I just found your blog and this post reinforces why I plan to keep reading. I recently have started trail running after doing a few street marathons and I can't believe how much more fun it is. I am now training for a couple of trail ultras instead of worrying about BQ like I did before. You are right to much rather do Western States. Love the blog, keep up the great posts! :)

T Z said...

Oh you might have lost a few asphalt-brains, but you found a fan here. Trailz are the way to live.

Lisa Jennifer said...

Now I love your blog more:)

B. Jarosz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B. Jarosz said...

Lost readers? Nah! (Though I do like TZ's comment about "asphalt-brains." Clever!) :)

But seriously, every runner has to find their niche. For me: I decided I didn't care about BQ when I realized that I sort of suck at long-distance, but LOVE track workouts. (And now we hear the footfalls of all trail runners abandoning MY blog!) It took me 5 years of racing (longer distances) to sign up for my first 5k, but now I can't get enough of them!

I say good for you for figuring out what you really care about.

I strongly believe every runner is entitled to his or her own particular flavor of insanity. :)

Paula IJzerman said...

Brilliant post!

I BQ-ed on my very first marathon. Never did it again, because I immediately switched to trails and training for ultra's. I might BQ again this year, but I'd rather get those 5 points for UTMB and be drafted for that race!

Bethany + Ryan said...

This post is like an exact quote from my hubby! He feels exactly the same way!!!! I've run Boston several times as a qualified runner but if i don't get in for 2012 i wont be heartbroken bc there are sooo many other races worth running out there!!! I think Boston is going self-destruct itself in the end :-)

KT80 (Running Like a Girl) said...

Right now, my dream is Hood to Coast.... I would love to be in good enough shape and fast enough to be considered for a team!

Christine said...

To Boston Qualify would be awesome, but it it more appealing to me to be able to say that I did it, because I'm an hour slower than my BQ time...and the training it would take to get there is mind boggling...

I'm running New York this year since I was crazy lucky with their lottery system, and I'm good with that for now.

I think the next goal is to do an ultra, or to do a marathon in another country...but I haven't figured out a good race yet.

The Goofy challenge is on my 5 year plan as well :-)