To Run or Not to Run…

…another marathon.


Have you ever experienced a situation when someone says something to you and it keeps bouncing around in your brain…nagging at you when you aren’t otherwise occupied…and truthfully, sometimes even when you are?  I am sure you all have…and right now it’s been bothering me for the better part of a week…nearly two perhaps.

That idea is running a marathon…actually, no, running a marathon that is good enough to qualify for Boston.

I know.


I have only done one full marathon.

It was three years ago.

The highlight was not finishing or getting my medal.  It was beating this annoying guy from my running group.

My time was 4:25:10.

I was in pain for the entire 26.2 miles.

I would have to take off an hour…well, 50 minutes…but still.  That is A LOT of time to take off.

And though I have lofty half marathon goals for next year (an 8 minute mile goal pace)…keeping that pace for 26 miles vs 13 is another story….and, ironically it is what I would need to qualify.

Part of this crazy marathon idea started as a joke among my friends at the gym–we all joined a Biggest Loser style contest at the gym we go to and have continued to work out together since.  They wanted to see my Dumbo Double Dare bling and I joked that we should all go do a race out in Disney together…and everyone agreed.  Right now the idea is doing the proper WDW Marathon weekend for 2015.  Nothing is confirmed, obviously, but there is excitement among the group…and well, if I am going all that way…I might as well do the Dopey, right?  I mean, why not do a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon over 4 days!?

The Boston thing is all thanks to my cousin.  She got into running because of me and then decided to take on a half and eventually a full Ironman triathlon.  She took to training like it was literally her job.  Working out both before and after work for many, many hours.  She qualified for Boston last year and just received confirmation that she will get to run the 2014 Boston Marathon.  She also just ran the Twin Cities Marathon and got an even faster time, thus qualifying for Boston again.   I mentioned the Dopey challenge and she laughed, saying I would be fine and would totally kick some butt doing that race and that with a bit of work, I could easily qualify for Boston in a year.

When she said that last bit, I think I actually started choking on nothing but my disbelief and shock.  Me?  Qualify for Boston?!  Me?

Clearly, I am doubtful that I could qualify for Boston in a year.  It seems horribly out of reach (though not as out of reach as the NYC Marathon qualifying times–a 3:10 marathon for women aged 39 and under…really?! Clearly my participation in that race will be strictly through charity spots or the lottery).

At the same time, there is part of me that feels like…well…why not?  If I am able to meet my goal of 8 minute miles for a half, then it’s all about fitness and endurance from there, right?

I’m not sure what to do…if I should go for it and make this a reality or play it by ear or not.  I’m scared of failing, but I’m also scared of not trying too, because that seems like a bummer of a thing to do.  Plus it keeps bouncing around in my head…as does pure excitement and doubt.  I am not even sure why I am sharing this with the blog…though I think it boiled down to the fact that I had hoped it would help me decide…but after have written this post, I simply feel more confused than ever.

I will now stop this ramble…and hopefully, for at least a bit, the tug of war of training for a Boston qualifying marathon, will be quieted.  Thanks for listening.  Oh and if you have any advice?  Ideas?  Leave them in the comments. 🙂


~Princess Lisa


11 thoughts on “To Run or Not to Run…

  1. Well, it sounds like you’re scared and need some sort of focus or clarity to guide you in the right direction.

    I, too, had a troublesome marathon time. I ran almost half of it but had to walk the rest due to injury and after that, I didn’t run for about a year or so. It was massively depressing.

    But…looking back on it now, I was really stupid in how I trained and really had no idea what I was getting into. I still have really stiff hips etc and injuries that probably will stay with me but whatever, it’s how it goes.

    As for you, I think you should both go for it and play it by ear. It’s something you clearly have to train for but as for qualifying…I think you can totally do it (considering your half times and your improved speed) but just do your best and see where it lands you. No matter what marathons are quite the accomplishment and many don’t even do one much less two or three.

    Go for it. I have a feeling you won’t regret it. 🙂

    • You are so wise. 🙂 I think I will start building towards it…perhaps make a definite decision come spring, depending on whether or not I make my 8 minute mile pace for the Fargo half and go from there. I think that if I can finish that race, at that pace, and feel good (ie not dead) then maybe a slow build to that as a marathon pace is possible….but who knows. 😉 I find it hilarious and awesome how my plan to try for it has increased with each comment reply I have written.

      Btw, bummer that your training for the full left you with lingering injuries and stiff hips. I’m sorry to hear that it left you that way. 😦

      • It’s ok. I’ve found other ways to work it out and actually I think I’m stronger now than when I was training. I did it wrong. My fault.

        As for your lengthy replies. Hey, it’s a huge deal and big thing to commit too. But try your best. Hope for the best and go for it. No matter what it’s gonna be awesome.

      • Well. Honestly I was depressed for a year and figured out I went from running highs to nothing.

        It took me awhile to even want to work out again and probably inspired by you and the time in my life I started up junk this summer and I’m addicted. Love TRX and love kickboxing. On top of running.

        It just removes some of my stress.

  2. I’m one of those people who will never just kind of luck into the fact that I run fast enough to qualify for Boston and do it on my first marathon and I have kind of resigned myself to the fact that it’s probably physically impossible for me to get to the point where I could qualify for Boston so I think if you have a snowball’s chance in hell of doing it you should try for it. It doesn’t have to be “my whole life is about qualifying and if I don’t do this I will die” but more of a “I’ll put in the effort and see what happens.” and maybe it’s just something you keep to yourself and don’t talk much about like my enjoyment of the music of the Backstreet Boys.

    • Much like you, I don’t think I will luck into the Boston qualifying thing, even if it were my fifth full marathon. Truth be told, I think the only way for me to ever come close is just through building my fitness and speed, maybe losing another 10 lbs (not sure if I want to do that or not). I mean, 50 minutes is a LOT of time to take off. I do like your approach, however, of just trying and seeing what happens. It def. doesn’t hurt to start “building” toward that goal. Thanks for the pep talk. 🙂

  3. Reminds me of the ole’ saying, “Shoot for the Moon, for even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars”…or something like that. Of course, I told that to my daughter once who then told me the moon was actually closer than the stars so it didn’t make sense…well, whatever, you get the drift. I hope. 🙂

    • I totally get the drift, Jen. lol. I mean, worst case scenario in attempting this will be that I am fitter, a bit faster and maybe a bit lighter….unless I offset my training runs with baking and then eating a lot of cupcakes…which sounds kind of fun now that I think about it. 😉 Thanks for the advice!

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