I feel like I could write about 234,908 posts about all of the things I learned, tried, tweaked, etc. during my journey to BQ. So I’ll just do that until you or I get bored, whichever comes first… So far I’ve covered nutrition and pacing and my race tunes. Today’s topic is Orangetheory.
I’ve previously documented my struggle (mental and physical) to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The closest I got was 3:45:47, about 10 minutes slower than the Boston application cutoff (but more like 15 minutes from what I’d actually need to get in). I’m several years older and wiser… although unfortunately still in the same age bracket for BQ qualifying times. And in the intervening years, I backed off the pressure, refocused my goals (hello, 50 states!), gained some weight, lost some weight, explored new workouts, changed jobs, gotten married, bought a home, and ultimately ended up with my marathon times back in the same range as they were in 2011.
So naturally, my mind wanders back to the BQ. Am I finally ready to tackle this challenge? At 30 years old, healthy, and childless, is this potentially my last, best chance? Or would I just be setting myself up for frustration and disappointment, and worst of all, would I be taking the joy out of running? So I have a plan.
I first started running regularly in 2005, when I was in college. I slowly built up my mileage and confidence, and I ran my first marathon in 2007. Running made me happy and greatly improved my fitness.
But in early 2011, I had what can only be described as a running awakening. My times starting improving way more than I had expected, and I felt like a real athlete and a real runner for the first time in my life. I was setting PRs and decided I was ready to think about getting that much- coveted BQ.
Unfortunately, by the end of 2012, that BQ looked out of reach, and my times were slipping slower and slower. My running had awakened, and then it apparently went back to sleep. Here’s my story of how I got faster, how I got slower, and what I learned.