I've run the Boston Marathon two times. The 100th Anniversary race on April 15, 1996 was the world's largest marathon ever (at least at the time) with nearly 39,000 entrants. I signed up for that race to be part of the celebration. Then I ran the 2000 Boston Marathon on April 17, 2000.
The 1996 race was supposed to be purely a "fun run" for me to be part of the big celebration. I had run a 2:37 PR Los Angeles Marathon on March 3rd and my body should have been resing for 3 to 4 weeks afterward. But I looked back at my records and boy was I intense back then. I didn't even take a day off, and after a "light" week was ramping my mileage up to 60 to 80 miles per week. Then I raced 2 5Ks in 7 days, with times of 16:18 and 16:23. That was 9 days before Boston.
Boston came and mentally I'm pumped to race it given my recent performances. But it was a biting cold day that I wasn't prepared for physically...yes, I did not bring warm enough clothes and there was snow on the ground. I was miserable before the race.
I knew I should have just stuck with my original "fun run" goal but my ego told me to go for it and see what happens. Well the details are blurry but as I recall the last 6 to 8 miles were a death march, though I managed to pull my lifeless body to the finish line in 2 hours, 45 minutes.
The next Boston was another "milestone" race....the "New Millenium" Year 2000 Y2K race (remember all the stress and concern over Y2K...ah yes, the good ole days). I ran a 2:36 at the Long Beach Marathon in November 1999 and was set for a decent performance at Boston.
In that 2000 race I was doing pretty well up until Mile 15, when I had to make a pit stop. Pit stops are never good for me...completely take me out of my rhythm. I was at 1:18:30 at the halfway point, exactly half of 2:37. But with that pit stop and shivering cold winds (I noted there was a strong headwind and my teeth were chattering loudly at the end of the race), I managed a 2:43:49. The good news is that this was my Boston PR. But my performance was not up to par.
At that point, I had run 2 miserable, cold Boston Marathons and I was done. Put a fork in it. I love Boston but that was it for me. No mas. Finito.
That bring us to today, the 7th day in a row that I have not run, due to my retina surgery last week. I've pretty much written off my Fall Malibu Marathon plans. What to do....
I was checking out one of my fav running websites, MarathonGuide.com, and noticed an article indicating Boston Marathon 2012 has been open for registration since September 12th and ends September 23rd. Today is the 21st.
Last year the race sold out in like 8 hours. This year they changed the process to help ensure the fastest runners have a better chance of getting into the race. So the first 2 days of registration was limited to runners who beat their qualifying standard by 20 minutes or more. I looked back at my Malibu Marathon time of 3:05 last year and saw that it beat my standard by 25 minutes (sometimes it pays getting old).
So I thought, well what the heck. My wife wants to go to Boston, so why not just sign up and see what happens. I qualify for sure but given I signed up 9 days after registration started, I'd say my chances are pretty slim at getting in. I don't see how it would be possible, unless they see I was way under the standard and let me in to the club.
If not, I'll be slightly disappointed but also relieved. I'll keep my $150 and start pondering a West Coast race.
Interesting, I had to "acknowledge that my ($150) entry fee is non-refundable, even if the race is cancelled." That's pretty intense.