Qualifying for Boston

Excerpt from Chapter 9: Qualifying for Boston

Another question on my mind was where to run a qualifying marathon. This is a hard decision even when made 6 months in advance. Many of the popular marathons fill up early, and in any case they didn’t allow me adequate time to train. Almost every time I run a marathon, I think that I needed one more month of training in order to be prepared. That feeling is there whether I had a short period (10 weeks) or a long period (20 weeks) to train. Using this logic, I needed at least 10 weeks to train starting in mid-September, so the earliest possible date would be December, and January would be even better. So I started the search for a marathon in the early part of the following year. Well, there aren’t a lot of mid-winter marathons. Plus, I wanted a marathon that would not add an obstacle to qualifying. So I peered over the elevation charts – flat is good and downhill is better. No rolling courses or personal challenges would work. I had only a handful of choices and I eliminated some because of the possibility of heat. I would prefer to try to run fast in the cold than on a warm day. I also ruled out expensive cross-country trips and decided on a reasonably local spot: Myrtle Beach in mid-February. Plenty of time to train and hopefully just enough time to register and recover for an April 17th run in Boston. Oh well, one step at a time.

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