Saturday, March 1, 2014

Waiting for spring...

Last week at yoga, I stopped to chat with one of the women in the class, whom I hadn't seen for a while. She is a runner too, and last time we talked, was suffering from a hip injury. I asked her how she was feeling, and she told me much better, that she had started running again. I asked her what she was training for.

She told me she's running March Madness, which is a half marathon in Cary, Illinois. This race is kind of the unofficial kick-off for the long distance running season in the Chicago area. Wildly popular, registration opens up on December 31, and usually fills within 30 minutes. I hear the course is quite hilly...the weather unpredictable...the runners FAST!

And then she told me she's running Boston.

I love this ad for the Boston Marathon.

Ah. Boston.

How many long distance runners would love to be training for Boston? And why is that? Is it because you have to qualify for an entry? One of my friends, who has run it in the past, met the qualifying time for this years' race, but because of the large number of entries, was denied, deemed to be 30 seconds too slow.

30 seconds? Aye!

I've always been a middle of the pack runner, not too fast, not too slow. Normally I finish in the top 25% of my age group, and I've always been pretty happy with that. I'm not saying I wouldn't love to qualify for Boston, but I know that I will never run that fast. Right now, my qualifying time would be 4:00:00. I'm a 2:00 half marathoner on a good day...when I ran my one and only marathon, it was on an 80 degree day and let's just say that at 4:00:00, I was nowhere near 26.2.

Besides having a slower BQ time, another benefit to being older, and we all joke about it, is moving into a new age group. I am now in the 50-54 year old women's group, and the ranks are starting to thin out. When I realized this, I had 2 thoughts. One was Yay! Podium! And the other was Oh crap! These old ladies are fast!

I love this graphic because you can see the spread in age groups at the big 3 marathons: MCM, Chicago, and NYCM. You youngsters have a lot of competition!

Anyways, I'm half marathon kind of gal. The half marathon is my favorite distance. Tough enough to have to train for, yet the training doesn't take over your life. I work almost full time, and yes, I did train for my marathon even with my job and my family, but it was a challenge.

I like to do 2-3 half marathons per year. This year I'm considering 4. I had considered the March Madness Half, but after the winter we've had, I began looking for a race in Florida that I could do while on our family spring break trip. As far as the rest of my races go, I can only hope that Mother Nature will have mercy on us poor midwesterners and let spring come.

For now here is my race calendar for 2014:

So tell me! What races do you have planned for 2014? What is your favorite distance? Do you have any goal races/distances that you would love to do?


  1. My question is where the heck to all the ladies go once they turn 50?? The ranks have definitely thinned. The 40-49 groups are fast and then everybody vanishes. My favorite distance is 5k. I'll always be a sprinter at heart. March Madness is a tough SOB. I think I've run it 5 or 6x. If your're going to Boston, it's the perfect course simulator. This year I've got Lincoln Half in April, Flying Pig 5k, 10k, Half and, Chi Spring Half in May, Espirit de She in July, NYCM in Nov. There will probably be more.

    1. I thought the same thing..what, does everyone just stop running once they hit the big 50? I don't get it. I'm looking forward to hearing your race reports. And connecting with you at that Spring half. Hopefully before then!

  2. I think the women's age divisions between ages 30-50 gets insanely competitive. You need to be fast to place! I'd love to run Boston and hope maybe one day it will happen. Till then, I keep plugging along with my fav distant, the half. Or the 10 mile. I've only got a couple of races on the schedule right now till I'm fully over my tendon injury. Impatiently waiting!

    1. So true! I'm in a whole new world! I hope you heal fast. I'm impatiently waiting for spring!