Boston, and Miscellaneous Runs

Yesterday was the Boston Marathon, which is pretty much the Holy Grail for most amateur long distance runners.  Why?  Because not only is it an old and storied race, but it is the only ways to get in are invitation (aka, be Ryan Hall), fundraising a s**t load of money, or qualifying.  And the qualifying times are harsh: right now, I’d have to run a qualifying race in 3:10, which is an hour and twenty minutes faster than my last marathon, fifty minutes shorter than my fastest.  I just don’t have any interest in the sort of intense training and speed-work that I’d need in order to get that fast.  That’s one of the primary reasons I want to pursue ultramarthons: I like going far, not fast, and I’d have to devote months to working on “fast” to get into Boston.   This year, Geoffrey Mutal of Kenya destroyed the old course record by finishing in 2:03:02, a time that makes me dizzy just thinking about.  That’s a sub-five minute mile, for 26.2 miles.


It seems that teaching full-time and having two kids and running and keeping up a blog is quite a bit of work — if you’ve noticed, I haven’t been as obsessively updating on the near daily basis I was at first.  I don’t think it’s helped that my three most recent runs have all been very routine and uneventful, so I didn’t have much to say about them.  Saturday the 12th, the day after I ran to work, I did my usual 7 mile round-trip to gym park with Nat; this time I actually wore my hear-rate monitor, to ensure I stayed slow-enough to be in the recovery zone.  As I said when I first used it, its sort of shocking how slowly one has to run to keep one’s heart-rate below 131, so the trip felt agonizingly slow.  I know I’ve repeatedly written that I like distance, not speed, but there comes a point when I feel I am doing more of a fast walk than a run, and it hard to convince oneself that there will be, someday, a payoff for showing restraint.

I took Sunday off, then did 4.5 miles yesterday with Nat in the stroller for his morning nap.  It was just a loop of the neighborhood with descent weather and moderate speed, but nothing to wax literary about.  Finally, today I did a quick 3 miles with Star in a light drizzle in my Vibram’s.  So three runs that I neither GPS-ed or timed.  One of these day’s I’ll write up a post about minimalist shoes and barefoot running, but right now my eyes are closing involuntarily and I’m nodding off over this post.  Next one will be more interesting, I promise.


About Chris Van Dyke

I am a 33 year-old high school English teacher and long-distance runner. I live in Brooklyn with my partner, our 3 year-old son and 1 year-old daughter and a growing collection of muppets and trains. Besides running and teaching I like to draw, read, write, cook, and play the harmonica. While I didn't get to run my first ultra-marathon on my birthday, I've got a few more I've set my sights on. You can follow my (seldom updated) twitter feed @aboutrunning. I also blog as part of the Run Smiley Collective.
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