I don't remember when I decided I wanted to BQ.
I think it was around the time I ran my first marathon in 2005 (in 4:45 - an hour and five minutes away from my then-qualifying time of 3:40).
Four years later I ran a 3:50:53 at the National Marathon in Washington and thought I can do this. I can shave off 10 minutes, especially since I've been tri training with marathon training. I'll find a fast course (Steamtown, etc.) train my ass off, and run a 3:40:59 and go to Boston.
I trained for and raced Ironman Cozumel that fall. I was still running but true distance running took a backseat to 2 mile swims at 5 am and 100 mile bike rides on the weekend.
Eleven months after Ironman Cozumel, I had H.
The BAA dropped the qualifying times by 5 minutes.
I DNF'd RNR USA and ran a super shitty redemption marathon in 4:20:xx.
I finally lost the rest of the baby weight (don't get me wrong -- I still have about 10 lbs to go to be in Super Runner Shape and I need to buckle down and do it but it's hard).
I got faster. I'm getting faster. So far this year I have PR'd at the 5K, the 10K, and the half marathon. I PR'd the half marathon twice this year. I'm faster than I was pre baby .. faster than I was when I was 23 and weighed about 8 lbs less. I'm training smarter and (finally) getting serious at speedwork. I'm podium-ing in my AG. I know I'm not a superstar speedster, but for me and my running -- I'm getting to where I really want to go.
According to a VDOT calculator --- when I plugged in my current HM PR (I was tempted to use my 10K PR, but didn't because of the ridiculous(ly) fast downhill course) I got this:
McMillan Running gave me this (same HM PR time)
I have a 10 miler coming up in about three weeks, and I my goal is to break 1:20 (my PR is 1:21:46, set at the Army 10 in 2006). According to my VDOT/ pace prediction calculators, I should be able to do that.
And that brings us to the marathon. The first calculator predicts a 3:38. McMillan predicts a 3:41. I know that these are best case scenarios. I know they rely on high mileage training, perfect weather, and a flat, fast course. I also know that my best case scenario times are still 3-6 minutes faster than my current BQ time of 3:35:00. I'm not (that much of) an idiot, and trust me, I am not shooting for a sub 3:35 this fall. I was going to shoot for a sub 4, but looking at these calculators... I think I can go faster. (the problem, of course, is thinking that, going out too fast, and crashing and burning while singing THE WHEELS ON THE BUS ARE FALLING OFF FALLING OFF FALLING OFF in your head. or out loud.) Sub 3:50? I know it's early, and I need to see where I am closer to race day, which reminds me that I need to find a half marathon 4-6 weeks out to [re] evaluate marathon fitness.
And then if all goes well we will (we hope) provide H with a sibling next year. He'll be three this year and we don't want our kids spaced too far apart. That does mean, however, that I'll put my Boston dream on hold for a few more years. While I don't plan to gain as much weight (you know what they say about the best laid plans) and I do plan on running during my pregnancy (not letting my ego get the better of me) I know that (1) I won't be putting in the same mileage (2) or the same intensity (3) and c- section recovery takes time (4) training while nursing can be a PITA.
If I'm not honest I'll say oh that's okay, I really don't mind, Boston and running will always be there. If I'm really honest I'll say oh it kind of actually sucks, I've been working hard recently and I think that next year - without growing a baby - I could MAYBE go sub 3:35. But. (1) Maybe I could go sub 3:35, and maybe not. Maybe I'd get close and blow up and (2) H turns three (!) this fall. Presuming I get pregnant quickly, he'll be four when the new baby is here. I don't want to wait another year and neither does James (and it is his family, too ;)).
(If James could just pregnant this would be a lot easier.)
I'm a I-wanted-it-yesterday kind of person but running doesn't work that way.
(Well, running doesn't work that way for me. Looking at you oh-it's-my-first-marathon-oh-I-ran-a-3:25-wow-that's-pretty-cool people.)
It will just be that much sweeter, though, right? When I finally do it? When I get to the finish line and see James and H and baby no. 2 and a 3:34:xx on my watch?
(although, hell, by that time I may get those 5 more minutes and be back up to a 3:40).