[I Will] Because I “can’t”–qualifying for Boston #twit2fit

We all do things because we’re supposed to be able to, because we were “born to do it.”

I know a lot of runners who were accomplished cross-country runners in high school who have failed in their attempts to qualify for the Boston marathon. Some of them fell out of shape over the college and post-college years. Some of them never made the full commitment to train for a marathon versus shorter races. Some of them just hit upon misfortune during their attempts.

I am not such a runner. My high school fitness test “mile of running” was north of 13 minutes (a six hour marathon time limit is a 13’44” pace). In fact, I never *ran* a consecutive mile until 2006. That mile is still one of the hardest I’ve run in my life.

After training for my first 5k for 8 weeks, I ran my first 5k at 206 pounds in 33:44–a 10’52” pace. With that sort of 5k time, McMillan running predicts a 5:30 marathon.

Today, I’m at 168 pounds, and my fastest marathon time was 15 months ago in 3:39 and change. Since then, my speed has improved quite a bit, but my endurance has suffered through injuries resulting from trying to push too far, too fast. The race predictors put my current 20:59 5k time as capable of running a 3:20-3:30 marathon (with proper training.)

Until the day I turn 35, qualifying for Boston requires a finish time of 3:10:59 or faster. Up until 40, I still have to beat 3:15:59. My current training plan puts me at 3:17.

To put it simply, I’m not capable of qualifying for Boston. There it is. I’m not good enough.

That’s why I’m training to qualify, by 40. It’s because I wasn’t born to do it. What good is life if you meet everyone’s expectations all the time, anyway?

Starting to build a little momentum

I’m probably a couple of weeks away from being able to run any kind of long run outside–in part from recovery, but mostly from happily being blind-sided by the responsibilities of having a second child at home.

I’m glad I never thought about the implications of having a new baby in the house; the initial stress on the body is much like the first few miles I ran two years ago… except for the fact that the baby doesn’t always stop crying within 30 minutes, and the fact that running does not involve much responsibility, etc…


2 miles in 18:19 @ 2% incline (9'10" pace)


11.27 miles in 30 minutes @ level 20 on StairMaster/Speed Intervals

Life is Short – David Albright

David (on the far right in TCU Purple) and the SUS Team from spring 2007

David (second from the right in TCU Purple) and the SUS Team

My co-worker and friend, David Albright, passed away yesterday. His life and his struggle with cancer are the ultimate reminders that although you may have goals in life, you have to make the most of the journey itself. Life is short. David always had good perspective on this, nurturing family and friends while always being a strong team member at work.

David took it upon himself to remember team member’s birthdays, pick up a birthday card, and make sure everyone signed the card. It’s amazing what that does when your day/week/year has made you feel like just another number.

David took on difficult personalities and situations with ease and a good sense of humor. He had the ability to call out something he didn’t have a good gut feel about, without really being confrontational. He had the ability to be strong and gentle at the same time. If someone can be at peace in this world, David was.

The saying goes that funerals are not for the dead, but for the living. This is especially true in David’s case. Clearly his closest friends and family have experienced the greatest loss, but all who knew him have lost a solid anchor for their world.

On a much more personal note: This update about David’s situation appeared on my birthday. It was a very personal reminder to me of the person we were at risk of losing. In spite of all of David’s personal struggles, he did not fail to remember me or my family this past year.

In memory of David:
Lux Aeterna, from the Rutter Requiem

I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me:
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord,
for they rest from their labours.
Even so saith the Spirit.

Lux aeterna luceat eis Domine:
Let eternal light shine upon them, O Lord:

Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius es.
with Thy saints for ever, for art merciful.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine,
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,

et lux perpetua luceat eis.
and may light perpetual shine on them.