my first second marathon, what's next

In a perfect world I would have followed my plan to make a plan to follow after the marathon. Yeah, it's sounds complicated to me too. But it came down to the fact that I wasn't sure what to expect after the marathon. What if I ... had some crazy amazing race, or completely blew up, pooped my shorts and couldn't finish. Either way, I honestly thought I'd have no desire to start training for another one right away.

I was wrong. Maybe it's because my race wasn't terrible or great... maybe because the weather effed with my race day plan. And so did my cramping calves. Whatever it was, I crossed the line and just wanted a do-over. Immediately.

After Vermont City I wanted to have a clear sense if a sub 2:43 is within my realm. I thought I'd be sure one way or the other. But I'm not sure. Maybe the 20 mph winds and freezing rain added time, or maybe that's what I would have run on a calm, sunny day. But it doesn't really matter to me one way or the other.  I am 100% sure I want to chase the dream.

In case you're wondering why sub 2:43? Because that's the 'B' standard for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. Yes, it's fast. 6:12s kind of fast. But something inside me that says, try. So there it is. Even though it's a 11 minute PR goal. Even though I've only done 2 marathons and have in no way figured that beast out.

The standards have dropped considerably from 2012 to 2016.

Women's 2012 A/B 2:39/2:46 |  2016 A/B 2:37/2:43 | Half Marathon alternate: 1:15 (remains the same)
Men's 2012  A 2:19 | 2016 A/B 2:15/2:18

In 2012 there was no A/B for men, and also both men and women could qualify using a 10k time. The difference between "A" and "B" is that "A" qualifiers get the trip paid for and "B" qualifiers pay for themselves to go.

The window is rumored to open on August 1, 2013. Very credibly rumored, considering this blog post by Jake Krong who attended the USATF annual meeting this December and Runner's World. I say rumored because I still see nothing on the actual USATF site. I do know that the window will close 30 days before the Trials, but when the Trials will be is still undetermined. So yeah...

Although the goal has been drifting around in my mind a very long time, I set the intention in August 2012. I knew 2:46 was the time to beat and I thought it was possible. When they dropped it to 2:43 in December I'll be honest, I questioned my goal. So I signed up for Vermont City Marathon to find out where I stood.

Like I said, I still don't feel confident I know where I stand. But I know that I want to try. To put the work in and say the goal outloud and chase it.

Goals are scary to say outloud. Especially when they are really big and really visible. But it's also thrilling to own up to big goals. No matter what they are. I said I wanted to run under 2:50, but then ran 2:54:05... meh. I know I gave everything I had that day. What's to be ashamed of? Only lessons to learn for the next push. And stories to tell.

So here we go...


  1. Re: "I still don't feel confident I know where I stand. But I know that I want to try. To put the work in and say the goal outloud and chase it."

    You might not "feel" confident, but I think you are. You know what you want. You've got the motivation, now go out there and crush it. I know you can!


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