However, when I say I didn't know anything about running, I really didn't know anything--including how registration for the Boston Marathon works. Somehow, I naively assumed that so long as I signed up before the registration period ended, I'd be guaranteed a spot. I'm not too sure where I got that idea from, but as you might expect, it didn't pan out.
Five years later, in November of last year, I ran the New York City Marathon. Once again, I finished in a time that would qualify me to sign up for Boston, and this time, I wasn't going to miss my opportunity. People train for years to run a Boston qualifying (or BQ) time, and here I was, lucky enough to qualify twice.
So I did it. Today I signed up for Boston 2015. Apparently, signing up doesn't mean that I'll definitely be running the race--everyone has to wait a week or two to find out whether we've made it into the final pool of registrants--but my immediate reaction was to post to Facebook. At long last, I was going to run this race!
Then I stopped myself. People train for years to run a BQ time. Was posting a celebratory, "Registered for Boston 2015!" bragging? Would it make someone else feel bad? Why did I want to post it at all? Okay, it would probably earn me a few pats on the back a few "thumbs ups." But I didn't run the race yet. Heck, I technically wasn't even on the roster. And frankly, signing up for Boston isn't something I should be celebrating. Qualifying for this marathon was never an overt goal of mine; it has simply been one happy side effect of achieving other goals: running my first marathon in Pittsburgh without stopping (mantra: don't stop) and then running my second marathon in NYC . . . faster (mantra: no excuses). Yes, I'm very excited to have the "Boston Experience" just like I was excited to have the "NYC Experience." But for me, it's not much more than that: just an experience to be had. Whatever time I run in Chicago next month means a heck of a lot more to me than registering for any race, no matter iconic.
So I decided I'll save my Facebook posts for October . . . after I run Chicago. And if anyone thinks that's bragging . . . well I sure hope I'll have something worth bragging about.