Smile Politely

What next?

Inevitably, there’s a let down. I’m sure people grow weary of seeing “BQ” and “PR” in my wall updates. It seemed like I was posting something every day. They’re tired of seeing photos of me from the race. Heck, I know I am. It’s been over two weeks now. I set out to achieve a goal. I did (in circuitous fashion). I’m a Boston Qualifier. Whoopdeedoo. It’s old news now.

That’s the thing about running: Accomplishment has a shelf life. I’ll admit it was nice being lauded with praise from my running buddies. At the Second Wind Running Club Annual Banquet the other day, people threw “Congratulations” at me like they were going out of style. But in all honesty, I’ve had my fill. It’s time to spread the wealth to others. Like the people who actually won awards, or my friend who passed a certification exam where 65% of people fail. That’s real accomplishment. Nevertheless, I appreciate all of the nice words people offered. There is nothing like receiving positive feedback from your peers, especially those who helped you along the way.

That said, I’ve reached that point now where I’ve got to find that something else that will motivate me through 2013. The year is barely a month old, and I’ve already done more than I thought I could. Still, I’ve got to find something to focus my attention on, or 2013 might be a one hit wonder. Even worse, it could be like 2011. No one wants that!

There are a lot of races I could run. I’ve already run the Charleston Challenge Mid-Winter Classic with a bunch of other Second Wind Running Club members. It was my first post-marathon race. A group of us drove down to Charleston and represented Champaign-Urbana in award-winning fashion. I came in 4th place in the 15k, and took home 1st in the 30–39 age group. There are only 41 runners in the 15k, but it’s still nice to do well. I PRed in 1:03:58. That’s pretty good, given there was one-to-two inches of snow on the ground.

One of my friends asked me in Charleston, “You’re not running the Illinois Marathon now, are you?” The plan was that if I failed in Phoenix, I would try to Boston Qualify (BQ) here in Champaign. But now that I’ve BQed, what point is there in running the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon if I don’t have to? I put a lot of effort into Phoenix, and my body might not care to repeat the effort so soon after that race. Even as I ran in Charleston last weekend, there was a part of me that asked, what the heck am I doing out here? Yet, there I was.

I’m looking at a few half marathons and maybe signing up for a marathon sometime in the fall. There are a lot of local races to run, like the Earth, Wind and Fire 5k or the Mountain Goat 5, 10, or 15k in March or the Kirby Derby in May. And maybe I will run the marathon dressed as Abe. We’ll see.

Regardless of what I run this spring, the summer and fall are the big dates to focus on. This summer, I hope to run a couple of half marathons early in the season so I can focus on the marathon later in the year.

In June, there’s the Allstate 13.1 Chicago and in August there’s the Madison mini-marathon. I’ve already run Madison, so maybe I’ll choose something else. It’s a good race though.

For the marathon, I’ll run either the St. Louis Rock n’Roll marathon or Chicago Marathon in October, or the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November. My plan is to run at least one full marathon in the fall to prepare for Boston, as well as perhaps qualify again in the event I don’t get to run in Boston next year.

No matter what I focus on this year, I’ve had a great start to 2013.

Related Articles