Guess what you guys I signed up to run the Boston Virtual Marathon this October. It will be my first marathon which is something I made a lot of good arguments against in the past. But… who ever had 38 in the family pool you win the bet. Which is to say this moment has been coming for a while. I wanted it to come last year but then you know 2020 happened and not getting to race was a pretty minor inconvenience in the big picture. If you were one of the 70 000 people who got in yeah for you!! I’ll be doing training updates here this summer when I start so you might want to follow along with me. I had another post planned for tonight but I wanted to celebrate this moment a bit. So maybe a pre-training update if you will. This is where my head is at about all this right now.
It’s a polarizing choice for the Boston Marathon
There’s been some criticism from runners that offering this virtual option to everyone dilutes the accomplishment of running Boston or that it’s a money grab. Those things might both be true but I think this is a special year for all the runners (like me) who would never get to participate in Boston otherwise. Maybe the race does need some funds, that’s reasonable after two years with no in person event. I think that’s understandable. My time on my virtual race day is going to be a long, long, LONG way off of a qualifying time for a woman of my age. So yeah in some ways its way less of an accomplishment. Some runners might not think it’s fair that I will hopefully have a blue and yellow unicorn finisher’s medal on my board and I get that. I would remind those runners that while they have a point it’s still going to be a big accomplishment for us. So maybe tread carefully.
I know that it’s not really the same as qualifying and going to Boston in person but lots of people will get a little taste of the magic of Boston that would never have had that chance otherwise. Sure there’s lots of slow pokes like me but there will also be people who just could never afford that, couldn’t travel, couldn’t get the time off work or away from their responsibilities. In some way this year will be an equalizer and that’s a little bit special too right? So I do get this argument but me and 69 999 other runners this year are pretty excited about how this all worked out!
The timing for me isn’t great…
When the BAA announced that this would be happening I saw immediately that this could be something special for me. But this June we hope to list our current house so there’s a little work to be done. In this market it should hopefully go quickly. Once it does we’ll have to find a rental (which might not be easy) move and buy a lot more than likely all before race day. As always we have a busy summer booked so literally any other year would have been better but that’s not how it works right? Technically it’s probably a good idea to check with your partner and boss about signing yourself up for something like this but full disclosure most of the time I usually don’t. This time though I talked to honey about it and then called my mom to see if she could help that weekend before totally committing to it in my mind. They were both supportive (as always) right off the bat so I decided I would try to go for it. If they were hesitant or even said no (which they wouldn’t do) I might have done it anyway but thankfully we’re not there.
Registering was problematic until it wasn’t
The very day the BAA announced how this was all going to work I started trying to sign up for an athlete account and I just couldn’t make it work. I wanted to have that done so I could register as soon as the event went live. I would enter my user info and then it would take me into the void loop. It would say “a user with that information already exists.” Then I would go through the retrieve username section and be told an email had been sent. But it wasn’t in my mailbox, my junk mail and I cycled through 4 email addresses doing that. I would retry in case the site was busy every second night or so. Same thing over and over. Today I got a notification from a Facebook group that registration was live but there I was still with no username. We were at home building floats and ramps as one does in late March and honey was now in on the process. I showed him the problem to which he said “just try with my last name” and guess what it worked! There must be another Allison King with my exact birthday. To her I say so sorry for the (probably a hundred) misdirected emails and our birthday is in 117 days! I briefly considered getting the cheaper option without the shirt but that was obviously the wrong choice!
How I’m thinking I’ll make that work
With all that, and for any training marathoner, there will be some sucky moments. Training will start some time in June but won’t get brutal until at least the end of July. Hopefully (realistically) the house should be sold by then and we might even have a rental booked. I hope to pack up and dump as much as I can before training gets brutal and if we have the option of taking the place a month earlier than we need it that might be helpful with this going on too. This is honey’s work regular 7 day a week busy season and I have a big role in that company as well. Plus it’s my busy season for landscaping but… Honey has said yes to a couple of employees this summer so I can scale back there and I hired a helper this year too. All these people are more responsible than some of our other past employees so that should be good. Right? *crosses fingers. But I’m pumping the breaks on taking on too much that’s new.
I’ve already signed on for as much work as I did last year so I’m hoping to get going on that yesterday and front end load my season. I also just bought a ton of cute boat clothes because last week me was determined to take some time off for myself this summer. That last one might be a bit tough now but you can still look cute picking someone up at the boat right? To make this work I’ll have to do all the runs I can in the mornings but there will be one longer one in the week and that oh so long, long run every weekend too. That weekday run will mean that I have to finish work at 5 pm one day a week at some point which is totally doable. In the past I’ve done my long runs on Saturday or Sunday afternoons whenever the weather is better. If I hope to see the inside of that boat at all I’m going to have to get up early-ish and get running on the weekends too. Then driving around on the boat and having someone bring me a beverage seems totally reasonable! Oh and lots and lots of snacks!
Why this could be a great thing for me/ race day plans
While some would say this isn’t a ‘real’ marathon or really ‘running Boston’ I think it’s got some pros for me. I always thought my first marathon would be PEI since it’s a fast course and I would love to break 5 the first time. Humble but that would be a win for me. That might not happen and this way and that’s fine. Typically the first time I train for a distance I fall into the habit of just covering the distance on speedwork days. I’m going into training with this thought in mind too. I plan to do every single training run as that gives me a lot of confidence but if I’m tired or not feeling it covering the ground in training will do just fine.
For now no time goals I just want to live to the end. But I did already arrange with my super cute boss to take the next day off work. I’ll need some drop off support the day of which I’m already thankful for but I’ll figure that out as I go.
So my fist marathon will be a virtual Boston run, isn’t that cool! For me at least this feels very real and I’m super excited. Are you signed up for Boston this year? Let me know and share any tips you have in the comments below! I’m off to buy more shoes!