I’ve come to an important decision – this is going to be the year I qualify for Boston!   This wasn’t in my original list of 2014 Running & Other Fitness Goals, but when I realized that I only have to drop 3 minutes, not 8, that changed things.   See, I had in my head that I had to get a 3:35 to qualify, as this is the qualifying time for women age 30-34.   And I’ll be turning 34 this June.   However, a friend pointed out that the time I need to qualify is actually based on the age group I’ll be in the day I’d run the race.   Given that I won’t qualify in time to get in to the 2015 race, my target is the 2016 race, at which time I’ll be in the 35-39 age group.  Which needs I need a 3:40. Game changer!   A three minute drop seems very attainable, an eight minute drop did not.

My original goal for this year was to PR in a half, but my heart’s just not in it.   And training to PR in any race just isn’t going to happen if my heart’s not in in.  The amount of time and both physical and mental energy required is high.   And for me, right now, qualifying for Boston is a stronger motivator than just getting a PR.    Also, running a fall marathon will ensure I’m in good shape for the KT82 3-person relay I’m doing in August.

So what race are I going to try to qualify at?   Well, after not getting into New York this year I started researching fast and flat marathons.    One of which is right here in St. Louis.    I’ve traditionally preferred destination races that are BIG marathons, but for a variety of reasons I’ve decided I’m going to go with the local race this time.   It’s called the MO Cowbell Marathon.

Mo Cowbell marathon


I did the half a couple years ago and it was a lot of fun.   The downside to the marathon is the number of entrants isn’t as large as the half marathon, so I have a feeling the second half will be a little rough.   I will likely think about things like bringing music (something I’ve never done in a race), and making sure my family/friends come out to cheer on the second half of the course to give me a boost of motivation.

I haven’t yet decided which training plan I’m going to use this time around.    I need to figure that out this week, as the race is only 19 weeks out.   I’d like to follow HMM again, but with some slight adjustments.   Over the last few months I’ve trained with a Crossfit trainer and got a good strength training routine in place, and I’m hesitant to stop that completely, but as those of you who have done HMM know it’s just really hard to fit serious strength training in on that plan.  If anyone has any tips for how to successfully do this I would love to hear them!

I’m also debating whether to train for a 3:40 (what I need) or train around a goal pace that is slightly below that (such as that required to hit a 3:35).

Question for those who have qualified for Boston – did you train to hit that exact time you needed, or a time below it to be safe?   Any other tips for me?


9 Responses to New 2014 Goal – Qualify for Boston!

  1. jill conyers says:

    You’re a rock star! I’m looking forward to following your training and your success!
    jill conyers recently posted…A Letter to My BodyMy Profile

    • Gina says:

      Thanks so much Jill! Will definitely be posting about my training. I really need to get my training schedule written out this week – not sure why I’m slacking off on getting that all figured out!

  2. Marcia says:

    Best wishes qualifying for Boston, that is incredible, and you WILL succeed!
    Marcia recently posted…Monday MusingsMy Profile

  3. Amy says:

    Good luck! I can’t wait to follow your journey! And safe travels and have fun in Steamboat! I wish I was going up there for the race this year again (I did last year). I will still be cheering for you!
    Amy recently posted…Girls WeekendMy Profile

    • Gina says:

      Thanks Amy! I am so excited about running Steamboat this weekend. It will be nice to spend a few days in the mountains and just enjoy a fun race.

  4. Crystal says:

    I trained for the Des Moines Marathon in 2010 with three goals: 1) finish the race, 2) qualify for Boston and 3) break 4:00. I did not meet my last goal, but did BQ and did run Boston in 2011. I may be a smidge ahead of you in age group :) You are doing this the smart way so that you won’t be running Boston just a few months after you run your qualifier. I am assuming here that if you qualify, you will go? Which is an entirely different issue. I trained specifically to run 4:00 even though my BQ (at that time) was 4:05.
    I would recommend that you have a back-up race if the race you selected turns out to be “non-BQ material” (meaning too hot, raining, you have a cold, etc). The back-up could be a week or two out from your primary selection or even farther out into the very late fall or early spring. If you are putting all of your eggs in this BQ basket then go all in and be prepared to pay the price…physically, financially and emotionally. Train on the course you are going to run (or mimic it as closely as possible). You live right there so this should be fairly easy. People only think flat courses are easier, when in fact they have their own challenges (long, boring stretches and using the same muscle activation over and over and over again). If you don’t make it on your first try then back off, build your base and take another run at it. You’ll get it.

    • Gina says:

      Hi Crystal – thank you so much for the advice! It’s interesting you mention Des Moines, as that was one of the races I considered. I have a couple of good friends who live there and I was scared away by the fact that it is somewhat hilly, but your point about flatter not always being ideal is completely right. Your advice of having a back up race makes a lot of sense. Particularly since the race is the first week of October there is always that chance that it could be really hot. I think I will take your advice and line up a back up race later that month.

      And yes, if I qualify I definitely plan to do it! Which is why I’m thinking I should shoot for 5 minutes faster. My understanding is those further under the time get to register first. Did you have a hard time getting registered in 2011?

  5. Erica says:

    Thank you Gina so much! I just started my training today and was wondering the exact same thing. I just turned 34 this year in June too:). One of my friends told me that today too, and I’ve been looking for the answer until I found your blog:). Good luck Gina!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge