It's so weird how emotional I've felt about Boston over the last day or two. We now have a hotel booked and I was recently printing off the course map and elevation profile and it was so surreal. I feel like many average marathoners have Boston in the back of their minds. I was no different. When you read much about running, be it in Runner's World, online, or in books, it's impossible to escape references to it. And I've even read entire course profiles in RW when my marathon times were still about an hour slower than they needed to be for me to qualify. It was a dream, not completely outside the realm of possibility. And it is so strange to now be actually planning to run it. Me, in Boston. Me, whose first "real" marathon involved heat stroke and vomit and a time well over 5 hours. Me, who has always been in awe of "real" runners. Me, whose form and stride are so imperfect. It's crazy! I know the Boston goal is more attainable for women (guys 18-34 need 3:10, women 18-34 need 3:40, and the times slow from there for both groups as they age). The large discrepancy doesn't seem fair to me because the female best of the best aren't lagging 30 minutes behind the male elites. But at this point, I'm not complaining! Particularly since one of my weekday guy friends qualified at St. George and the others stand a strong possiblity of qualifying at their upcoming races like Chicago, Mohawk-Hudson and NY.
Anyway, it makes me kind of teary to print these elevation maps. Or maybe that was residual tears from booking the hotel -- Boston seems to be significantly more expensive in general, but that weekend in particular!!!