Boston Marathon Part II

Posted: September 26, 2011 in Pace and Racing
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Two years.

That’s a long time to spend thinking about something.  Whether it is with anticipation or regret, fondness or remorse.

Two years is a long time.

Well, when we toe the line at the 116th running of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2012 it will be exactly two years from the scene of my greatest disappointment as a runner in my life.

For those of you who have been following along since the beginning, I know that I do not have to rehash my first attempt at the storied Marathon course from Hopkinton to Boston.  I have a dozen reasons and excuses that I could latch on to in an attempt to explain why my performance that day paled in comparison to not only my qualifying time set 11 months earlier in Pittsburgh, but more importantly to the expectations I had for Boston that day. 

Another Boston time in the first of two marathons in 13 days for Dom.

I knew that Boston was a tough marathon.  I knew that the hills had swallowed up many a marathoner.  But I had trained, prepared, focused and was ready.

Or so I thought.

Some days you get the bear and some days the bear gets you when it comes to this sport.  I know that.  But after an 18-month focused training period to earn entry into the biggest marathon on the planet and then another 11 months prepping for race day, you don’t expect the bear to get you on that day.

But alas, he did.

So what’s going to be different this time around?  Afterall, I will be two years older when the gun fires on Patriot Day in Boston this Spring. 

Two years slower. 

Well, it’s because I will have had two years of thinking about that race every single day.  From the time that finisher’s medal went around my neck until the time I received my acceptance message from the B.A.A, all I have thought about was earning my shot at redemption. 

Just get back there.

On February 20th last spring on a terrible day for racing I slugged it out with the hills, heat, humidity and wind here in Austin crossing the finish line of the Austin Marathon in 127th place.  3:15:01.

2:42 faster than my qualifying time from Pittsburgh in 2009.

7:45 faster than my Boston time in April 2010.

It still was not the marathon that I am capable of running.  The conditions cost the Austin Marathon back to back winner 11 minutes off of his time from the previous year.  I think they cost me close to 10 minutes as well.

But in the end that didn’t matter.  All I needed was a time fast enough to get me back to Hopkinton, and on Monday of this week – we got exactly that.

One of the things that I hope Landry learns as she gets older is that not everything that you want in life is going to be handed to you.  Sometimes you have to go through the not so good stuff to get to the REALLY good stuff.  It’s just part of the journey, part of the price of admission.

You can either run from it or run toward it.  The choice is yours.

The truth of the matter is I have thought about this moment every single day for the last 526 days.  Here we are.

Dom, we’ve got a little work to do in New York in a few weeks, but don’t you worry about a thing.  We are going to kick some tail in New York and post the lowest time possible to move as far up in the starting corrals at Boston as we can.

On race day in April two years worth of focus, training and energy are going to be poured into those 26 miles, 385 yards.  We’re going to show up in Hopkinton the smartest, most well conditioned marathoner we have ever been, and I’m prepared to leave everything we have that day out on the course.

For the second time in our lives we will be a Boston Finisher, that medal is going around Landry’s neck and we’re going to move on from the Marathon.  I am going to run that race like it is my last. 

Because when it comes to the marathon.  It will be.

  1. Jodi says:

    Congratulations Joe! I know you have “unfinished business” with Boston as I did with Cleveland. I understand the need for redemption and I applaud you for your dedication and tenacity to get to that start line ready to throw down the best marathon of your life. It made me smile when I read that the Boston medal with be going around Landry’s neck. Just further shows how much you love that little girl! So, does she have you wrapped around her little finger yet?

    • Joseph Marruchella says:

      Thanks Jodi! I think heading back to the place where I was beaten down by the marathon will be a good way for me to move on from it once and for all. As for Landry, man, I’m completely worthless when it comes to that little one. Finishing off Boston the right way will be for her as much as it is for me.

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