Monday, April 21, 2014

Yeah, She's Kind of a Big Deal.

Darcee successfully completed her second Boston Marathon and was pretty disappointed with her time--3 hours and 58 minutes.   She had leg cramps at mile 11 and was almost forced to drop out of the race.  In true Darcee form, she gutted it out and proved to all, her raw grit and determination by finishing.  

I reminded her of my experience at age 24 when  I was in the best shape of my life and came to understand that I would never have what it takes to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  I took the PT test for the military in ROTC and could do nearly 200 push-ups in 2 minutes and 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes, but my 2 mile run was less than stellar.  At the time, an ROTC friend of mine was training to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  I casually mentioned  to him, "Maybe I should train with you and qualify as well."  His response shocked me, "Dude, you might be somewhat athletic, but you don't have what it takes to qualify for the Boston Marathon--you're too heavy and much too slow."  I was dumbfounded. I reasoned: It's just running. How hard can it be?  After all, it's just a long race.  At the time, I had just successfully completed 4 years of college wrestling.  I ran every day to maintain my weight. I weighed 175-180 lbs. and could bench nearly 300 lbs.  I had no problem regularly running 3-5 miles.  He explained, "It's not about how strong you are, or even how fit you are; it's about running fast for a very long period of time. Sorry to say, but not everyone can do that--no matter how athletic they might be.  I just don't see you running well enough to qualify." I was more than a little perturbed, so I got a copy of the qualifying standards of the Boston Marathon in 1981, ostensibly to prove him wrong.  I was in awe at what it took to just qualify.

Out of curiosity and just for fun I ran in a couple of 10K races.  My times were awful. The qualifying times haven't changed much since 1981.  They were ridiculously hard in 1981 and they are even more so now.

After her race today, I reassured her, "Darc, most of us would be elated to even have a chance to compete in the Boston Marathon. The likelihood of me qualifying are somewhere between nil and remote."  To confirm my thoughts on this, I looked up the qualifying standards for the 2014 Boston Marathon which are listed below:

Age     Men     Women
18-34   3:05       3:35
35-39   3:10       3:40
40-44   3:15       3:45
45-49   3:25       3:55
50-54   3:30       4:00
55-59   3:40       4:10
60-64   3:55       4:25
65-69   4:10       4:40
70-74   4:25       4:55
75-79   4:40       5:10
80+      4:55       5:25

Visually impaired: 5:00

I think she felt a little better after we talked about the qualifying times.  I reminded her about my first and only marathon--the most venerable Leavenworth Marathon--Oktoberfest (where drinking dark ale is as much of the event as running) and that I officially retired from the sport following this event.  Although my time was an embarrassing 5 hours and 5 minutes, I was entirely satisfied with my time--enough so that I felt comfortable retiring.  I thought, "Yep, check that one off my list and move on to something a little more pleasurable and interesting."  As we reviewed the qualifying standards, Darcee astutely noted that with a time of 5 hours and 5 minutes, I would need to be either visually impaired or a 75 year-old woman in order to qualify. 

Yeah, she's kind of a big deal, having qualified for the Boston Marathon the last 3 years! 


Darcee said...

Hahaha! Thanks dad, for making me feel better. I was grateful just to be here and participate this year. While I'm definitely not a "big deal" I'm extremely fortunate to have parents who think I am. :)

Saimi said...

She gets her raw grit from her stellar of a dad! Well done Darc!

MaryJane said...

And friends, Darc!