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Destination: Boston (pt. 1 of probably a lot)

Consider this your warning: I'm going to be pouring my heart and soul out like the delicate idiot I am into a recurring series of blog posts about my biggest running goal - and fear.

The Boston Marathon is, arguably, the most heralded and legendary race in the world. While others may be bigger (the NYC Marathon, with its nearly 50,000 participants), or faster (the Berlin Marathon, which usually has a World Record attempt every year), Boston has the allure and mystique of many a runner looking to simply qualify for the race.

Like thousands of other runners worldwide, I'm one of those that is eagerly awaiting my chance to run Boston. Why haven't I yet? Because I'm not fast enough. To qualify today, I'd have to run faster than 3:10 to guarantee my slot. I know myself and my training well enough to know that I'm not that fast yet. And, admittedly, I just ran my first full marathon in 2017, and it was a disaster. It was hot at the start, only getting worse throughout the day. I threw all expectations out the window that day and planned to simply survive. I honestly still don't know my finishing time to this day, and I'm OK with that. It wasn't a reflection of my fitness at that time, so I'll treat it as an outlier.

But, instead of going balls out at a race and trying to knock down a qualifying time, I'm trying to be strategic about it. Which, if you know me, you'll know how I love to plan and structure things. Nothing makes me happier than having a plan and a clear-cut direction. So, my goal is to qualify at either a late Fall 2019 marathon, or in the Spring of 2020 with the goal of running on that sweet, hallowed ground in 2021.

I've committed myself to getting there and toeing the line in Hopkinton for 26.2 miles of the most magical race on the planet, and I'm going to drag you people along the journey with me. Well, proverbially, because I'm not paying the way for you freeloaders. I plan to chronicle my journey to Boston, and you fine human beings can read along through my successes and failures.

Will I be disappointed if I don't qualify? Abso-freakin'-lutely. Will I beat myself up for it repeatedly if I can't get there? You bet your sweet ass I will. But what's the point of doing something if you're not going to step out of your comfort zone?

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