The rollercoaster journey to get to the start line of the Boston Marathon is over. I'd been putting off cancelling flights and hotel rooms in the hope that suddenly, miraculously the USA would open up its borders and allow UK citizens to enter the country in October, but today's news finally means that any glimmer of hope is over.
I suppose I should be proud that I qualified with a fast enough time to deserve a place two years running. For someone who spent the first 39 years of her life avoiding running anything other than a bath that has to count for something. When I started running the very idea of running a marathon, 26.2 miles, seemed utterly unthinkable, and the idea of qualifying for the iconic Boston Marathon was beyond my wildest dreams.
But, at the moment, I just feel deflated.
People keep telling me that, if I qualified once, I can qualify again. I'm not so sure. To say that qualifying the first time round was hard work would be an understatement. It was considerably easier when there were lots of races happening that helped to focus my training. I'm also less than impressed with the communications from Boston Athletic Association. Up until today the message, when I have emailed BAA, has been you can transfer to the virtual 'at no additional cost' (virtual is $70, actual race is about $290) without any indication of the date that the decision needs to be made. At last, today, an email has been sent to all entrants saying that the difference in price will be refunded and that the decision needs to be made by Friday. So at least there is come clarity.
I think I have fallen a little bit out of love with the whole idea of the Boston Marathon. I know that the the friend I was travelling over to Boston with has a qualifying time (with a huge buffer) for the 2022 race, and my other running buddy will qualify easily. The chances of me qualifying within the window available are about as good as a snowball's on Venus and, while I wish them well, I am a little bit envious of them. So maybe I do still want to do Boston?
For now I have the 'consolation prize' of running London in two weeks time instead of Boston in three. TI had my head so deep in the sand about Boston being cancelled that my training, such as it was, was focussed on 11th October not 3rd October, so my taper will be slightly shorter than is ideal, and I won't do justice to my good for age place. There is also the small matter of having to run 26.2 miles the following weekend to qualify for my 'virtual Boston' medal. That was about as much fun as having root canal surgery last year.
On the plus side, there is a two day course I need to do for work which clashed with the Monday and Tuesday that my head had very kindly given me off work for the marathon. I'm sure a course, via Zoom, will be more than enough to take my mind off the missing all the fun in Boston.