Yeah, about that Boston thing…

Three full days have passed since I qualified for Boston.  And finally, I have a chance to relax and think about it.

This week has been completely hectic for me, so hectic that I find myself forgetting about the race for a while, then remembering it all the sudden and replaying in my mind those last few miles and the moments immediately after I did it.

But there’s one thing marring the excitement I’m feeling.  It’s something that I realized a few weeks ago but would not allow myself to think about.  It simply had no place in my head while I was so focused on this goal.  Let me put it in simple terms:

Boston Marathon date: April 19, 2010.

Expected arrival date of Baby Frazier: April 19, 2010.

There you have it.

You can see why I’ve refused to focus on this until now.  A few of you hinted at it in the comments, and I’m sure others have thought about it.  Now that I’ve qualified, I’m prepared to deal with it.

It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.  Boston 2010 will be tough to do, especially if my goal is to remain married through 2011. 🙂 But thankfully, I can defer entry to Boston for one year, so we’ll be able to celebrate our baby’s first birthday in style.

The real reason it doesn’t bother me, though, is this.  This was never about running Boston. Ok, maybe when I first conceived of this goal it was.  But in the years since then, the actual Boston Marathon has been an afterthought.  It was the challenge of qualifying, the goal of doing something that in many ways I perceived to be impossible for someone like myself, that I became close to obsessed with making it happen.

Don’t get me wrong — the Boston Marathon will be incredible.  But for me, it has always seemed like the reward, not the goal.  The goal was qualifying.  The privilege of running the greatest marathon in the world is just the payoff.

Still, it has affected me a little more than I thought it would.  Now that I’ve done it, I want that reward.  Somehow, I can imagine what it would be like to run it so much more vividly now.  It’s not some far-off dream anymore.  I’ve earned it and I want it, more than I anticipated.

But there’s no chance I’d risk missing the birth of my first child. (The second, now that might be a different story…)  And even if the due date were to get moved to, say, a week before the marathon and I had time to train and make plans, I’m still not sure I’d want to leave Erin and the new baby at home while I went and ran.  I just don’t think my heart would be in it; that’s not the reward I’ve envisioned.

I’m still so completely excited that I qualified.  I believe that accomplishing something so great after being so sure during miles 18-22 that I couldn’t do it has changed me in a profound way.  That feeling, I’ve discovered, is like a drug — I need to find a way to get it again.

And thinking about how to do that is what I’m doing tonight.  Thinking about what challenge to take on next.  Something that, if I didn’t know better, would seem impossible.

Only now, I do know better.



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  1. There are definitely priorities in life and it’s great to step back like this and see what’s truely worth it and what’s not. Certain things are just unmissable and I think you’re siding with the right one here
    .-= Evan Thomas´s last blog ..Build Me Up Butternut =-.

  2. But Matt…If my grandchild were to be born a week or two early, the campervan (your crew’s vehicle) augmented with a baby car seat would take Erin and newborn right on up to Boston with you. Right? ;>)

  3. I like Tim’s plan:) Plus, the campervan would be followed by a Baldwin-mobile…so the baby would be totally fine…but…if that remains unreasonable, we are ready to celebrate our niece/nephew’s 1st birthday, along w/ your race and Uncle Joel’s birthday, in Beantown…April 2010 and 2011 are shaping up to be pretty exciting!!!

  4. oh man…..I can’t even pretend to know what kind of suggestion to give you. Tough stuff! What are the wife’s thoughts?
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Pumpkin Muffins & Chocolate Chocolate Cookies =-.

  5. First of all, congrats! I recently came across your site and am so glad I did. It has been so inspiring, and helpful, to me. I am running my first marathon on Saturday. Thanks so much, and good luck to you with your next challenge.

  6. I agree that sometimes it isn’t really about the actual goal but the journey to get there. It sounds corny, but I get you on that! And Tim’s idea is great!
    .-= Whitney @ Lettuce Love´s last blog ..Ross and Rachel Salad =-.

  7. NFL player goes vegan!!!

  8. Congratulations, either way! It’s awesome to have that qualifier under your belt. Nothing wrong with putting the actual trip off for a year, especially since you should have a very good reason for staying close to home around then…(congratulations there, too!)
    .-= Blaine Moore´s last blog ..Portland’s 2nd Annual Reiche International 5K is on October 18th =-.

  9. You qualified, and did amazing! your an inspiration no matter what! Your first born is important 🙂
    .-= Lizzy´s last blog ..cho cho CHOBANI! =-.

  10. Congrats anyway. It’s pretty normal that you want your reward but we all have priorities and I’m sure you’ll be extremely happy when your baby comes into the world. You won’t even care about the race. 😉
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..Mom’s BDay! =-.

  11. Matt, congratulations on the BQ! I’ve been away for a while and just read your race recap. You are amazing! Maybe Baby Frazier also wants to run Boston? ;P
    .-= Mia {runs and rests}´s last blog ..Thank You =-.

  12. It’s great that you can defer your entry! I loved the race pictures and videos!
    .-= Hanlie´s last blog ..A time for every purpose under heaven =-.

  13. No stinkin’ way! I can’t believe I called that in my last comment! I was trying to do some loose pregnancy math trying remember back when you posted and said she was 6 weeks along – I guessed she was probably due in May! Is her EDD really 4/19?? OMG.

    Well, you’re already a good daddy and husband for delaying your race, I would expect nothing less! The birth of your child will be way better than any marathon, that’s for sure. At least for you it will, it will feel like a marathon for Erin!
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..School Daze =-.

  14. Greeting Baby Frazier is definitely worth the deferral. Perhaps if the little one decides to appear early, you can all watch the marathon on TV or on live-streaming in anticipation of where you’ll all be the next year 🙂
    .-= kristen´s last blog ..chickens in sweaters =-.

  15. just defer. you can aim for like, a sub-3 in the extra year of preparation! 🙂

    i deferred myself. i qualified in nov ’08 and am (for now) planning on running 2010. like you, qualifying was the real thrill for me. once i qualified, i wasn’t really in a rush to actually run it. kinda funny, i think.

    i don’t see the rush in running. it’ll be there in 2011, and your fan club will be +1. you will never win father of the year if you are mia at the hospital in 2010 😉
    .-= lindsay´s last blog ..but i have boobs! =-.

  16. ha, I like Tim’s plan 🙂

    congrats on BOTH again – seriously, qualifying is SUCH an accomplishment…finishing that race in THAT time is amazing, whether you do Boston in 2010 or 2011. Baby NMA will be proud either way 🙂
    .-= brandi´s last blog ..Project Feed Me =-.

  17. You are already a good dad!!!

    Adventures in Tri-ing
    .-= Courtney´s last blog ..Perfect Autumn Dinner =-.

  18. Laura says:

    yknow, it’s convenient you posted this…Chris (the other half) and i were talking about running, 5k vs half marathon vs marathon, and other related topics. he asked me why, exactly, you did this, and i could only say “because he challenged himself.” i linked him and he gets it, now.

  19. Oh that is too funny! Funny how life is like that. I would certainly defer for a year since that is an option and enjoy the journey of fatherhood!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Roasted Vegetable Lasagna-Make this! =-.

  20. First…Congrats on qualifying for Boston…Awesome! We’ll miss you here in Boston in April but welcoming your new addition to the family is way more important. The Marathon will ALWAYS be here waiting for you!

  21. i’m pretty sure that it works out. and if it doesn’t you can spend the rest of your life telling everyone the story of why you missed the boston marathon 2010 ;). (like some old granpa who tells the same story over and over again on christmas)

    btw: thanks a lot for your health blog helper page! it helped me soooo much! i would have been totally lost without you!
    .-= Karin´s last blog ..Welcome to Give Me Bananas! =-.

  22. Hey Matt-Love reading your blog! Congrats on Boston! Trust me, you have a HUGE challenge headed your way before you know it….fatherhood!! 😉 Best one you’ll ever have, for sure!

  23. No way! That is crazy town. How does Erin feel about the whole thing?
    I feel like it’s a great reason to take some time off, put all the effort you have into the birth and first few weeks/months of your mini runner’s life and get back on the Boston train late next year. But that’s just me.
    .-= Angharad (Eating for England)´s last blog ..This week I have been mostly… =-.

  24. Baby Frazier?! Damn, I missed a LOT while I was in Europe! CONGRATS! You must be on top of the world, and then some. Great job too (again) on the BQ! I can’t even imagine the elation you felt.
    .-= Amber Shea (Almost Vegan)´s last blog ..Almost vegan in France I =-.

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