Negative Splits

This past Sunday, I lined up to compete in a 30k (18.6 miles) race. It went far better than my Memphis race went on December 4th. I was hoping for a top 3 finish within my division, but that did not happen. I took 10th out of 95 racers in my division, and 57th out of 1,115 racers overall; in truth, not too bad. I am more happy with my pace. I ran 7 minute pace for the first 9.3 miles, and a 6 minute and 58 second pace for the latter 9.3 miles. I will take a negative split. I have really stepped up my training, as noted by my training blog. Here are a few pictures from the race.

Runner’s World Magazine sent out a request asking competitive runners to address why training for Boston and racing in the Boston Marathon is so important. According to RW:

The Boston Qualifier. These days it seems everyone is talking about their “BQ” – or at least their quest to get one. What’s going on? When did getting a BQ become so critical to a runner’s life? And why?We’re is trying to find out. For a story in an upcoming issue of Runner’s World, we’re talking to runners who crave a BQ – and exploring what’s fueling this sudden urge to “get to Boston.”

We’d like to interview people who, within the past two or three years, have either:

a. Qualified for the Boston Marathon for the first time; or

b. Launched a concerted effort to qualify for the first time, whether or not they have actually hit the magic mark. (We’re especially interested in folks who have come “oh-so-close” but not yet nailed a BQ.)

So, tell us: What extraordinary measures have you taken in order to get a BQ? (e.g., “I go to the gym at 3:30 in the morning.”) Why is qualifying for Boston so important to you? (“My best friend has his, I need mine.”) And if you haven’t been able to qualify for Boston so far, what are you doing about it? (“Reading every issue of RW ever printed.”)

I did submit a response to their request. I guess I will see if they use it. I wrote:

In high school, I was a 230-pound All Conference running back; I went to a small division II College and considered playing football, but found greater joy in running, the outdoors such as mountain climbing, and my academics. I am currently a history teacher at Houston Christian High School, a co-educational day school in Texas. Being an African American kid growing up in a community that only valued mainstream sports, I had little knowledge about distance running. If you grew up in my neighborhood, people wanted to know how fast you were on the track. In college, I was exposed to greater diversity, though I did attend a private high school on a need scholarship.

One interest of my more affluent peers was that of running. Thus, I wanted to run. After overcoming a number of injuries and a brain tumor in 2008, I wanted to be competitive in running again…not just finish a race. To help keep me motivated, I sought Boston. Why? Because it is the one race every American knows — regardless of race or socioeconomic status. In March 2009 after getting back in shape and dropping weight, I ran a 3:42 marathon. 7 months later, I ran a 3:14 time, which was my BQ. And I am only getting faster. Why? Because Boston represent what is great about the sport of distant running; it has history; it is pure; it sees no class or race; it is Boston. If you work hard, as I have done my entire life to overcome matters of health and socioeconomic matters, you can achieve your goal. And if you do not, at least you have a goal. That goal for me has always been Boston. Thanks to Boston, I am a 155-pound Boston Qualifier who recently ran a 2:10 30k. My next goal: breaking 3 hours at Boston and becoming a regional class elite runner.

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5 thoughts on “Negative Splits

  1. Carson, I can’t believe this is you. Not just the svelte physique but you’ve got the runner’s form. And those times! You’re making me think that I should get into this. I once ran a 10k in an hour. How sad!

    • Thanks man. I have been putting in a great deal of miles this past year to get better; I really upped my expectations this past summer in hopes of being a highly competitive runner, as I once used to be. We shall see. Long way to go. 10K in an hour is actually not too bad.

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