I did my first Ironman in 2010 and trained relatively hard for it. As a result most of my PRs were set then. After that, while I kept racing, my training was minimal and very chaotic.
Last year I joined Durham Region Triathlon Club and I got the extra motivation that I was looking for and started to have a more consistent training. A couple of months later I got my first important PR in a while, a 38:29 min swim at Half Ironman Muskoka, which by itself it's just an average swim time, but for me it was a huge improvement considering that the year before it took me 44:23 min to swim the same course. The next important PR was my 3:13:39 min at Hamilton Marathon, beating my 2010 marathon PR by 5 minutes. This finish time met the Boston Marathon qualifying time for me, but my chances were 50/50, considering that I had only a 1:21 minutes under my required qualifying time. Qualifying to Boston was my goal since 2010, which I slowly gave up in the meantime, as my marathon time went from bad to worse.
When I saw that I had a real chance to BQ (Boston Qualify in running parlance) I've decided to make it my number one goal and try to finish a marathon in under 3:10, which will give me priority registration for Boston and pretty much much guarantee that I'll qualify. My next decision was to join the Slowtwitch's 100 runs in 100 days challenge. I started it on December 15th and in the first 2 weeks I completed only 4 short runs. That's because I got drunk almost every other day, as December had just too many occasions to celebrate. You can train with a hangover only so many times. Drinking started to interfere, not only with my training, but with my personal life as well. On January 9th I've decided to give up drinking, for at least a year. It was one of the best and the hardest decision that I've made. Giving up drinking helped, a lot. In February I managed to do 28 runs in 28 days, which was a record by itself.
My running improved a lot and in March I went for the first time under 2:15h at Around the Bay 30K Road Race, finishing in 2:13:56 and getting the silver medal (anyone who finishes under 2:15 gets the silver medal).
My next PR was at Mississauga Half Marathon. I managed to finish in 1:27:39, which was a huge PR for me. This was my first half marathon where I did not stop at all at the aid/water stations. I have difficulties drinking while running and I usually have to pretty much walk in order to drink water in races. It was a good decision and I believe that my lack of hydration did not slow me down.
Due to the weather, most marathons on the East Coast are held in May and October-November. So, I was reading a lot about what would be the best marathon in the area to BQ and my final choice was between Bob Pots, in York, Pennsylvania and Ottawa. In the end I've decided to go for Bob Pots and also visit Washington DC, which is only an hour drive from York.
It was a good decision and I had the perfect marathon, finishing in 3:09:59, which will allow me to register in advance for Boston and it pretty much guarantees that I get a spot.
Bob Pots is a beautiful running race, which I highly recommend. It's small, capped at 500 participants and very well organized. This race is a no-frills race done right. It is fast and flat. You're running along a rail road line, with beautiful scenery.
The registration for Boston Marathon is going to be held in September and I am looking forward to, hopefully, getting that much coveted spot.