5 miles (2 mi easy, 2 mi @ MP, 1 mi easy)
8:59 avg pace
I’ve given a lot of thought about my goals for Sunday’s race. I also drove Matt crazy in the process.
My current PR is a 3:58 at the Steamtown Marathon last October (great race, by the way). For this marathon, I’m using the FIRST program to run a 3:50 (8:46 pace). I remember thinking I’m nuts thinking I can shave 8 minutes off. But I wanted to try and adopted the “go big or go home” mentality.
Then a funny thing happened. I ran an 18-miler at 8:40 average pace in early March. I couldn’t believe it. But, it happened again. This time during my last long run – 22 miles – before the taper. Then Boston started creeping into my head. What if I can drop my average pace from 8:40 to 8:34 and qualify? The thought made me sick to my stomach with nervousness. I had NO intention of even thinking of BQing this training cycle.
I have A LOT of motivation for trying to qualify for Boston 2012:
* I’m 34 now but will be 35 come Boston 2012, which means I can qualify with a 3:45. Hooray for getting older and having an early birthday!
* 2012 is the last year to BQ using the “old” qualifying times. Come 2013, I would need a 3:40.
* 2012 is also the last year the B.A.A. is allowing the 59-second grace period (meaning I could run a 3:45:59 and still qualify).
* The only (huge) drawback? The new
unfair registration process starts this year, meaning the fastest runners get to register first and then the people that qualify by the skin of their teeth (i.e., me) would register last, IF there are still slots available. Essentially, you could BQ and not get into the race.
Goal A: try and BQ
I’m well aware that it’s going to be mighty tough dropping that pace from 8:40 to 8:34. The weather conditions would have to be ideal and I may have to don a cape and become superwoman. This is probably a long shot, but crazier things have happened! If everything falls into place, I have to go for it. If you could BQ on determination and will alone, I would have done it a long time ago.
Goal B: 3:50
This is what I trained for and I feel confident that I can maintain a 8:46 average pace.
Goal C: anything better than a 3:58
The weather for this race is a crapshoot. It’s at the Jersey Shore so it can be quite windy at times (just ask my Mom who lives there; she complains about the wind all the time). Last year it was ungodly hot; the year before cold and rainy. Right now the forecast looks OK, maybe a little too hot. If it is hot, I’ll have to scale back on my pace and just try to PR.
Needless to say, if Goal A or Goal B is attained I will be doing lots of this…
and a whole lotta this…
Did you ever PR (or BQ) in a race unexpectedly? Any race, not just a marathon.
Good luck on Sunday!! I definitely think that if everything goes well, a BQ is within your reach! You will probably end up running faster during the race than the pace you trained at – during my last marathon, I ran about 15 seconds per mile faster than my average long run. The adrenaline will carry you along. I know the weather plays a huge factor in this, so I will be keeping my fingers crossed for an ideal race day!! Can’t wait to hear how you do!
Thanks Lauren! So far, so good with the weather!
Susan - Nurse on the Run says
I like the go big or go home idea, although I’m not going to lie…it either: A) hurts like crazy (but all marathons hurt, don’t they?) or B) fails miserably….or both. But you don’t know unless you try, and as long as you kinda know your limits and don’t go out at suicide pace, it may work!
A couple friends ran NJ a few years ago, and it was a PERFECT day…hopefully that is replicated. 🙂 Good luck lady!!
Thanks Susan! I also follow “slow and steady wins the race”…there is no way I would go out fast. I’ve learned my lesson before!
eeeeek!!! I am SO SO SO excited for you and am totally pulling for you…hoping everything just falls into place this weekend so that you can just ROCK. can’t wait to hear about it!
I have never really gotten a PR unexpectedly but in my last half marathon I cut 15 minutes off of my only other half marathon time. I wanted to PR but had no idea I could do that well…and in less than ideal conditions (hills, wind, rain, etc)…craziness. It is one of my proudest running moments thus far.
You have trained hard for this marathon–I know it will pay off regardless of the conditions 🙂
15 minutes is HUGE in less-than-ideal conditions! It’s amazing what we can do when we don’t put any pressure on ourselves. Usually that’s when you run your best race!
I hope the adrenaline of the race lets you BQ! Or a good tail wind pushes you along 🙂
I haven’t done a whole bunch of races, so getting a PR isn’t that big of a deal for me (since it’s usually just beating one other time).
I’m so excited to hear how your marathon goes! You have to promise to fist pump if you BQ since it is the Jersey Shore and all 😛
Um, that is the best idea! If I have enough energy (and Goal A or B was attained) I will try and fist pump for my race finish photo 🙂
Amanda Kenney says
I was running yesterday and thinking, “OMG, this is race week for Cams!”. It’s a little nuts how excited I am for YOUR race. But I’m sure everyone feels like we’ve been training vicariously with you through your blog. 🙂
Wishing you calm the rest of the week and hoping there is lotsa joy and beer come Sunday afternoon!
Saw pics of your trip on FB and my god that place was beautiful! And I love the escort that went with you when you ran…now that is running like a rock star!
I think if everything falls together perfectly and the weather cooperates, you can definitely BQ! Then we can both blog/whine about the unfairness of technically BQ’ing but probably not actually making it to Boston because of the new rolling registration!
You have trained hard and your long runs at pretty much MP have shown that you CAN do it.
Is there tracking? Do you have a race number yet?
Thanks Cindi. I sure hope so.
My bib# is 700 but there appears to be no tracking! Ugh…this doesn’t seem to be a super small race so this surprises me. Maybe they will update results on the website at the 5K, 10K, etc. marks?
I’ve been following your training, and I think you’ll be closer to 3:40 than 3:50!!! Good luck this weekend!
Thanks Beth! You have lots of faith in me 🙂 Good luck to you too!
Hey there! We have similar goals and I look forward to reading about how you progress and shave off the time =). I am shooting for an 8:46 pace for Grandmas marathon this june. Here is to marathoners =)
Yay Jen! I love finding people that run the same pace and have similar goals!
I absolutely, 100% know you can qualify for Boston! It’s good to have other goals but I really think you can do it! Two long runs at such a close pace is a great sign and you only need to shave 6 seconds off, the adrenaline and your determination should take care of that for you! All your runs that you’ve blogged about have seemed really strong. Have a great week, eat some good carbs and I can’t wait to hear about it! OH, and I once signed up for a 5K on Friday, went to a bachlorette party on Saturday, and PR’d in the 5K on Sunday morning by almost 2 minutes. It was sweet.
Thanks Alyssa! So….I should get drunk the night before?! That may take the edge off those nerves 😉
Hey. I came across your blog from someone else’s blog. Just wanted to wish you well at the NJ Marathon! I actually ran the relay last year (it was brutally HOT/HUMID). It’s pretty flat for the most part, I think just a little rolling hill around mile 16 if I can recall, and you start off on the boardwalk! Great crowds and people in town are awesome by hosing you down with water!
Wishing you well and hope you qualify for Boston!!!! I’ll be sure to read your race report.