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.