In 2012 I accomplished my biggest running goal so far - a completed marathon. I went on to complete two more marathons and astounded myself with a PR of 3:47 in the Salt Lake City marathon.
It was and is an amazing feeling, especially since over five years ago I weighed over 200 pounds and couldn’t run a step. But the 3:47 PR made me think that maybe I could do better.
Like Boston better.
Like many runners, the Boston Marathon is my version of the Olympics. Registration requires a qualifying marathon time in a certified race and that makes what would have been an amazing race even more desirable. I don’t have a chance of winning ANY marathon outright (maybe in my age bracket), but qualifying for Boston means that I might be good. It’s as close to the Olympics as I’m going to get.
I am hoping to qualify in the Windermere Marathon on May 19th in Spokane, Washington. I chose this race for a few reasons – some logical and some purely sentimental. Windermere is supposed to be a fairly flat race, and therefore an excellent candidate for a qualifier. An added bonus is that the race director, Tasha who blogs at Healthy Diva, is a good friend. Having the support of someone that I adore and totally look up to will be awesome! Spokane is also where I was born – so I’m pretty sure that there has to be some sort of cosmic forces in place that will help me to qualify in my birthplace (I didn’t say all of my reasons were rational). Plus my favorite uncle will be there cheering me on. He’s overcome amazing odds in his life, and I MUST not disapoint him.
To qualify, I need to run a 3:35 (to see your qulifying time, check out the Qualifying Standards). Only 12 minutes off of my current PR. With all of the other physical and psychological forces in my favor at Windermere, qualifying should be easy, right?
12 minutes total means a little less than 30 seconds faster per mile. That means 8 minute miles instead of the 8:30 minute miles I ran in Salt Lake City. For a self-titled “slow” runner, that’s pretty fast. It’s going to take a lot of running, focused training, and a huge focus on recovery. In the next few weeks, I’ll go into more specifics regarding my training plan, racing weight, and recovery methods – but here are the basics:
1. I’ll be following a 19 week training plan (longer than the typical 16-week plan because I will build in a mid-plan recovery week).
2. Each week (my running weeks begin on Saturday) will follow the same basic plan:
Saturday: Long run
Sunday: Recovery Run
Tuesday: Speedwork, evening easy run
Wednesday: Recovery Day (Yoga)
Thursday: Hill training, evening easy run
Friday: Tempo Run (moderate intensity)
3. Every other long run, I will increase my mileage by two miles and follow those long runs with a deep-tissue massage.
4. Ice baths after every high-intensity run (speed and hill) and long runs.
To establish a baseline and measure my progress, I will run the Yass0 800′s marathon time predictor workout (I’ll be back to talk about this one soon!) four times in my training cycle weeks 1, 7, 13, and 17. I plan to run, work, school, sleep, eat and repeat!
The idea of qualifying for Boston is irresistable – and it’s so important to me that it’s literally my only real “resolution” in 2013.
I can’t wait.
If you’ve qualified for Boston, what tips do you have for me? If you haven’t, do you want to?