It’s been a tough year … a new job with a very rocky start and a long dark winter battling depression along with regular day-to-day ups and downs. As for my running, 2016 was my most intense training year to date, and resulted in PRs in every distance and burnout by the end of the year. With that in mind, I committed to take 2017 off marathoning. My running buddies thought I’d fall off the wagon, but I didn’t. I ran, a lot, but did whatever I wanted. I raced a 5k, a first for me, and did a relay with my husband. I got back into the gym and started lifting heavy again and putting on muscle. Toward the end of 2017, I was ready to return to marathon training. Several of my friends were going to Boston for the first time, and my last 2016 race (CIM) was in the qualifying window … perfect!
Training went exceedingly well; I returned to my coach/running dad/friend for my plan, which included three quality workouts a week. I continued lifting two times a week, and kept my mileage relatively low (topping out at 67 miles with most weeks in the 50s) to make sure I did not burn out. My new muscles from lifting boosted my speed out of my 2016 plateau, and on my hardest long run, a 20-mile Boston Simulator with hills in all the right places, I averaged 7:36 with my last mile in 6:27. I met a new training partner, Sid, aiming for a 7:05 pace at Boston like me, and he and I really made a great team during our long run workouts. When taper arrived, I felt confident, calm, and ready.
As everyone knows now, the weather reports for Boston looked grim. While some started to panic, I shrugged. Maybe it’s that I’m an Oregonian and cold rain is something I train through all the time, or maybe it’s just that I’m a veteran marathoner at this point. I put in the work and knew I was capable of my goal, but the weather is uncontrollable so it wasn’t worth worrying about. You can be prepared as all get out and shit can happen, so accept it.
Or maybe, it was that my first Boston was the highlight race of my running career and I knew that I’d be able to tap into that magic again. When I first ran Boston, in 2010, it was only my third marathon. I was a solo runner at that point, entirely self-coached, and had no idea what I was doing. I ran a 12-minute PR that day … Boston magic. Read more >>