Boston!

It won’t be long now.  Awesome runners from all over the world will be descending on the city of Boston, Massachusetts.  The cream of the crop.  I’m assuming that all of these runners are suffering from taper madness as the big day approaches.  Man, I wish I was joining them!

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Getting into Boston is no small feat.  The standards for qualifying are strict, and it really takes a lot of effort to pull off a qualifying time.  I am currently shooting for a 3:25:00 marathon just to call myself a qualifier.  My age group for the 2016 qualifying period is 45-49.  Yes, I will be 46 years old when Boston 2016 takes place.

My attempt to get into this years Boston Marathon was foiled when at 15 miles into the Big Cottonwood Marathon, I ran out of gas.  I ran out of gas in a big way.  I finished that marathon in 3:41:59, sixteen minutes too slow qualify.  My personal record in a marathon is a 3:32:24 at the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon.  That race was only seven minutes off the pace I need to get in.

I am getting closer.  Closer to Boston.  I must get to the starting line though, before I can get to the storied finish line.

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Here is my plan, and my goal race for this year.

My 2015 has started out pretty well.  I’ve been getting in some really quality runs.  I haven’t burned myself out.  So far this year I’ve run two marathons and one half.  These races were all familiar to me, and races that I could work on mental fitness, and tweak my breathing and pace.  Progress!  I feel good about how my races have gone this far.  I have another Half coming up, and then a hilly marathon in May.  Both of these races will again be tests of fortitude, but will not be attempts to qualify for Boston.

My BQ goal race is in Denver this July.  So, after my marathon the first weekend in May, my training will turn to downhill work, and pacing.  I will be pushing myself more than I have been so far this year.  Getting into Boston is important to me, but not everything.  I need to push myself harder during training than usual though if I plan to have a successful attempt.  No pain, no gain.  Luckily I can say that my running has gotten me close to Boston, but in order to get there, I need to find a way to ramp up my pace.  I need to break another barrier in my running, and that is just not easy.

Boston has only been a dream of mine for about two years now.  I just wasn’t sure that I could run well enough to be among the elite athletes that run that race early on in my marathon career.  Now that I have run 18 marathons, I am convinced that I have what it takes to get there.  Lofty dreams require work and dedication.  I have to find the inner spirit to push through and break that 3:25:00 barrier.  I believe, I believe!

Now comes the harder work to get there!  Boston!  One day you will be mine, and I’m gunning for April 18, 2016.

Are you gunning for, or have been to The Boston Marathon?  Any tips you can provide to push through that final wall to qualify?

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15 thoughts on “Boston!

  1. Marathons are so crazy. So many things have to come together on that ONE day to be able to run your best race. Just a note here, but you’re running A LOT of marathons. Have you thought about resting then having one complete training cycle for your BQ race? I’ve heard and seen it a lot that it’s very difficult for your body to be able to run so many marathons with a very fast one in there. I definitely think you have the ability to get there 🙂

    • You bring up a very valid point. I know I run a lot of races in general, and that may be my downfall. I just can’t help it! I love racing too much. If my attempt this Summer doesn’t pan out, I will be doing exactly what you’re suggesting next year. I already have my thoughts on going for a BQ at the All American next year, leaving me the rest of November after the NYC Marathon, all of December, January and February to train for it. I appreciate the advice, as it certainly comes from one who has been to Boston, you beast!

    • About 600 finishers at All American. It’s a great race. Course was flatter overall this year, too. You really need to look into Ambassadorships. They can really keep the costs down, as long as you concentrate on getting the word out about racing via blogging, twitter, FB, social runs, etc. I’ve only paid for entry in one race so far this year. It could be very beneficial for you, and you would make a great race ambassador. I’m picky when it comes to events, and won’t run them more than once if I don’t like the course, support, etc.

  2. I recommend focusing on shorter races for a little while. During the spring try to only stick to the 5k and 10k. Aim for a fast time in the 5k and 10k. Once you hit that goal take a 12-18 week training plan (starting around June for October Marathon, July for November Marathon). Incorporate a weekly workout and/or tempo run in that training plan. Also hit a half marathon at about the 2/3 point in the training plan. When race day comes start out slow. From your blogs I see that normally you get out fast in your marathons. Try taking it out slower than your goal time by about 2-4 minutes in the first half.

  3. You got this! I’m shooting for a BQ as part of my goals for the Blue Ridge Marathon, (goal time around 2:45-2:50, BQ for me 3:05). So I might see you there in 2016! 🙂

  4. You can do it! It is crazy in marathons how we really only get max two shots of an excellent time per year. I firmly believe, though, that if you train hard enough and want it bad enough, you’ll get there. I don’t know if I’ll be there again next year, but I sure hope you are!! 🙂

  5. Marathons are a challenge in themselves, not adding a specific time goal to meet. Be smart about how you approach it. You’ll get there, with the dedication and effort you put in. Good Luck!

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