Sunday, March 24, 2013

Boston Training

So how's the training going?  It's a question I'll get asked every now and again by friends or family.  It pops up on the message boards every so often as well.  The short answer is: Good, no injuries.  It may sound like I've been expecting to get injured, but that's not really the case.  Ever since the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon back in November of 2011, I've never really been at 100% in the running phase of my training.  So to say I've been putting in the mileage and I haven't gotten any injuries or ailments is a minor accomplishment.

The 117th Boston Marathon is three weeks away.   On Monday morning April 15th, in the first wave, back in Corral 6 is where I will start my journey.  Number 5989 if you want to keep score at home.  That means I just sneaked into the very back of corral 6.  If my time was just a little slower (11 spots back) I would be in the next corral.  I'm not really sure how much that means anyway.  I'm just glad I'm in the first wave.  It really wasn't close as I believe the cutoff for the second wave was 3:18 (I BQ'd with a 3:08).

Back to the training.  I just finished up 5 straight weeks of 50+ miles.  Something I probably haven't done in almost 10 years.  I estimate that amount of time because I really haven't run a lot since my second son was born.  I logged 256 miles in 5 weeks, averaging a 7:19 pace for the entire 256 miles.  I am roughly following the Pfitzinger 18/55 plan.  Which means it is an 18 week plan peaking out at a 55 mile week.  So for the first 15 weeks of the plan, I have logged 658 miles or almost 44 miles a week average.

Obviously with this amount of miles, I'm not going to be running a sub 3 or anything.  But I do feel good enough to alter my initial goal time of 3:30.  First and foremost for Boston, I want to enjoy the experience.  I do not believe I will ever do it again, so I really want to soak it all in.  I do not want to be 60 years old wishing I had done Boston.  That being said, I do not want the last 10K to be a death march as my first two marathons were.

I've had some good training.  Especially last weekend, as on Saturday I did a 10 miler with 7 miles at a 6:15 average pace.  I then followed that up on Sunday morning with a 17 miler that I averaged 7:06's.  Not to mention that I did a 24 mile interval bike ride Friday night, then rode 40M Saturday afternoon and another 40M Sunday afternoon.

In light of the fitness that I believe I'm at, I've decided to bump down my goal from 8:00 min miles (3:30) to about a 7:38 min mile or a 3:20 marathon.  I really believe that I can stick to that pace.  The key is not starting out too fast.  From what I've read, the first 3 miles of Boston tend to be fast.  This, I'm sure, is due to everyone being excited about the start and all the adrenaline kicking in, but also because the first 3 miles are downhill.  Furthermore, everyone around me at the start will have a qualifying time of 3:10 or better.  Most likely they will all be running faster than me.  So I really need to make sure that by mile 3 or 5, that I have settled into my own pace.

Boston finally feels real!  As I mentioned, I qualified 15 months ago.  It seemed so far off for so long.  It's almost hard to believe the bulk of the training is behind me.  This week I will only do 44 miles and then the final 2 weeks will be taper weeks.  It's almost here!