Sunday, August 16, 2009

I qualified for Boston!

Well, maybe not really.
Problem is, I did not run my marathon on a "certified" course. And, I wasn't actually running a marathon at the time. I'm just trying to prepare myself for the upcoming Superior Trail Run 50 (52.1 miles Larry - you are a sick man) on September 12.
The plan was to do back-to-back long runs. Preferably a 20 miler in the morning at about 9:00/mile pace. Then for my evening run, I would run another 15 miles, a bit slower with walk breaks. The back-to-back long runs are to help acclimate my body to the rigors of running while tired (the majority of the time in an ultramarathon).
I started out the morning run at a nice 8:40 pace. It was warm and humid - kind of like the start of Grandma's marathon. Soon my miles were getting faster. By the time I got to mile 12, I was averaging 8:00/mile. Stuck with this for a while, sometimes going sub-8:00. After about 15 miles, I started calculating numbers. I was having memories of the first time I qualified for Boston.
Now, it seems I take that for granted.
I don't. I am thankful for the talents and skills God has given me.
At that time, I decided to extend my run to the marathon distance (according to my Garmin) which would be 26.22 miles (26.21875 miles to be exact, but Garmins only read to the 0.01 mile).
A few more good miles around 7:50 had me thinking that if I pushed it a bit, I could could run a Boston qualifier effort. At age 48, I need to run 3:30 or faster to qualify for Boston. (Actually it is 3:30:59).
So, I needed to start running faster to hit my new goal. I was watching my overall average pace
at 8:14 - I needed to bring it down to 8:00. Kept pushing a little faster every mile as I got closer to 26.22 miles. Finally got there.
A Boston qualifer effort, but who cares?
Actually, I do.
Because I set up a way to challenge myself and had to work to get it.

Part 2:
Early evening, it was time for Part 2 of my training day.
I took off running, hoping to coax my weary legs into moving again.
Kind of the same thing as the morning run, start out slow and ease into it.
After about 5 miles, I was close to 8:00/mile pace again.
Here we go - another challenge of myself. Let's see if I can average 8:00/mile for another long run today. I kept it going, but was feeling pretty fatigued. (That's how it's supposed to be, dummy!)
Hit the watch when I reached 15.00 miles.
That's just under 8:00/mile pace.
Now, I'm a bit tired. Ice bath and time to take it easy.
Oh yea - the 4 chocolate chip cookies and cold glass of milk after the run really hit the spot.


JojaJogger said...

Great job. Now you need to find yourself some monster hills.

SteveQ said...

The Moose Mountain Marathon has a couple of hills - and I think it's a Boston qualifier, though no one's ever qualified there.

Jessica said...

Wow, is about all I can say. Great effort!