Yesterday was Patriots Day, also known as Marathon Monday, also known as the best foot race / marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon.
I’ve long thought that I would someday try to qualify. Well, I made my goal public yesterday on Facebook, after seeing the oodles of inspiring posts by my fellow 2,015 miles in 2015 runners. Plus, my cousin TC and his wife JC, and my crew teammates TH from college, all ran it. I got so excited about it from following them online, and watching the race of the elite men & women! I just can’t believe how fast they are! The men’s winner ran a full marathon in just a few minutes slower than my Raleigh half marathon time. But, as they say:
So I needn’t compare my time with that of an elite (male) athlete’s. I’ll be real with you–qualifying for Boston is going to be a big challenge for me. It may take me years to do it. I will need to run an 8 minute mile pace (!!) for twenty-six point two miles. Now, I’ve gotten much faster in recent months, but my one and only marathon to date was Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon, in Nov. 2012. I ran a 4:27:53… so about an hour from where I need to be. The women’s qualifying time for my age group (18-34) is 3:35. But you don’t want to skate in with a 3:34:59, or you probably won’t get a slot in the highly coveted race of 30K+ runners. So I will shoot for a 3:29:45–an 8 minute mile, and 5 minutes below the qualifying time.
That seems pretty daunting–but that’s what a marathon is. Part of the reason I ran one in 2012 was to “go big or go home” and just prove to myself I could. It wasn’t that bad. Finishing it was one of my proudest moments… and an awe-inspiring experience. I felt such amazement at what my body is capable of. It’s not like I woke up one day and said “I’m going to go run 26 miles.” It was the culmination of months & months of training. Thus, I’m going to break my marathon goal down into little mini-goals:
- Run a 5K at 8 min/mile or faster (done in FEB 2015)
- Run a 10K at 8 min/mile or faster (very close in MAR 2015–ran an 8:07 pace)
- Run a half marathon at 8 min/mile or faster = 1:44:53, or dropping 12 min off my PR
- Run a 15 miler at 8 min/mile = 2 hours
- Run a 20 miler at 8 min/mile = 2:40
- Run a marathon at 8 min/mile = 3:29:45, at a Boston qualifying race
My friend TH gave me this handy link of marathon races, with great info like which races are upcoming, “flat” “fast” “Boston qualifier” and other nice tidbits (here’s a screen shot):
Now, I realize that running an 8 min/mile pace for 13.1 miles is a lot different than doing it for twice that distance. But what I’m saying is, I’m not going to attempt the marathon distance until I’m pretty confident I can get in the ballpark of my goal. So I will want to get to my half marathon goal before ever attempting the full marathon at goal pace. Like I said, it could take me years… but it’s something to work towards. And I’d LOVE to go back to Boston again! Here’s the last time I was in Boston, nearly a decade ago in 2006, as a senior with the Army Crew team:
If you can’t tell, we had a blast. I look forward to returning someday. Such a wonderful, historic city.
I’m hoping I can be consistent–consistent in my running, and with my blogging as well. Someday, I want to link back to this post, from 4/21/15, and say: I did it.