I know I have alluded to my goals for this weekend’s Long Beach Marathon, but I am not sure if I have spelled them out. Honestly, I thought that if I admitted my goal I would be that much more disappointed if it doesn’t happen. But as I get closer, I realize that knowing that I have people pulling for me will be a big boost out there on the course.
I am going to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
There, I said it. I can’t take it back. It is out here in cyberspace.
Long Beach is the perfect timed race for me. It sits right in the “Perfect Storm” for me for qualifying for Boston. October of this year is the only time where I can qualify for two different Boston Marathons in two different age divisions*. I will be 44 years old for 2011 and will turn 45 two days before the 2012 race. Boston uses qualifying times from races eighteen months back. 2012 Boston Marathon will take times from races as early as late-September 2010** which includes Sunday’s race. The Boston Marathon sold out in November last year, so this is it for 2011.
My number one goal is to run this marathon under 3:50.*** That will qualify me to run the Boston Marathon on April 18, 2011. My plan is to run right under 8:45 per mile. My pace for my last marathon was 9:03. Eighteen seconds per mile is achievable, but not easy.
My second goal is to PR. My current PR is 3:57:17. That will qualify me to run the Boston Marathon in April, 2012. In fact, anything under 4:00 would qualify for Boston 2012.
I am looking forward to really enjoying myself on Sunday. A marathon is a tough thing to do when you aren’t having fun. I want to keep a smile on my face, and take in the great course. The weather is predicted to be perfect running weather and I can’t wait.
I am running the marathon with my friend, Marci. She and I are really well matched in terms of our pace. Most of the time I feel like she is faster than I am. However, we ran a 10K in July together and I had a bit more kick at the end. We push each other well. I am really looking forward to having the company and sharing this with her. I do need to focus on running my own race. In the past, I have let someone else dictate my pace and I regretted it as I struggled through the last half of the race. Luckily, Marci and I have a great understanding that we are both there to run our own race. I hope that we can run the entire thing together.
I know a ton of people who are running the half. I have written two training plans for friends running their first half marathons and I am super excited for them. I am looking forward to celebrating after the race with my friend Stacey who has run many of my midweek runs with me the past few months. I also know quite a few bloggers who will be running the half. AKA Alice, Aron, Luis, Glenn are all bloggers who will be there (I hope I am not missing someone). There are several out-and-back sections of the course and I am hoping to see some friends along the way.
I am trying to stay positive and ignore all the taper demons screaming at me. I am going to trust my training and stick to my plan.
*Obviously, this will also happen in five years, but this year is my first opportunity.
**This year, they will accept times run on or after September 20, 2009
***Qualifying time for Women 40-44 is 3:50:59; Women 45-49 is 4:00:59