I’ve come to an important decision – this is going to be the year I qualify for Boston! This wasn’t in my original list of 2014 Running & Other Fitness Goals, but when I realized that I only have to drop 3 minutes, not 8, that changed things. See, I had in my head that I had to get a 3:35 to qualify, as this is the qualifying time for women age 30-34. And I’ll be turning 34 this June. However, a friend pointed out that the time I need to qualify is actually based on the age group I’ll be in the day I’d run the race. Given that I won’t qualify in time to get in to the 2015 race, my target is the 2016 race, at which time I’ll be in the 35-39 age group. Which needs I need a 3:40. Game changer! A three minute drop seems very attainable, an eight minute drop did not.
My original goal for this year was to PR in a half, but my heart’s just not in it. And training to PR in any race just isn’t going to happen if my heart’s not in in. The amount of time and both physical and mental energy required is high. And for me, right now, qualifying for Boston is a stronger motivator than just getting a PR. Also, running a fall marathon will ensure I’m in good shape for the KT82 3-person relay I’m doing in August.
So what race are I going to try to qualify at? Well, after not getting into New York this year I started researching fast and flat marathons. One of which is right here in St. Louis. I’ve traditionally preferred destination races that are BIG marathons, but for a variety of reasons I’ve decided I’m going to go with the local race this time. It’s called the MO Cowbell Marathon.
I did the half a couple years ago and it was a lot of fun. The downside to the marathon is the number of entrants isn’t as large as the half marathon, so I have a feeling the second half will be a little rough. I will likely think about things like bringing music (something I’ve never done in a race), and making sure my family/friends come out to cheer on the second half of the course to give me a boost of motivation.
I haven’t yet decided which training plan I’m going to use this time around. I need to figure that out this week, as the race is only 19 weeks out. I’d like to follow HMM again, but with some slight adjustments. Over the last few months I’ve trained with a Crossfit trainer and got a good strength training routine in place, and I’m hesitant to stop that completely, but as those of you who have done HMM know it’s just really hard to fit serious strength training in on that plan. If anyone has any tips for how to successfully do this I would love to hear them!
I’m also debating whether to train for a 3:40 (what I need) or train around a goal pace that is slightly below that (such as that required to hit a 3:35).
Question for those who have qualified for Boston – did you train to hit that exact time you needed, or a time below it to be safe? Any other tips for me?
- Welcome to my blog! I’m Gina, an avid runner living in St. Louis, MO. Check out my blog for tips on running, swimming, race recaps, book reviews, and recipes! Follow me on twitter at @ginabhawalkar, or feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!
March 9th - Quivering Quads Trail Half Marathon
June 1st - Steamboat Springs Half Marathon
August 30th - KT82 Trail Relay Race