I debated about sharing my running notebook where all of these plans are sketched down, starred, circled and highlighted. As my calendar post perhaps belied, I am someone who requires a plan to function. However, since this week is anything but normal and I still don’t know my travel plans to Boston, I’m going to keep my journal to myself. I will, however, share my plan.
After reviewing my training log (4 times), the Boston course (at least 10 times) and using some of the various calculators available, I think I’m going to aim for a 3:08, plus or minus a couple of minutes. Although this is a 7:10 pace, this certainly isn’t an even pace course. Go out too hard, and you’ll understand first hand what a meat grinder feels like. Go out too easy, well, I’m not sure that’s really a possibility.
My personal plan, in a nutshell, is to go out easy through 16, then grind it in. I’m a strong hill runner and my first marathon was very similar in profile to Boston (http://cityofoaksmarathon.com/course_info/), although without the constant hammering downhill of the first 6 of Boston. I remember this race much more fondly than the pancake flat Las Vegas, where I honestly thought another step at mile 21 was an impossibility.
I assume that my first mile will be slow due to a crowded start. Should this not happen, I am still prepared and planning to run no faster than a 7:20 mile for Miles 1 and 2. Through 6, I am going to be chanting patience in my head (and possibly writing it on my arm). This excludes mile 3, where a steep downhill may naturally pull me a little under. Then the plan is to cruise through to 16, somewhere around 7:05, plus or minus a second. 16 is where I swap mantras for grit. Climbing hills takes more time per mile, and I’m not expecting a negative split on this course, so I think a 7:19 is reasonable through the Hills. From mile 21 in, I want to focus on running strong, with the best form I can manage. If the going gets tough, I’m doing like Kara Goucher and counting to 100 over and over again.
16 miles is a manageable bite for me at this point. It’s probably one of my favorite long run distances; long enough to feel like a workout, not long enough to hurt. If I can get through 16 with patience and legs that feel good, then I’m ready to fight like hell for the next 10.
Splits? (Again, pretty flexible, at least on the slower side. I am going to work very hard not to turn in anything under 7 minutes)
Through the half no faster than 1:34:30
16 around 1:54
20 around 2:30.