Disney Fantasy Maiden Voyage

Disney Fantasy Maiden Voyage
Through the porthole on the Fantasy with the Disney Magic in the background

Friday, April 12, 2013

Three weeks and counting...

... until the Flying Pig Marathon, where I will be making my first attempt at qualifying for Boston.

Last weekend, I ran the GO! St. Louis half marathon as a training run - it fell on my 12 mile week, so what was another mile, right?  And it's always nice to have a supported run that ends with free beer and a finisher's medal.  The run went exactly as I wanted it to.  My goal was to finish between 1:45 (3:30 marathon pace) and 1:50 (3:40 marathon pace) - my time... 1:46:47, which would be good for a sub-3:35.  And with the effort I was using, I felt like I could have held that pace for much longer.  I definitely wasn't going at full effort. 

Being that The Pig is known for the monster hill (gaining ~350 feet over the course of 3 miles), Go! St. Louis actually gave me confidence that I can conquer it with no trouble.  I managed to get up Holy Hill last weekend holding steady at my average pace.  Holy Hill is a roughly 2 mile very hilly section of St. Louis, heading west on Olive - my splits were 8:08 and 8:09, and done without significant increased effort.  SUCCESS!!!

Tomorrow is my 20 mile training run.  For the last week, we have had temps with lows in the 50s & 60s and highs in the mid to upper 70s - a gorgeous spring.  Wednesday night, nasty storms rolled through and brought winter back - tonight's low is a whopping 35-degrees. BRRRRR!!  I thought we were done running in the frigid weather.  Guess not.  I'm meeting my training partner at 6:30am to get our run done before she has to head to work for the day.  After that, I get to tackle putting garden beds in at our new house.

So the cooler is packed with a Premier Protein recovery drink & a Bud Select for after, as well as a bottle filled with strawberry lemonade Nuun and another filled with water.  Breakfast (a Clif Mojo bar) is laid out for our ride to where we are starting.  Snacks are packed for my mid-run stops back at the car - pretzels & peanut butter.  My training partner is bringing bananas.  I think the plan is to do a 10-mile route to start, then meet up with the Belleville Running Club for our normal Saturday 5-mile loop, and then complete the run with a second 5 mile loop on our own.

Next weekend, I will tackle 12 miles as I start my taper.  The weekend after, my long run is down to what feels like a measly 8 miles (5 mile run with BRC followed by the local Law Day 5k).

The nerves are definitely starting to kick in - I'm scared to death and extremely excited all at the same time. 

If you'd asked me a year ago, I would have told you that qualifying for Boston was nothing more than a star in the night sky - something to look at in awe but never get to touch.  I never would have thought I'd be even looking at this opportunity. 

But my training runs thus far say I can do it.  Our slowest long run pace has been at an 8:12/mile average.  I need an 8:24 average to qualify.

My goals for The Pig remain the same - to stick with that 3:40 pacer as long as I can.  And if I'm still holding on with 5k to go, I'll let loose with everything I have left in the tank.

If it happens, I'll be living on Cloud Nine, and there will be no getting me down.  If I don't, then The Pig was a training run for my back-up... the Minneapolis Marathon, where I will get to attempt qualifying with my training partner by my side.

So tomorrow, despite dreading the idea of getting up at 5am, to be out the door by 6am, to go run 20 miles in 35-degree weather - I will be out there, all layered up, getting ready to give The Pig my best effort.