Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Road to Boston 2013!

After a 2011 Year in Running that consisted of a huge, sweeping goal of running every race and tri in Corvallis, costing me more than a few dollars and eating up more than half the total weekends of the year, I've decided to go simple in 2012.

Qualify for the Boston Marathon.

OK, I said simple, not easy. Simple in that I have one goal and one goal only for this year: to make sure I'm qualified to toe the line in Boston in 2013.

Now, those of you that know my recent running history, and know my recent times, and have seen my performances at my two previous marathons, might be thinking, "what is the R's smoking? And how can I get some?"

And I wouldn't argue with you.

It's true I've only run two previous marathons. And my times at those marathons (Seattle and Eugene) weren't even in the BQ ballpark. If you want to know how close, or how far off I really am, just punch in one of my recent race results here and see how it adjusts to a marathon-length race.

If you're too busy, I'll just tell you. A 5k time from Fall of 2011 for me grades up to a 3:42:00 marathon. To qualify for Boston, I'll need to run under 3:25:00. Yeah, that's a pretty big difference.

Yet strangely, I feel I can do it.

Let me see if I can talk you into it, the way I've talked myself into it.

First, I'm here, starting the New Year, in the best January shape I've been in since, well...since I was in my early 30's probably. Which was, I hate to say, more than 10 years ago. Running 26 races over 2011 has at least given me a nice base to work with.

Second, I'm turning 45 this year. While the BQ times are tightening by five minutes this year, I'll also gain 10 minutes by jumping into the next age group. And I feel that this is the time - I feel pretty good for 45. I feel like I can still be fast. Will I feel this way at 50? Maybe, but who knows?

Third, I've got one of the best Boston Qualifying courses in the Nation, less than an hour from home, right here at the Newport Marathon in Newport, Oregon. Even Runner's World thinks so. I'm already signed up, but Newport always sells out, so if you want to join me, hurry up and register.

If for some reason, Newport doesn't work out, I'll regroup and work with the Skagit Flats Marathon in September, then the California International Marathon (CIM) in December, another Runner's World favorite (although this one would put me in Boston in 2014, not 2013).

Fourth, my last six weeks have already been focused on marathon training. I've been kicking up my mileage and tossing in some speed work. I've already seen my shape and times improve from the training. I think another five months of hard marathon-specific training will get me there.

So...yeah, not much really. I just think I can do it.

And what's more important than that?

Absolutely awesome photo from Dana Hursey Photography - check them out!


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