Queue the Marathon Pace Obsession Post…

Soooo the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) released the final group of people who are accepted into the 2015 Boston Marathon today.  They also set the cutoff time for those accepted at BQ-1:02.  This has prompted a bit of obsession from me… If the time remains similar for 2016 (there is obviously no way to know this, but I’ll assume that it is so that I can continue my over analysis and obsession, mkay?).  So assuming next year is similar, I’ll have to run a 3:44 or faster marathon to have a chance of getting into Boston.

I’ve been training my butt off the last 12 weeks (or over a year if you include the 2 marathon cycles before this one).  I’ve done a number of races recently and have definitely seen the fruits of my labor.  I’ve set new PR’s in all of them.

Spring Marathon: 3:57:xx

Half Marathon: 1:44:27 (this was on a hilly course and in early July)

10 k: 45:24 (also hilly)

5 k: 21:37 (garmin time not an official time)

According to McMillan those times predict the following marathon times:

HM: 1:44:27 –> 3:39:49

10 k: 45:25 –> 3:33:10

5 k: 21:37 –> 3:30:38

Now it is fairly well known that those predicted marathon times are under totally ideal conditions, and for VERY well trained people.  It is very difficult to reach your potential in a full marathon.  I had a phone conversation with a coach earlier this year who recommended training for a time 5-10 minutes faster than what you think you’ll actually race.  It is also known that a half marathon is the best predictor of a full marathon.  My half from this year was a hilly race, in Calgary (some elevation), and was before I started this training cycle.

Here is my summary of things that I have going for me this cycle and why it’s not completely insane to think of running a 3:44 marathon:

  1. This is my 3rd marathon training cycle in a year. I’ve trained harder, and put more mileage in each cycle, and my body is adapting really well to the increased volume. I think my endurance has improved.
  2. The Okanagan Marathon is a much easier course than Calgary (or Seattle). It is nearly completely flat, and is run at a lower altitude than Calgary. According to www.findmymarathon.com the Okanagan is about 6:30 faster than Calgary. I hope they are right! 🙂
  3. I’m lighter than I was at Calgary. Don’t interpret this wrong, I am not trying to lose weight, and everyone around me can back me up here, I seriously don’t stop eating! I’m a few pounds lighter right now, and assuming that is all fat and not muscle, then that weight can translate to 4-6 minutes over the course of a marathon.
  4. Lori and I stopped for a potty break for Calgary that cost us 90 seconds!! No potty breaks allowed this time!!!
  5. Have I mentioned that I’ve been training my ass off? Well I have!!

I know that when you do a list of ‘Pros’ you typically also list the ‘Cons’ on the other side of the discussion.  I’m not going to do that, sure I’ve thought through them all, but I don’t want to talk about them.  I’m choosing to think positively about this and ignore all that nonsense! 😉

Sorry for the rambling post… I’ll post my actual goal post for the race closer to race time.  In the mean time, what do you think? Have you succeeded at an ambitious race goal?  Is this an ambitious race goal?  Tell me about your goals, thoughts, etc?


9 thoughts on “Queue the Marathon Pace Obsession Post…

  1. I just saw the BQ time adjustments too. It’s so nerve racking to never know what they’re going to do with it. It’s like, if you want 37 pieces of flair, then make the minimum 37 pieces of flair! You sound really prepared though. You’ll definitely get it!

  2. You are very driven,determined person I think if you believe you can do it and keep positive,your dreams will become a reality ;);) Remember its not anyone else that’s running for you its you and yourself. Mind over matter…

  3. BQ is an ambitious goal for almost anyone, but you are well on the way to attaining it. Hope you have a great race! I could never dream of entering Boston, a 3:40 marathon is not going to happen no matter how I train. But I have succeeded at an ambitious goal race.

  4. finefettlefrets

    Good luck and have fun Terry! I love your number crunching in this post. You HAVE been working very hard in your training. All the best and I look forward to following your progress…

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