Boston Marathon Training and Goals

#marathon  #running  #boston marathon  #race 

Of course, I saved this until the last minute, but I was a little busy enjoying the hell out of Boston, okay? Anyway, let’s get to it, shall we?


My training, as per the norm anymore, wasn’t great. It wasn’t the worst thing ever, for sure, but it wasn’t great. I had a really solid training plan in mind, but that went out the window when I started battling a case of runner’s knee.

I only had three months between Dopey Challenge and Boston, so I was down a few weeks from what I’d normally like to do. And because I’m doing Boston 2 Big Sur (meaning I’m running Big Sur Marathon 13 days after Boston), I knew I’d need a different focus for training. I wanted to make preparing for hills and tired legs to be my priority.

My plan was to run at least once a week in Central Park for the hills and then, in the second half of training, add in an 8-10 mile run the day after my long runs.

That was the plan.

Unfortunately, I came home from Disney World with a cold that slowed me down for a week or so.

Then a few weeks later, I started getting runner’s knee symptoms. I’ve had the knee weirdness of runner’s knee plenty of times before. Usually, easing back for a few days is all it takes to nip it in the bud. It’s never actually been a problem or something I’ve worried about. Until this time. It wouldn’t go away and kept getting worse. I was missing runs and not trusting it to run on at all. So I decided to go back to physical therapy and deal with it properly. I ended up losing almost two entire weeks with next to zero miles logged. This was right when I was about to hit 17 miles for my long runs. Terrible timing.

Luckily, my amazing physical therapist was able to help me rehab it while still training. I lost a lot of miles and some long runs, but I was still able to salvage my training. It’s still not 100%, but it’s not a concern.

Because of that ordeal, though, my last four long runs were 10, 15, 17, and 20 miles. Not exactly the way you’d want that to go. And none of those miles were on hills. It is what it is.

THEN first day of taper, I got ANOTHER cold! I get sick maybe once a year, but two colds in three months?? WTF!! I focused on rest and taking care of the cold over running since I was already in taper. I took a day off from work and slept as much as I could. The cold went away quickly, but I still have a cough and it sometimes brings up some mucus with it because why not? This is how colds go for me; the cough always sticks around for a while.

On top of that, I also had to deal with the stress of talking to a million reporters and crap.

All of these things really took their toll on me being able to have the training I wanted. I especially wanted this training to go well because Boston is a tough course and I need to be able to finish without trashing my legs so I can go into Big Sur with something still left in me.

I’m not going to worry about it, though. There’s nothing I can do about it.

Race Plan

Look, I just want to have fun! That’s all that matters.

The weather is going to be garbage. 40ºish, 20+mph winds, and rain. FANTASTIC!

I like running in the rain…when it’s warm. I like running in colder weather…when it’s dry. Both together? Eh, not so much. And wind? Fuck that.

But that’s not going to ruin my day. It’s the Boston fucking Marathon and I plan to have a blast no matter what.

It’s a tough course and I don’t run a lot of hills these days, but I know I can be a strong finisher in the marathon. I’ve negative-split six of my last seven. And the second half of Disney has a bunch of hills because of the overpasses. Probably not the same as the Newton hills, but I’ve got six years of experience with that and know I can do it.

The key for me is to be patient early in the race. My races tend to be made or broken very early. If I’m patient, I can stay strong. If I’m not, I fall apart. So this is my focus. Stay in control and don’t let the early downhills dictate my race.

I’m starting in the last corral of wave two. In fact, I only made it into wave two by seven seconds. I’ll be one of the slowest runners in this corral. I’m actually planning to use this to my advantage. It could be easy to get swept up with the faster runners and keep pace with them, but my plan is to hang off the back as much as I can. If I’m passing anyone, I’m going to fast. It’ll be easy for me to have that indicator.

My goal is in the 3:50 to 4:00 range. This should be well within my wheelhouse on this course and shouldn’t completely trash my legs. We’ll see how the weather factors into this and what those hills do to me, but I know that’s a pace I should be able to do.

So, yeah, that’s it! I probably had more to say, but I’m trying to get to sleep in the next 20 minutes so that’s all you get!