I’m less than a week out from running my 3rd Boston Marathon!
How am I feeling? Excited. Like I’m surprised how excited I am. It’s my third time, after all. I figured the novelty would have worn off by now – but it hasn’t. I just feel so lucky that I get to do this!
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I had a busy March in terms of racing. Here’s a brief recap of what I’ve been up to!
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup “4 Miler”
3rd overall female, 24:20/6:40 pace
Why the quotes? Because a bunch of us at the front of the pack missed a turnoff after the wind blew over a directional sign and accidentally cut the course.
This race in PA was more than 2 hours from my house, but it sounded fun – grilled cheese and tomato soup after, hello! – and the race director Pat is great. He’s the one who organized the Chasing the Unicorn marathon in 2020 and did everything in his power to make that a safe and fun event at the height of the pandemic. So I signed up, hoping to be able to run 4 miles in 26 minutes or so to test my speed.
The race was held in a municipal park and it was windy AF, a common theme of pretty much all of my runs this training cycle. In fact, it was windy enough that one of the directional signs after the mile 3 mark blew over, and so a bunch of us missed a turn and accidentally ran 3.65 miles! Pat didn’t DQ us, I guess because so many people effed it up, and I was awarded the 3rd overall female prize – a nice blanket! I had fun and pushed hard.
Annapolis Running Festival 10K
3rd overall female, 42:44/6:53 pace
I said to friends a few times I wasn’t planning on the Annapolis Running Festival – I’ve done so many races on that course over the last decade that I just wasn’t excited about it. But then I saw I had 10Kish worth of speedwork on my plan the week of the race and I’d rather do that in a race than on my own! Plus, my friend Shannon was running it, too.
The weather pretty much sucked – it was once again super windy and I tried my best to draft off other, taller runners! My shoelace also came untied right before mile 3, costing me precious time. I didn’t really have a time goal, but I thought 41-42 miles was doable. I also had no expectations of placing and it was really hard to gauge where I was in the race since there was also a 5K and a half marathon and we were all mixed together at various parts of the race. So I was pleasantly surprised when I crossed the finish line and the volunteer handed me a card that said I was 3rd female.
I’m glad I ended up doing it – just wish we’d had better weather! The after party was a lot of fun, and the band playing was awesome, but it was just so cold and windy. That’s March in Maryland for you – you could get 20 degrees or 80 degrees.
Barlowe Bolt 5K
1st overall female, 21:28/6:42 pace
Well, this one was a cluster.
A little background about me and the Bolt – I am not new to this race. In fact, this was the fifth time I’d run it – I ran in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022. I even won it in 2020 and 2022 and was hoping to win it again this year. (It’s a pretty small race.)
But!! Even though I had run it multiple times in the past, I couldn’t remember the course, so I made a wrong turn about three-tenths of a mile into the race. I was running up at the front with two teenage boys, so I led them astray – sorry! When I realized my mistake after we literally ran into a dead end, I was so annoyed with myself.
We turned around and I hauled ass to get back in first place, which I paid for dearly with a huge positive split in the end. I did manage to still win and in the end I added about a tenth of a mile onto my race, so it could have been worse. I mean, I ….could have cut the course again.
My mileage hasn’t been as high as it was last fall when training for Chicago, but I’ve averaged between 55-60 miles per week, peaking at 62 miles. Basically, I took Pfitzinger’s 12/55 plan from Advanced Marathoning and modified it to add a few more miles each week. Thinking about doing 12/70 this fall again for Richmond, but that is a heavy training load and I don’t think I can mentally (or physically) handle it every marathon training cycle.
The plan included two 20-milers, the second of which I ran during the B&A Marathon last month. I didn’t register for the race, but the trail was open to the public and I knew so many people running either the half or the full that I thought it would be fun to run alongside them. I ended up running mostly with a fast friend of mine and averaged 7:29 pace for 20 miles. That is obviously WAY faster than I would normally ever do a 20 miler, but I also ran the Charm City Run 20 Miler three weeks before Chicago last fall at a 7:25 pace and it didn’t hurt me in the marathon.
Goals/plans for Boston
I don’t know! LOL. Enjoy myself and get another BQ.
My Garmin thinks I’m running a 3:03, but it’s clearly full of crap. That would be a 15-minute PR and I do not think I am in PR shape – that 3:18 I ran last fall is really solid, plus I ran it on a flat course in damn near perfect weather. The Boston Marathon is a tough course and the weather is looking warm and wet. Not the worst, but not the best either. I do think a 3:2x is doable and I should be able to BQ (3:40:00 or faster) unless things really go to hell.
Other than that, no major goals. Sometimes it’s more fun that way anyway!