About a week ago I ran the Grand Island Half Marathon and exceeded my expectations. I’ve been saying for quite some time that my short term goal is to break 20 minutes in a 5k and my long term goal is to qualify to run the Boston Marathon. I haven’t run a 5k recently to prove it but I’m pretty sure I can break 20 minutes now. I ran a 20:13 for the final 5k of the GI Half!
As for Boston I’ve said I want to qualify before I’m 35. Why 35? When I turn 35 the qualification time gets easier and I want to qualify at the more difficult pace. Until I’m 35 I need a 3:10 marathon (3:10:59 to be exact). A 3:10 requires a 7:15 minute per mile average pace. I’ve said that I wouldn’t even think about qualifying until I could break 1:30 in a half marathon and that I’d need to be running 7:30 minute miles on easy training runs. Both of those things have happened (though not all of my easy runs are in this range).
I’ve plugged my GI Half time into race time predictors and they all say that a 3:05 is possible for me for the marathon distance. These predictors assume that you are properly trained for the distance. You can’t just plug a 5k time in and assume that you’ll run a marathon in the pace that comes out. In the past the race predictors have been off by 10 minutes. For Marine Corps. last October the predictors said I could run a 3:20 (ish). I ran a 3:30. I believe there are two factors at work here. First I went out too fast and paid dearly for it at the end of the race. Second I wasn’t properly trained. Yes, I did my 20+ mile training runs and I pushed into 50 mile weeks. It just wasn’t enough.
I’m targetting the 2009 Rock and Roll Marathon in Las Vegas as my Boston Qualifing race. That should be a very flat course (the course isn’t finalized yet). It should also be in good weather. On top of that there will likely be a lot of people I know there which, assuming I succeed, will make it all the more special.
For my previous marathons I’ve had public and private goals with my public goal always being much more conservative. I can say with complete honesty that this time my public and private goals are one in the same, to qualify for the Boston Marathon by running a sub 3:10 marathon.