For those of you unaware of how the Boston Marathon registration process works, runners who qualified by 20 minutes or more were able to register on Monday the 11th, by 10 minutes or more (my group) on Wednesday the 13th, and by 5 minutes or more on Friday the 15th. They then reopened registration on Monday the 18th for those who qualified by less than 5 minutes, and those runners will not receive confirmation until next week, once they determine how much the "cutoff" will be. Many of those runners will be rejected because their qualifying buffer wasn't large enough, so they are eagerly waiting the news that will come next week. My prediction: 2 minutes and 14 seconds. Not based on anything scientific, just my gut!
I wonder why they don't handle registration similar to college admittance-- you can apply at any time, giving the admissions office time to review applications at their leisure, but then have an application deadline and send out notifications after the deadline. Of course it wouldn't work exactly the same way, but something like this:
Registration is open for an entire year. Hopefuls would be able to register at their leisure (instead of a two-day window which could easily be missed) and the B.A.A. would be able to verify their qualifying times as they were submitted. Verify--not accept. Registration would close in September, and at that point the B.A.A. would have all the data that they needed, fully verified, to calculate a cut-off. They would not be scrambling to verify thousands of qualifying times in less than a week's time. They would know exactly how many people qualified in each age/gender group, and by what margins.
The B.A.A. could make the announcement about the cutoff time the day after registration closed, and notify all registrants at the same time of their acceptance or rejection.
I think this approach would save time, frustration, and anxiety for both runners and for the B.A.A. without altering the acceptance criteria. Also, qualifiers wouldn't have to worry about missing the two-day period; they would potentially have months to register. But who knows-- maybe the B.A.A. likes all the hype that happens in mid-September!
Onto my training update!
Monday: 8.6 miles at 8:45 avg.
This was a warm and humid run, which set the tone for the entire week: unseasonably warm and humid. It was such a tease to have nice cool mornings in the low 50's in early September.
Tuesday: 5 x 2000m with 3-minute recoveries
Tuesday: 5 x 2000m with 3-minute recoveries
Wednesday: 6.9 miles at 8:48 avg.
I took this one nice and easy to ensure recovery from the monster track workout.
Thursday: 10.5 miles at 8:37 avg.
This run was all about cranking out the mileage. Typically I have another hard workout on Thursdays, but I assume my coach gave me an easy run so that I wouldn't be completely exhausted for the marathon pace run on Saturday.
Friday: 8.1 miles at 8:39 avg.
Another easy run in unseasonably warm/humid conditions.
Saturday: 16.7 miles with 12 at marathon pace of 7:27
I went into this workout with one strike against me because I didn't sleep well the night before. In fact, I only got 4 hours of sleep, and I don't think it was deep sleep. Admittedly, I had some anxiety
I ran 2.6 miles at my easy pace and then started the marathon pace miles. I was prescribed 90 minutes at marathon pace. I paced it as I plan to pace it on race day by starting out slower than goal pace and finishing faster. My splits were 7:39, 7:37, 7:27, 7:28, 7:21, 7:24, 7:23, 7:22, 7:24, 7:20, 7:18, 7:30. I ran 12.09 miles in 90 minutes-- an average pace of 7:27. Weather wise, it was about 60 degrees at the start of these miles, and 65 by the end, with sunny skies.
The first 11 miles felt amazing. They weren't easy but I felt strong and in control. But once I hit the final mile, things started to go downhill, and quickly! All of a sudden I felt completely gassed and I was no longer able to maintain the 7:20's. It felt like race effort just to run that final mile in 7:30. I kept bargaining with myself because I so badly wanted to end the workout five minutes early. When it was done, I had to walk for awhile before I could begin the final cool down miles. And during the cool down, I was cramping pretty badly in my abdomen. I had to stop every half mile because the stomach cramping was so bad.
I'd like to think that in cooler weather, I would have been able to hold it together better during the last mile, and I wouldn't have had the cramping issues during the cool down. I'm at my best when it's 35 degrees. My coach told me that this was exactly what the workout should feel like at this point in the training cycle. He said that I should have been on "my hands and knees" at the end, as this workout was designed to drain the tank. And that it did. So while I was initially discouraged about having a goal marathon pace of 7:27, I'm a bit more optimistic now.
I did complete 90 minutes at a pace of 7:27 in the middle of a high-mileage week, on only 4 hours of sleep. So that's good! The weather just needs to be cooler so I can see what I can do when my body doesn't have the additional strain of the heat.
Sunday: 3.6 miles at 8:56 avg.
I was even more encouraged by how quickly I seemed to recover from the marathon pace run. This morning I didn't feel any lingering soreness! In fact, my legs felt a little peppy! I do think my legs are capable of a 7:27 marathon pace, I just need to get my aerobic system there.
Total mileage for the week: 65.5
I'm pleased with how the week went. My Achilles tendons have been doing pretty good, too. I did my exercises every day this week, and the marathon pace run didn't seem to aggravate them. This is my 5th consecutive week at 60+ miles, and even though there hasn't been that *one* workout that makes me think I've gotten fitter this cycle, I know that I have been following my training plan to the letter and feeling good doing it.