Saturday, October 30, 2010

Problem Solved...Boston Bound

Preface: Three months ago I was trying to figure out was was next for me. I had done one triathlon all summer and that was in June. I had planned to take some time off but never this much. I was getting the racing bug.

I had been running quite a bit, just out of "enjoyment" when the discussion of running a marathon popped up. Kim, Peter and Tami had all signed up for the new Hampton Rockfest Marathon. Another running partner, James (J for short) had never done a marathon and we had talked about the potential of doing this race. After some banter back and forth, we were both in.

Problem #1: Eight weeks to train for a marathon

I found a running program online and having trained for one in the past, I had a pretty good idea what to do. Basically, it was 4-5 runs per week, increasing mileage each week with long runs on the weekend. Again, learning from past experiences, I felt pretty confident I could get the mileage in. Problem solved!

Problem #2: Nutrition on Race Day

I didn't do anything during the summer that was long enough to worry about nutrition. I know that I sweat a lot more salt than I originally thought and dehydration was still an issue with me. Ok, I bought some EFS drink mix to help. Second, bought endorolytes to help with this issue. Third, bought some Anti-Fatigue Caps to help even more. On race day, we worked it out that Tammy and Chris would hand us our second drinks about half way through the event. I also increased my frequency of drinking each and every run. Problem solved!

Problem #3: Try to Qualify for Boston

J planted the seed in my mind that maybe we could both qualify for Boston. This now become a secondary goal to finishing. My finishing time would have to be 3:20:59 or 7:40/mile. J's time would have to be 3:30:59 or 8:00/mile. I felt if everything went perfect, I would have an outside shot at meeting this time goal. So, I developed a race plan to try and meet this goal. Problem Solved!

Problem #4: Hampton is Flat, Meredith is Not

When running in Meredith, it is hilly. No matter where you go, there are hills. I felt to be a better flat course runner, I needed to train on a flat course. Tami came up with the idea of running in Laconia. Although only 5 miles away, we could make our way through most of the city on flat roads. So, all of our longs runs were in Laconia. We weaved in and out of the city and kept the runs as flat as possible. Problem solved!

Problem #5: Long Run Breakthrough

When training for my last marathon, my longest run was 18 miles. At that point, I was sick of running and called Tammy to come and pick me up. J and I did an 18 mile run and it sucked. Maybe it was too fast but I didn't enjoy it. The following week, I went out with Tami and Kim for a 20 mile run. I was able to run some loops and used this to "run them down". My fastest miles were the last 3 and I felt incredibly strong. I was breathing easy and singing loudly with my Ipod (just ask them). A breakthough! Problem solved.

Final Problem: Signing Up for Boston

Well, J and I both made it!!! But, signing up for Boston, I thought, was going to be easy. It wasn't. I had secretaries and friends trying to get me in. Finally after 3:07:58 of trying to get in, I finally did. Today, I got my confirmation! Problem solved...Boston Bound.

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