Believe it or not, I took a break from running. The Charlevoix Marathon was June 24 and after 3 marathons in 29 days I decided it was time for a rest. I did head out to a group run with Love Runs the following Saturday. It was an easy 10k. Normally people roll their eyes at me when I say “easy” but let me assure you, I’m 99% confident that it was the slowest 10k I’ve ever run.
My last training plan started at the end of November 2016 and finished at the Ottawa Marathon on May 28. Since then, there hasn’t really been any training. The week after Ottawa, I did a couple easy 5k shakeouts, and then ended up running a marathon the next weekend in Youngstown. After Youngstown, I ran an easy 5 miles the next weekend and then essentially did my Ottawa Marathon taper in the last 2 weeks leading into Charlevoix. All that to say, it’s been 2 months since I’ve trained.
That season has ended, and it’s time to get back at it.
Charlevoix was a great day for me. My hear breaks a little still that I couldn’t have had that day in Ottawa, but the fact is, I came away with a BQ much bigger than the 15 seconds I had after my marathon in Hamilton last year. Right now my buffer is 2:38. The biggest BQ cutoff ever was two years ago when they dropped the qualifying time by 2:28 to 3:02:32 for males my age. That means I would’ve made the cut by 10 seconds.
10 seconds. That is too close for comfort.
When I tell people my time, most people say, “Oh you got it.” And to be honest, I feel pretty good about my chances. That being said, the week of registration, I will be a basket case with a 2:38 buffer. I still have time to improve and I think I can do it. So the quest for sub 3:00 will continue, and that started today.
I’ve committed to a last chance BQ marathon in Erie, PA. That will give me one last chance to go sub 3:00 before registration opens for Boston the next day. Charlevoix gave me the luxury of removing some anxiety for the summer knowing that I have a pretty good chance at qualifying. On the other hand, it gave the the luxury of not being so great that I will just take my foot off the gas for the summer. I know this isn’t locked up and so I need to push this summer.
That being said, Erie is only 9 weeks away and I’m just coming off 2 weeks of nothing. That means I need to give myself some time to build back up. With a 2 week on ramp, and 2 weeks of taper, I’m left with 5 weeks to train. And looking at the plan for those 5 weeks, I will not be taking it easy.
Going into all this, the goal is to improve my time. The thing I am battling right now is knowing I have a pretty decent shot at getting in. I need to set my goal higher because if it’s just to BQ, then when the race gets hard, it will be so easy to justify backing off or giving up because “I already have a good time.” I don’t want to get complacent, but at the same time, I also know if it doesn’t happen for me in Erie, I can hold my head pretty high with my efforts over the last year. Going from running my first marathon, to running my 6th, and having minimum 2 BQ’s in that time.
If you’ve ever read the book “Good to Great”, the author Jim Collins makes the point that the biggest enemy of great, is good. Right now my BQ is good but somewhere along the line, the goal changed from a 3:05 to a sub 3:00. 3:02:22 is good, but sub 3:00 would be great, and I am determined not to let the enemy win.
Summer training starts now. What are your great goals for this Fall?