Monday, April 13, 2009

Time to reset my Boston Marathon goals!

I didn't mention this during my Saturday long-run video, but in tapering for the Boston Marathon on 4/20 I'm following the advice of Bernd Heinrich from his great book "Why We Run". Bernd writes that in the week preceeding one's marathon run you should - as much as possible - run at your marathon pace. By doing so you'll feel very comfortable running at that speed.

I recognize that this statement may be seen as completely contrary to my stated position on Saturday's video that "whatever time I run Boston I'll be happy with"... but that was Saturday! Subsequent to that video I completed that 16-mile long-run, the following day I had a great 10-miler on the same hilly trails at better than my goal Boston marathon pace, and today I had an excellent tempo run.

What's most encouraging is my newfound recognition that I'm 99% recovered from my former Achilles injury. I credit my usage of the elliptical over the last two months - a great non-impact cardio exercise which maintains cardiovascular fitness while the Achilles is allowed to recover at its own pace. I believe that stretching exercises have also helped, as has the use of the Strassburg Sock.

As a result I'm now in the midst of setting much more ambitious Boston Marathon goals. Specifically, my new goals are:
  1. Finishing healthy, having had a great time;
  2. Re-qualifying for Boston - at Boston! (3:35:59 or better);
  3. Setting a personal record (3:32:17 or better);
  4. Qualifying for the New York Marathon (3:30 or better).
Bottom line, though, is while my cardiovascular conditioning is excellent, that doesn't necessarily speak to the adequacy of my endurance over 26.2 miles, and my ability to survive the hills beginning at Newton Lower Falls - especially since I've only recently emerged from my Achilles-induced funk I've omitted 90% of the key pre-Boston hill work. Consequently, while I've set my Boston goals ambitiously, I'm going to play it by ear, see how it goes, and will adjust accordingly! Wish me luck!

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