Well friends and family, it’s Easter, and tomorrow is the big day in Boston. I have to say, I may be the least sure of my preparation for this run as I have been for any marathon to date, and I’m okay with that. Being in the city for the expo on Friday night reinforced for me how grateful I am to be a part of this year’s event, no matter how my individual race goes. My goal is to be positive and supportive and do anything I can to help make the day healing and rejuvenating. It will be a privilege to be among these people, in this city, on this day.
That said, if you’re interested in how my individual race goes, I’m Bib # 3924. I’m starting in Wave 1, 10 a.m., and am in Corral 4, so just a couple of minutes back from the front. Here’s where you can go to sign up to get updates on my progress throughout the race: http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/att-athlete-alert.aspx.
As for when I’ll cross the line, last year I ran 2:58-something, and this year there is almost zero possibility of me coming anywhere near to that. In fact, that’s about the only thing I can predict with certainty. For past races, I’ve been able to call my time within five minutes or closer. This time all I can say is somewhere between 3:07 and 5:00 hours.
I may be in shape, based benchmark workouts over the past month, to run 7:10 pace, which would be a 3:08 finish time.
But even with the benchmark workouts clicking, I’m concerned that I just don’t have enough miles in my legs. I’ve had an unusual, and very short training cycle, which has left me guessing, and doubting. Part of me is still considering chucking any time consideration at all and just running easy, which would be super pleasant. But the other part of me must look forward to the suffering, because the run-easy argument doesn’t seem to be getting any traction.
Another X factor is my left Achilles, which has been a problem for about a month and something now. It was singing a pretty sad song during my last race pace long run, and was getting louder with every mile. I rested it – a lot – and it’s healed some, but it’s still not right. If it gets too bad I could end up walking the end of this thing. Hope not. But I say this by way of heading off concerns – if you’re following along with the AT&T Athlete Alert system, and my pace goes off a cliff in the second half, don’t worry. I’m fine. I’ll be making my way to the finish one way or the other!
Finally, for anyone interested in the diet experiment, I trained most of this cycle low carb, and stayed in ketosis about six days a week even toward the end. But I switched it up as I came into the home stretch these past few days (except Good Friday, of course), reversed the macronutrient mix to high carb low fat to slam as much glycogen into my muscles as I could get and had shepherd’s pie and a few IPAs for dinner tonight. Back to, low-carb no-sugar-no-grain on Tuesday morning. I’ll write in some more detail on the reasoning behind all of these wild fluctuations later.
None of these anxieties, however, training, injury or diet, amount to much compared to the heaps of gratitude I feel for being healthy enough to even toe the start line, and for the amazing weather forecast, and the tolerant, supportive wife I have who puts up with all this again and again. Looking forward to reversing the roles this fall!
Now it’s time to pack my gear for tomorrow and hit the hay.
Wishing you all a joyful, Happy Easter! For everyone who’s running, and everyone who isn’t, good luck and God bless. Make tomorrow a great day!