Posts Tagged ‘san francisco marathon’
Stand around any marathon finishline between 3:15 and about 3:50 after the starting gun and you’re sure to hear many finishers and spectators yell those words every runner wants to hear… “You’re going to Boston!” For many recreational runners, qualifying for the prestigious Boston Marathon is a years-long goal in the making.
Two years ago, I half-jokingly set myself the pie in the sky goal of qualifying for Boston my first time out in San Francisco, one of the more difficult courses in the country– and surprised myself by nearly accomplishing it. My qualifying time is 3:45:59 and I ran a 3:48:58. So, this year, my goal was to hear those words– YOU’RE GOING TO BOSTON!
Slight wrench in the plans.
Today, the Boston Athletic Association announced changes to the qualifying process. Now, I’ll admit the changes are necessary since last year’s field filled up, as the locals would say, “wicked-fast. “ The changes in a nutshell: Runners who qualify for the 2012 race will be allowed to register in waves, starting with those who beat their qualifying time by at least 20 minutes, followed two days later by those who beat it by 10 minutes, followed by those who beat it by 5, followed by the riff-raff who only just hit it by four or less. In addition to these changes, for the 2013 race, qualifying times for all age groups will drop by five minutes.
Personally, I’d almost rather they drop the times another 5 minutes to make it an even 10 across the board and do away with the waved registration… I want that moment of knowing I qualified for Boston, even if it takes another year or so, rather than having to say I “qualified with an asterisk.”
Like being “a little bit pregnant,” now it’s not so much “You’re going to Boston!” as it is “There is a mathematically not totally insignificant possibility that there could still be spots left when you are allowed to register for Boston!!” And that’s a lot to write on a sign or yell out after running 26.2 miles.
Background: So, this might be redundant for some of you, but for those first joining the story I feel like it’s important to say that I didn’t intend to run San Francisco Marathon this year. Last year, I’d had 4 or so stress fractures, my most recent coming on in one step on mile 7 of an 8-mile easy run on Thanksgiving. Fibula. A bone that rarely gets broken, since it’s technically not weight-bearing, but I managed it. Running great, feeling strong… step… broken bone. I remember the exact spot where it happened on the Embarcadero, just before the marina before the ballpark. So every step of the way this training cycle, that was in the back of my mind. “You feel great, but one step…. One step is all it takes.” Even to my last two miler on Friday… “One step and your world can change.”
With the San Francisco Marathon just four days away, taper madness is kicking into full gear here at the FitLifeSF Compound. Today, for example, I lost my lucky safety pins. This apartment WILL get torn to shreds before I race without my lucky safety pins.
Yesterday, I spent some time making a batch of delicious dark-chocolate drizzled bananas with a little bit of walnuts and seasalt. These are chillin’ in the freezer awaiting my first-ever carb load, which starts tomorrow… I also need to make a batch of my “famous” Pruney Oat Piles on which to snack in the next three days… and, OK, I decided to treat myself to a Nerds Rope after months of being at once intrigued and horrified by the product. I’ll let you know how that works out.
As for training- It’s tapering off as it should. I just got done doing my last “real” workout– a 4 mile run, one round of 8-rep-to-failure upper body weights, and Ab Blaster from Tony Horton One-on-One. I ain’t gettin’ any more svelte before race day, so it is what it is.
I’m reluctant to say too much on the subject of “finally making it to a marathon healthy” after my string of injuries, but I do have a lot to say on the subject which I’ll save up for after the race– 4 days, no jinxies. 4 days, no jinxies…
With the completion of my last long run on Sunday, the hay- as the runners like to say- is in the barn! I’ve done all I can and, barring serious divine intervention in the form of falling pianos or hurtling meteorites*, on July 25th, I’ll be running the San Francisco Marathon!
Scary thought, as I seriously started to doubt at the end of last year whether I’d ever see the day– yet, I made it through Higdon’s Novice marathon plan (with a few miles thrown in) without hiccup or foible, missed run or niggle. Scarier still that I kind of like to royally bonk on at least one training run to “get it out of the way” and clear up my juju for race day… Usually, that hiccup or foible comes in the form of an injury so severe that I question whether I’ll be able to run the race at all, and inevitably delivers me to the line totally unprepared where I go on to surprise myself, earning me more than one accusatory “sandbagger.”
So, needless to say, July 25 will be a real “first” for me on several levels.
With the “hay in the barn,” the only thing to do between now and then is hunker down to get this last 3 lbs off for good… and spend an inordinate amount of time messing around with pace predictors, creating playlists, planning my outfit… doing crunches… You know, important stuff.
*Just in case anyone “up there” reads this blog, NO, that is not a challenge!
I’ve waited until about the halfway point in my training to announce this– Yes, I am making another go at the San Francisco Marathon! I’m all signed up and hope that July 25, 2010 will see me crossing the finishline without incident! Well, other than the requisite amount of “incident” involved in running 26.2 miles.