April 12, 2012
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Well, leave it to me to take 4 months to post a marathon report but here it is. In a way it’s appropriate that I do this a few days before Patriots Day, because the result sets me up to to toe the starting line in Hopkinton a year from now.
So, let’s go way back to November, to the Philadelphia Marathon. After missing time over the summer due to injury, I only had 11 weeks to train for the race, which I joined as a replacement for my original target marathon, Chicago. I started ramping up slowly in early September, with my first long run actually being a race, the Maple Leaf Half Marathon in Manchester, VT. I ran it at my normal training pace, just looking to put a good run down while my wife and I were visiting my parents in that area. I was pleased to put down a 1:41:52 that day and not even feel winded afterwards. That told me I was ready to step it up and get ready for Philly. Training proceeded quickly and on race day, November 20, I was ready. I often shoot for my “dream” goal of 3:10 in marathons, but I knew that wasn’t happening, so I focused instead on just running 7:40-ish pace for the distance with a 3:20 goal in mind. I could fade back to 3:25, I figured, but not slower than that, because I needed a 3:25 to reestablish my Boston Marathon qualification. As we headed down Benjamin Franklin Parkway I resisted the urge to get caught up in the early jockeying and dialed into a relaxed marathon tempo, and kept it there. I had one tough mile at around 18 where I ran my slowest mile of the day at 8:26 then picked it right back up. Later, miles 24 and 25 on tired legs were around 8 minutes each. But I again bounced back, finished strong and came across the line in 3:23:52. It wasn’t a PR but I was very happy with the result just the same, because I executed my race plan to near-perfection and I requalified for Boston. I’ll be there on Patriot’s Day 2013!