We’re Half Way There

The Providence Harriers cross the finish line in the 2009 Blue Ridge Relay (Allen raising arms)
The Providence Harriers cross the finish line in the 2009 Blue Ridge Relay (Allen raising arms)


 As recently as a week ago, if you asked me if I thought I would qualify for Boston this year, I probably would have answered with something like, ‘I seriously doubt it’.  I was in a running slump – I was slogging through training and I was struggling to meet goal times on training runs.  The 3:20:59 qualifying time felt impossible.  I was on the verge of giving up the quest.  Then came the Blue Ridge Relay (BRR).

My friend Todd invited me to run for his team, the Providence Harriers, in the over 200 mile relay race.  (See my story of the race here)   I ran well, even during my tough, ever-ascending-up-the-mountain leg. I had a blast.  I broke out of my slump.  I fell in love with running all over again.  I felt revitalized.  One of my Providence Harrier teammates, Christian Brose, who has run the same BRR legs and also the Richmond marathon, told me, ‘Richmond’s a piece of cake compared to what you just ran’.  That helped boost the ol’ confidence level.

Wednesday, I ran Yasso 800’s.    I ran 6, all right around 3:20 – one more piece of evidence that my training is back on track ( and yes, cheesy pun intended).

Tomorrow I’ll run a half marathon in Davidson.    My friend Dean, on his own quest to qualify, and I plan to run 7:39 per mile pace.  If we’re on schedule – and we should be based on both of our performances in the BRR – this should not be an exceedingly difficult task.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to lock in and cruise.  The race should be a nice little litmus test of exactly where we are at this point in our marathon training.

So, the gameplan is as follows.  First, run the Davidson half marathon tomorrow at planned marathon race pace, 7:39 per mile, in 1:40:17.   Next weekend,  run the Salem Lake 30K (18.6 miles) and again try to ‘cruise’ at 7:39 pace, in 2:22:36 .  If I’m unable to do either, I may lose some of the momentum I gained from the Blue Ridge Relay and I might need to reevaluate my training plan.  But if I hit the times at both races, without too much difficulty, somebody on the Boston Marathon committee might want to look into reserving a spot for me in the field.


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