Next up – the 118th Boston Marathon
For my 100th blog post (I don’t write all that often), I get to talk about the last 9 days leading up to the Boston Marathon. Taper time has been an interesting time for me in my 7 marathons, especially for races for which I trained hard and racked up a lot of miles. I don’t know if I get true “taper madness” like some people describe that they experience, but historically I have felt the change. I become a bit edgy and intense…ok, edgi-ER and MORE intense, than normal. My sleep patterns are affected. I actually have less of an appetite and not more, which I think is unusual. I also have had the occasional phantom pain.
With this particular marathon, I have been pretty clear that I am not training as intensely as I did for last fall’s Marine Corps Marathon. I don’t think I ever really admitted it publicly, but that last one hurt and it took me some time to heal up – if I ever really did. A bit of that is due to training that could have gone a bit better, but most of it is because I went all out to try to break 3:10:00. I came close and PR’d, but it took a toll. More importantly, similar to Marine Corps – for which I raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project – I don’t want my run on April 21 to be about me. Given the events of last year’s Boston Marathon, I am running to celebrate the recovery and the spirit of community in Boston and among runners. Being able to share the experience with Bostonians will be humbling and inspiring!
I’m not even sure what my finish time might be. I am guessing somewhere around 3:30:00, but who knows? If I linger among the girls of Wellesley College and smooch a couple cheeks (if Mrs. Bommer says it is okay!), that might add a minute or two. I know the course and what I’ll see, but I want to take time to appreciate it more than I was able to do in 2011.
Luckily, my training this time around fits that goal. I’ve run fewer weekly miles in the last five months than I normally would, and I did much less tempo and speedwork. Total mileage is obviously a factor in success or failure in any marathon, but it is the deep commitment to tempo runs and speedwork that give someone a chance at a PR. With my work schedule and the difficulty of training for a spring marathon, in addition to giving my body a chance to heal, this all set up well for me. In a later blog, I can talk about my plan for the summer, including dropping some weight and gearing up for the Wineglass Marathon in October and watching Hollie zoom by me – even though she is under some delusion that she’ll be able to slow down enough to run side-by-side with me!
Thanks to my paying job, I can only be gone to Boston for a very short period of time. Thanks to JetBlue, I can fly out of Denver on a midnight redeye and will land in Boston around 5:30 AM on Saturday the 19th. I won’t be too active on Saturday and Sunday, but I do plan to go out Monday after the marathon and have some fun. That was something I didn’t do for very long after the 2011 Boston Marathon, and it was the only part of the trip I regretted not doing more. Fortunately, some of my teammates from Runner’s Edge of the Rockies will also be there, since it is too short of a trip to try drag the family along. I can’t get too crazy, though. My flight back to Denver leaves at 7:00 AM on Tuesday morning, and I’ll be back in the state capitol working before noon.
In the event anyone wants to track my progress on April 21, I will be proudly wearing bib #8546. My Facebook friends will see a lot of updates from my trip, I’m sure, but I’ll also try to be better about using my Twitter account. Regardless, I’ll definitely be back with my 101st blog entry to talk about the entire experience. I’m sure it is going to be memorable!
Finally, if you have never made a donation to The One Fund, please consider it. While I am not running for the charity or officially raising money for it, I could not be more supportive of the fund and how they are choosing to allocate the money. All of the support the fund has received has sped the healing process by those affected by last year’s terrible events and prove that Americans are at our best when we are helping out others.