I have a secret dreamÖ
But before you get all intrigued, let me warn you on the onset that this blog is about running, and not about whatever you thought it would be about ;-).† And there will be a lot of details about running, so continue forewarned.
So my secret dream is that I run my very first marathon in Philadelphia on Nov. 20th, 2009, and run it under 3:30hrs, which translated to about an 8 minute per mile pace. If I can do this, I will qualify to run in the Boston Marathon in April, 2010.† For those of you that may not be aware, Boston Marathon is the Super Bowl of running.† It is one of the oldest and certainly the most coveted race because of the competitive nature of entry requirement. †In order to run in the Boston Marathon, a runner needs to qualify with a specific time based on his/her age group.† For example, as a 47 yr old male, I will need to run under 3hrs 30min to qualify. Take a look at the qualifying standards for 2010:
2010 QUALIFYING STANDARDS FOR BOSTON MARATHON
Age Group †††††††††††††††† Men †††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Women
18-34 ††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3hrs 10min ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3hrs 40min
35-39 ††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3hrs 15min ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3hrs 45min
40-44 †††††††††††††††††††††††† 3hrs 20min ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3hrs 50min
45-49 ††††††††††††††††† 3hrs 30min†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4hrs 00min
50-54 ††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3hrs 35min ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4hrs 05min
55-59 ††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3hrs 45min ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4hrs 15min
60-64 ††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4hrs 00min ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4hrs 30min
65-69 ††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4hrs 15min ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4hrs 45min
70-74 ††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4hrs 30min ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5hrs 00min
75-79 ††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4hrs 45min ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5hrs 15min
80 and older †††††††††††† 5hrs 00min ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5hrs 30min
The reason that this dream of mine is a secret (at least up to this point) is because I felt quite presumptuous as a newbie marathoner.† I havenít even run one marathon for goodness sake!† But as I am nearing the peak period of my training, Iím feeling a lot more confident that I can make this goal.† I have several reasons to feel optimistic.
Although Iím a marathon-virgin, I have run over 10 races over the past 2 years, ranging from 5K, 4miles, 10K and Half Marathons.† Furthermore, I have the benefit of being unemployed for the past year, which means I have had a lot of time for training.† And I have fully utilized the opportunity to train.
Furthermore, there are running calculators (I am using McMillan race calculator) which help predict achievable times for various distances based on one race result.† So, I took my fastest 5K race result, and got the following predictions (below), and I filled-in my actual race time in red.† To my amazement, my actual times very close to the times predicted by the McMillan calculator (www.mcmillanrunning.com).† So, in theory, I should be able to run the marathon in 3:19, according to the McMillan calculator.
Additionally, during the past weekendís long run, I managed to run 22.5 miles at about 8:05 minutes per mile pace.† What this tells me is that my goal of running sub-3:30hrs should be achievable within a race environment, if I can continue to progress well in my training, stay free from major injuries, continue to get excessive amounts of sleep and hydrate myself religiously.
Because I am running the requisite 9 races with the NY Road Runners, so that I can qualify to run in the NY Marathon in 2010, it is possible that I can run the Philadelphia Marathon in Nov, 2009, Boston Marathon in April 2010, and the NY Marathon in Nov 2010.† How cool would that be?!?!
So why did I choose to put myself out on a limb with added pressure of a time goal, and loudly articulate this secret dream of qualifying for Boston Marathon, when I should be content to just finish a marathon?
Because I want all of you, my friends, to share in the thrill that I feel in knowing that this is a difficult, but an attainable, goal Ė one that I have worked hard to achieve.† I want to share this journey with you, who have been following my journey through this blog, with all the excitement and the potential for let down, because no matter what happens, I am proud of having this dream which is no longer a secret.
Finally, lest you think I am getting too full of myself, let me tell you about my wife who humbles and keeps me firmly grounded.† She is training to run the same marathons (Philly & NYC), but she is training while holding down a full time job.† She doesnít have the time flexibility I do, so she is up at 5:30am, running on the treadmill because it is too dark to run outside.† It takes an incredible sense of dedication to train for a marathon as a full time working person, mother and a wife, and I am humbled by her will power.
HJ, The Spiritual Runner