Donald's post the other day got me thinking about this again. Recent events have kept it in the front of my mind. I'm in the 5K series with Jesse from my running group. Jesse's only a couple of months older than me but he's definitely faster. I don't really know how long he has been running but I know he trained really hard trying to qualify for Boston, but missed it by 15 minutes at Rock & Roll AZ in 2004. He disappeared from the group for a while after that. The effort took a lot out of him and he ended up hurting himself. He's back now over 2 years later but still in no big hurry to run another marathon. Now he's focusing on speed. He hopes to break 20 minutes on Saturday at the Donate Life 5K. Robb is also shooting for a 20 minute 5K. I'm pretty sure Jesse can shave off 26 seconds to make his goal. We'll have to wait a little longer to see about Robb. But if I had to predict, I'd bet he makes it too. My goal when I started this 5K was to catch Jesse or at least close the gap. Frankly I'm shocked that I've been at 22:43 and 22:20 these last two. I never expected that. My best before that was 24:00. I got here just doing what I always do with a little, and I mean little, speed work thrown in. Back to Donald's point how much improvement could I have gotten if I had trained harder, smarter, or better. Could I realistically achieve that 20 minute 5K? I've been a runner for just less than 3 years, I'm not getting any younger, and I can guarantee there's no genetic predisposition to speed in my family.
On the other end of the spectrum, the 110th Boston Marathon has really stirred my passion for that distance. How could you not get excited about Boston after reading Jeff's account and the RBF reunion there on the east coast. Listening to SteveRunner's podcast #41 was just amazing. The minute that anyone ever finds out that I run marathons, it's "have you run Boston?" Even none runners understand the mystique of Boston. I've pretty much resigned myself to choosing another one to cross Massachusetts of my state list. With 4:06 as my best, how could I ever hope to meet the 3:30 qualifying time. I'll be happy to break 4:00 at SEAFAIR, 2 days before I turn 45, technically requiring a 3:20 BQ. Do I have it in me to shoot for 3:30. Would my body hold up? Are there enough hours in the day? My wife is supportive of my running jones most of the time, but I do take the occasional hit. And rightfully so, I imagine.
My 4:06 was at Hartford after running 3 other marathons that year. I averaged only 25 miles a week leading up to that one. Last year for NYC, I averaged 32 miles a week over the same time frame including 4 weeks at 40+ miles. That one was my 2nd worst at nearly 5 hours. I would clearly have to run longer and faster to make this goal. Back to Donald again. I wonder if I could really do it? Am I willing to even try? I doubt I could do it alone. I believe I would need some coaching to provide a focused plan. Up to this point I've gotten where I am pretty much on my own. Something to think about. Definitely easier to write about than to actually execute.
This week was a scheduled easy week leading up to a 20 miler on Saturday. Tuesday I got whacked bad with a head cold, so no running. I didn't manage to make it up on Wednesday either. I did make it out tonight for 5 miles over on the roads in Bonelli. I took it easy and felt alright. Saturday morning most of my running group is joining Jesse at the 5K. No one else is up to 20 miles, so I'm heading down to Irvine to meet up with the RBF's hippest member. I'm really looking forward to that.