Damned good question.
Boston 2011 has come and gone.
A 3:10 Boston Marathon would have made it easy – the Vermont 50 in September followed by running the New York City Marathon with Autism Speaks in November with some shorter races between now and then.
But I think I have some re-evaluating to do over the next couple of months. By late-May/early-June I need to make a decision of WHAT is it I am training for. I have to decide what is more important to me this year – Is it scratching a 50-miler off the bucket list or is it taking one step closer to a sub-3:00 marathon? Can I do both?
A couple of things to consider:
- The fall marathons I would be considering (a return to Smutty, maybe Bay State) don’t happen until AFTER registration for Boston 2012. This means that my chances of getting into 2012 would still be based on my 3:19:19 from Smuttynose 2010. Based on that performance, I will not be allowed to register until the 2nd week AND will have to hope that my 1:40 buffer is fast enough to squeak in. The likelihood of there still being spots available for me will be pretty slim. So, does it even make sense to attempt a 3:10 – 3:15 marathon in October. To add insult to injury, even if I do manage a sub-3:15 but not a sub-3:10, I will be back in the same boat as I am now because of the lower time standards for Boston 2013.
- If I run New York this year with Autism Speaks again, I will definitely approach it as a fun run. I would probably still try to improve on last year’s time, but my approach would be completely different, with my first half being a lot more relaxed. That being said, my New York Marathon strategy should not be hindered by a 50-mile trek in September.
- I AM considering a small marathon at the end of July. The 24-Hour Around the Lake Race has a BQ-Certified marathon built into it. The marathon is 8 laps around Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, MA. That’s pretty monotonous, but it’s also flat, like the elevation varies between 25 and 32 feet above sea level flat. One other quirk is that it is run at 7PM at night. That would be interesting and I think that as long as I didn’t get greedy, I could actually make a decent run at a sub-3:15 – that is, as long as the temperatures aren’t too crazy at 7 o’clock at night in late July. A sub-3:15 here would put me in on the 5th day of Boston registration where I think I would have a better than 50-50 shot of getting in. In addition, the pull of an early fall marathon taking me away from the Vermont 50 would disappear.