I have taken a little over a week off from running. During this week I’ve been able to process through what happened at the Around the Lake Marathon and begin to focus on what comes next.
On the calender, my next big race is the Vermont 50 – a tough 50-miler through the mountains of Vermont. I had promised my friend Doug that I would run it with him should I qualify for Boston (which I did back in October of last year). It’s been sitting on the calender ever since – looming large. It is a big reason why I am NOT running the New York City Marathon this year for Autism Speaks. I just couldn’t see myself running a 50-mile race at the end of September and then following it up with a Marathon in early November.
The Vermont 50 Team in fact has a growing number of runners and support crew that should make it a very fun event come September.
But 50 miles…
…that’s a lot of miles to run.
The most I’ve ever run at one time is the marathon distance (26.2 miles). Even taking into account that I weave through crowds and sometimes take the longer, outside lane, I’m pretty sure I haven’t run more than 27 miles at any one time.
And my last attempt at 26.2 ended at the 20-mile mark, doubled over, hobbling for the portapotty. As unready as I was for the Around the Lake Marathon, there was part of me that was convinced that I was going to pull off a 3:15 and lower my qualifying time for Boston 2012. (Click HERE for the new registration process) Sitting at a 3:19 qualifying time, my chances of getting in with the new rolling registration feels slim. I’d feel a lot more secure about being able to run Boston for the third consecutive year if I could give myself a 5 minute qualifying cushion that would allow me to register in the first week instead of the second.
After Around the Lake, I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I would probably not be running Boston this coming April.
But then Doug called me this past week. He wanted to see how I was doing after my meltdown. He had texted me earlier in the day asking if he could call, wanting to talk about “September 25th and September 11th”. The Vermont 50 is on the 25th. I assumed that maybe he was organizing some kind of memorial run for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 – he’s that kind of awesome.
To my surprise, he was calling me to essentially let me out of my promise to him. He knew how bummed I was after Around the Lake and called to let me know that there was a race being organized (by my team/sponsor Racemenu no less) to give runners one last chance to improve their qualifying times for Boston 2012 – a time trial type race, with 1 – 4 runners going out every 30 seconds based on projected finishing times. Imagine being able to start a race with a group of people who were gunning for the exact same time?
I couldn’t help but think, this is my second chance!!!
The details of the race are still being ironed out. All I know is that Racemenu chief, J. Alain Ferry is currently working on putting the race together and he feels confident enough about it that he’s had his team write about it on the team blog, facebook page and twitter feed.
September 11th is 5 weeks from yesterday, which would give me 5 weeks of training.
I haven’t been chasing 3:15 for too long (last November at New York was my first attempt), but three marathons later, with times that are getting slower (3:27 – NYC, 3:37 – Boston, DNF – Around the Lake) I wonder if Father Time is starting to nip at my heels.
New York I can chalk up to running shortly after my BQ run at Smuttynose. Boston I can chalk up to going out too fast and bonking at 17. I’ve essentially had a down cycle since Boston – that, along with the HEED I ingested at Around the Lake can take the blame for my flameout there.
My blog friend Lizzy suggested that maybe it was time to concentrate on shorter races, and she may be right; but I know 3:15 is just within my grasp.
It’s right there…my fingertips scraping against it.
This marathon would be in 5 weeks.
I’m pretty sure I can rally hard for 5 weeks.
I’m also pretty sure that if I were to run a marathon in 3:15 on September 11th, I wouldn’t be able to run 50 miles 14 days later. I’m not completely sure how I feel about that. There were a lot of people I was planning on seeing/meeting from the running community on September 25th.
Who knows, maybe plans get held up and the marathon doesn’t happen. If that is the case, I suppose I am back on for the VT50, but right now, at this moment, I can’t turn my back on one last opportunity to better my chances of getting into Boston 2012.
This morning I got up and hit the treadmill at 5:30AM – an easy 3.5 mile run with no incline. I haven’t run pre-dawn in a while, and honestly, after over a week off, the legs felt a little rusty.
But it sure felt good to sweat.