Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ready for Boston!

I haven't been able to write as much as I would have liked because I have been finishing up my master's thesis.  I turned it in on April 2 and now I wait for comments from my reviewers; the defense is likely May 5.  It's title Social Media #FTW!: The Influence of Social Media on American Politics.  Message me if you would like to read it.

This week, I'm preparing to run the Boston Marathon.  It's an exciting day as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts takes the day as a holiday and the Red Sox have their 11:05 AM start of a game.  I'm optimistic that it can be my fastest Boston to date based on some solid winter training and two recent personal bests in other distances.  I have raced well lately, in my opinion.  In March, five weeks before Boston, I ran the Rock N Roll USA Half Marathon in DC in 1:25:47 - 15 seconds better than my previous PR.  The course was hilly so I think I had a faster time in me on a flatter course.  In early April, two weeks before Boston, I ran the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in 63:11, blowing away my previous PR of 64:00 (on a course that was likely short).  I also had a good race at the Club Challenge, which is a notoriously difficult course with lots of challenging and long hills.

I didn't work with my coach this winter since I had too much on my plate (see thesis) so I trained myself.  Since it was a snowy winter, I relied on hill repeats instead of track which was likely icy.  The good part about hill repeats is that if there is a little ice or snow, you can still finish the workout.  I would run a longer warm up, like 6 miles, then do the hill repeats to practice for the hills of Boston that hit between miles 19-21.  I also did a long run of 16 miles around 7:30 miles then the following day raced a 10K so that I would practice racing while tired - again, preparing for the final miles of Boston.    In the two weekends between the half marathon and Cherry Blossom, I ran 22 miles as my long run and 21 miles the following weekend, each averaging a bit faster than 7:30 pace.  Physically, I am ready for this race.

Mentally, I think I am ready as well.  I have a lot on my mind.  Last year's Boston Marathon still echoes in my thoughts.  I truthfully have no idea how I will feel; my family and I were out of the city by the time the bombing occurred.  I know it will be emotional.  The recent passing of my mentor, Arnie Thomas, is weighing on my mind.  Last year, I ran in memory of two of my uncles that passed away in 2012.  I'm sick of running this race in memory of people I care about deeply - please let's not have anymore losses, okay?

I will try to use all this motivation in a goal of doing my best.  My A goal for the day is sub 3 hours; my B goal is sub 3:04 (which would be a PR); my C goal is sub 3:08 (to qualify for next year); and finally, if all else fails, I want to beat my time from last year of 3:19.  I have read and re-read the Sports Guy's article on the Boston Marathon, which I enjoy reading each year.  I'm looking forward to seeing my family.  I have been tapering while observing Passover, and it should be interesting to carbo-load without eating pasta or bread (I'm relying on potatoes, bananas, apples, and yogurt).

The 2014 Boston Marathon is only days away - I can't wait!!

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