So what I omitted to tell you in my last post was the conversation Sally and I had while out on our 18 miler. One particular part of our conversation at least. I was giving Sally my blow-by-blow account of the Stamford 30K (when you're running 18M with a friend you have the time and audience for this kind of conversation..) and Sally said - well that puts you on course for a Boston qualifier in London. I asked her how so, as 9:00 minute miling gets me round a marathon in 3:55 - not the 3:45 which is my age group qualifying time. Sally's logic was that Stamford was so tough that I should be capable of the 8:30ish pace necessary to qualify... Abandoning reason for a minute I got swept up in the reverie of the thought. Wow. BQ. Can you imagine? The glory and triumph would be mine.
Now Sally has an agenda. She BQ'ed last year. (I'm sometimes amazed that she's still my friend. Remember - I took her out for her first 10 miler. That was me! And now look at her. She's like a whippet!) So of course Miss Sally wants me to qualify so we can both trek out to Boston together next spring..
Anyway - I've rolled the idea around in my head for the past week or so. You know what I mean. Obsessively checking race calculators etc (to run 3:45 I must run a 10K in x, a half in y etc).
But then I've had a few runs in the past 2 weeks which have slapped me round the head with a reality check. I had an 11 miler on the treadmill, with speedwork, which didn't work. And yesterday I was intending to go out for 15 with 12 at race pace.. Well. It did not happen. I was SO tired. I barely made it to 6.
So let's recap here. My running is going really well. Really well. I'm running comfortable around the 9 minute mile mark and I'm happily running a mileage I could only have dreamed of in the past. The Pfitz is definitely helping me to up my game - enormously.
But I also have a life. A busy and fairly stressful job. 2 little kidoodles who need various bits of time, input and attention. A husband who ALSO has a busy and stressful life. This past week my wonderful parents were with me and I ended up staying later than my normal 9:30 curfew a few nights. I wouldn't have missed it for the world but it's undeniable that I'm paying the price for it now. Late night (with parents) and early mornings (with type A 6 year old) mean that I am shattered. Chuck in a 45+ mile a week training schedule and you can see there is no make-up in the world that can cover the bags under my eyes.
In the spirit of doing the opposite of me, I'm thinking I should not be pushing my luck. If I can get round in 3:55 that would be a massive (17 minute) PR. Last year I had no idea of how I would ever get to that time. Now I'm thinking that, with everything going my way, I can do this. But going down to 3:45 is, I think, over reaching for this race. I think that with a few more training cycles I can do it but right now it's too far to go in one fell swoop. Too risky for injury as well...
So here I am - what do you think? I asked my osteopath when I went for my tune-up the other day (he's suffering from over training at the moment, by the way, it even happens to the pros) and he said - devil's advocate - "can you imagine how you'd feel if you got round in 3:48? You'd think maybe your start was too conservative...". Thanks Jonathan. That helps. But thinking about this - say I had the wind in my back, perfect weather, energy levels that I can only dream of - and I got round in 3:48? What I would think is "omg what a PR and that BQ is definitely possible"....
Now onto the pressing matter of today. I'm meant to be going out for 15M with 12 at race pace. I set out for this run yesterday but abandoned it as I was just exhausted. Ran 6M instead. Today is the last day in my silver bullet extra week of training - as of tomorrow I am caught up with the Pfitz program and following the 6 weeks to goal (or 7 weeks today) program to my goal in 7 weeks. What do you think I should do? Should I skip the 15M and give my body a chance to rest, before the last hard 7 weeks of training? Or try to get this 15M in somehow? Thoughts, opinions and commiserations welcome...
I have no running photos to share at the moment - my camera really is bust, I fear, but let me take this shameless opportunity to show off my lovely daughter who is going to a new school in April and has just got her new uniform through - is she not gorgeous?
I hope all your running is going well and would love your input on my running, racing and personal strategy..