I’m allowing myself to have a minor freak out over details this week. Next week, assuming all of my fears and concerns and worries and general anxiety have been soothed and solved, I will move on to pep talks and inspiration and some loud Chariots of Fire music (extra points if Mr. Bean shows up).
But today. Today is Amy is Freaking Out Over Her Marathon #1. Please consider this as an open invitation to give me honest and unsolicited advice, because oh my goodness am I listening! Not that I’m ever NOT listening. But you know what I mean.
Marathon Dilemma #1: Pace Groups.
So, before I get into that, I was doing my daily stalking of the B.A.A. (Boston Athletic Association). (Congratulations to all of you who got accepted for 2013!). Registration is still open, which is pretty crazy. We are currently into the 2014 qualifying window, and spots are still open for 2013. Apparently, yesterday morning, there were still 2500 openings available. I have never entertained the possibility of running Boston 2013 because it didn’t occur to me that spots would still be open this far into registration. Even though I’m certain after this upcoming weekend’s races and the roughly 1 billion people hoping to BQ at Chicago that I won’t be getting in, there exists just a slight glimmer of hope. Just maybe.
However, I stumbled upon this little tidbit of information on the Boston Marathon facebook page. I don’t know how I missed it until now, but this makes my heart happy!
I set my 3:30 goal assuming that the times would be reduced by 5 minutes as they have been the last couple of years. But, the times will remain the same! So, to qualify, I have to run 3:34:59 or 8:11 mile splits…5 minutes slower than I have been anticipating!
Herein lies my dilemma.
I’ve been planning on running with a pace group. I figure when the going gets tough and I lose the ability to think, and I start fading away physically and wanting to curl up in fetal position , I can say to myself, “just stay with the pacer, and you’ll be ok.” That’s it. Just stay with the pacer.
I am of course hoping that the pacers know what they’re doing. I’ve read some blogs of pacers who kind of screwed over their groups, but those were for smaller races. I’d like to think that Chicago would have a competitive process for choosing these people who fearlessly lead hopefuls to victory. Maybe?
Also, apparently the pacers keep a consistent pace throughout the race.
Luckily, both the 3:30 and 3:35 time groups are offered in my corral. But which one do I choose?
(First, I’m being confident and positive Amy and assuming that I can keep up with these groups at all. Obviously there is a HUGE chance that I won’t be able to hang after the first 15 miles. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there).
Should I go with the 3:30 group and give myself five minutes to fall behind pace? This gives me wiggle room to not make some mile splits at goal time, or use the bathroom if necessary, or stop to walk, or curl up in fetal position for a bit, or whatever.
Do I go with the 3:35 group and hope that I’m feeling good enough the last 4-5 miles to pick up speed and come in somewhere around 3:33-3:35 since I saved so much energy by going 11 seconds slower per mile?
For me, going out too fast usually means that I start out about 6:45 and run my first few miles in the 7:00 range (not the best idea). I don’t think starting at 8 or 8:11 will make or break me energy wise. Plus, the one time I tried negative splits, I didn’t feel like it helped me at all.
So, do I give myself a cushion or do I conserve a bit of energy and hope that I have it in me to go crazy the last few miles?
My inclination is to go out for a 3:30, but I feel like everyone will say to go out slower and then pick it up for the last few miles. But what if I’m too tired to pick it up? I’m not giving myself any wiggle room if I go out slower. But what if I really can’t handle 8 minute miles. I think I know what Pre would suggest!
I don’t know what I’m going to do. What would you do and why?
Also, the problem with following all of the “big” running blogs is my envy over their participation in all of these cool relays. The running social media world was recently taken over by Hood to Coast coverage (thanks to the 3 Nuun sponsored blogger teams who were tasked with talking about the race and Nuun as much as possible), and I added it to my bucket list. It looks AMAZING! Mountain AND Ocean views!
So, this race just happened, but they are already getting people pre-registered in anticipation of real registration in a couple of weeks. Apparently this thing sells out in 1 day…10 months in advance! If only we could find 10 other people willing to commit to something 10 months in advance (and you know, running at night and living out of a van for a couple of days).
I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday!