Sunday, April 12, 2009

Boston: Prediction, Training, Tracking

Anyone who has run Boston knows as the race approaches, your fellow runners will inevitably ask...
  • "What time are you aiming for?"
  • "What do you think you're going to do in Boston?"
  • "What's your prediction for Boston?"
With a week to go, I cannot dodge the question any longer, so here is my prediction for Boston...cloudy, low in the mid-forties and high in the mid-fifties, with a 20% chance of precipitation.
Seriously, I don't know how I am going to do in Boston, so I am not going to make a prediction. My most recent real test was the half-marathon in Youngstown last month, which I ran in 1 hour 31 minutes. To me, that indicates a marathon time of about 3:06. That of which of itself would be a huge improvement over last year, and would not be likely unless the wind and weather conditions are good. I have been hearing lots of noise about trying for sub-3 hours, but the idea that I can knock 17 minutes of my time last year seems improbable. A sub-3 hour marathon would require that I average under a 6:52/mile pace. For perspective, last year my average pace was 7:30/mile, and my fastest single mile in the whole race was 6:51. To go sub-3 hours, I would have to run all 26 miles at that pace this year. See my point?

It was a good, 58 mile, taper week. After a Monday recovery run, I was forced indoors for the speed session on Tuesday, due to the snow and cold. The treadmill only goes up to 6:00/min pace, so I did three 1 mile repeats at that pace. I followed that on Wednesday with 6.5 miles at a 6:50 pace, then a moderately paced 6 and 7 miles on Thursday and Friday respectively. Saturday, the usual crew ran a muddy, wet 11 miles. I had to hose-off before going in the house when I got home.
On a cold Sunday morning, I decided to make up for Tuesday's less than full-out speed session by running the first six miles aggressively. Fortunately, I hooked-up with Kam, and we ran to the water stop together. Those first six miles went like this: 7:34 (took us a little bit to warm-up), 6:46, 6:38, 6:26, 6:26, 6:35. After that, I backed off the pace, and finished the 13.76 miles at 7:23 average pace.

Tracking My Progress on Race Day
On the morning of the race, Monday, April 20th, click on this link, Boston Marathon, before the start of the race at 10:00 AM. Follow the instructions. You will be asked to enter my name or bib number, #4438. My time and pace will automatically be updated as I cross the sensors, which are at 5 kilometer intervals, and at the finish line.


Steve Stenzel said...

Good luck on Monday!! Your goals seem well thought-out. We all do that - "oh, I'd LOVE to be able to do this, but looking at the numbers... who am I kidding..."

Have a GREAT race, and good luck getting as close to 3 as possible!!

p.s. Thanks for all your great, thoughtful comments on my blog recently. Really. Thanks!

EbethS said...

Good Luck and just have fun.

E-Speed said...

You are going to rock it Frank! I predict a very good day with you ending in a triumphant haul to the finish after the Newton Hills :)

allanjel said...

Frank you will totally kill it!!! I will be following everybody via computer and TV.... from my couch :) I know my mom is pulling for you too!!

Graham said...

Awesome, awesome awesome!!! Great finish time!! So looking forward to your race report. Confeatulaations again.

Steve Stenzel said...

HOLY CRAP!!! Nice job out there!!! GREAT finishers time!! I'm in awe!!!

Can't wait to hear about it!!!

Now, rest up!!

Congrats again!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW !!! Oh, and did I say....WOW !! What a great time!
Amazing! Congratulations! Have a beer and rest up! You've clearly earned it! Wait! I need to put in a few more exclamation points!