I recently posted about my experience running the 2017 Boston Marathon and how much I enjoyed the experience. In a nutshell, it was tough but it allowed me to see first-hand how the Boston crowd suddenly transforms into an experienced running coach at the sight of a runner having trouble. In addition to that, I loved the feeling of being in a major city overflowing with people who are passionate about running. It made me really want to go back.
A few days after getting back to Minnesota, it became apparent that my goals for the year needed to be put on hold so I could start working on getting back to Boston in 2018. There was just enough time to train for a qualifying attempt before September 11 when the registration opens. The race I chose is the Dick Beardsley Marathon in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. It is relatively small and I am somewhat of familiar with the area. It seems to be a reasonably fast race although one aspect that I am concerned about is the elevation profile. The website FindYourMarathon.com has it classified as ‘rolling hills’.
The training plan I chose is the Pfitzinger 70/18 plan which is the same plan that I used to qualify last time. It is 18 weeks long with weekly mileage peaking at 70 miles. It is broken up into four sections or ‘Mesocycles’… Endurance, Lactate Threshold + Endurance, Race Preparation and Taper & Race. Each workout is done at a specific pace which is determined by the target time. Using the Jack Daniels marathon pace calculator, I chose a target of 3:10 and filled in the paces.
I am six weeks into the plan and one workout shy of completing the Endurance mesocyle. So far, so good. The threshold pace workouts are brutal but doable and all of the other paces are actually easy. In fact, I have been running all of longer runs at 15 seconds per mile faster than specified simply because the specified paces seem too slow.
One thing nice about training this time is that I can wear a Boston Marathon shirt on days when I am running at long or recovery pace. I hate getting passed when I need to run slow (especially when they are pushing a stroller). The BM shirt is a sublte way letting them know that no, this is not my normal pace.
Weather has been nice. Health-wise, everything is great although the Plantar Fascitis pain still appears when I wake up but always goes away within the first quarter mile of running.
Knock on wood.