Sunday, April 15, 2012

Goal: Freeze Pop PR

Well in case you've been living under a rock, you've seen that the forecast for tomorrow is a high of somewhere between 86 and 88 degrees, depending on which website you look at. There was actually a deferment option introduced, where if you chose not to run due to the weather (which the BAA actually RECOMMENDED for unexperienced marathoners/people with health issues) you would automatically be in for next year. I'll admit, I toyed with the option for a split second. After all, I don't have a BQ yet for '13 (actually, since the next remote possibility of me running a marathon is in October, there's basically 0% chance that I'll get one) and it would be like a reset to this awful training cycle that mainly featured injury.

But then I thought, you know what? Screw that. My training may have been several trains and a bus ride short of spectacular, but I'll be damned if I didn't work a 20 mile, 2-18 miles, a 15 mile and 2-13 milers into my schedule in the 6 weeks that I was actually ABLE to run. If there was even an outside chance of me being able to get through this race I wanted to take it - because my friends would be cheering for me, because I wanted to enjoy the experience (unlike last time when I was so frustrated that I wasn't going to PR that I just went into my bubble of sad and ignored the awesomenss that is BOSTON). Is this going to be the epic comeback marathon that I dreamed it would be when I signed up in September? No. But it wouldn't have been that regardless of the heat - so the heat just gives me one more reason to take the pressure off and just savor what I can do.  I can run. I AM STILL A RUNNER - no matter what shit has gone on in the past year. This marathon has always been about showing that the things that life has thrown at me will. not. break me. So in a way, adding the WORST possible weather I could imagine for a race just adds to that.

Now I'm not going to lie, the weather scares the living bejeezus out of me. My heat tolerance has always been poor - I'm the kind of person who will be wearing short sleeves and shorts to run when everyone else is still wearing tights - so I'm a little concerned about how my body is going to respond. But my #1 goal is to FINISH THE RACE - so if I have to walk half of it because I'm overheating, well, that's better than not finishing.  My plan is pretty simple: run as close to naked as possible (sports bra and shorts, that's it), drink a sip and throw the water on myself at every water stop while drinking a full cup at every 3rd or so (depending on how I'm feeling), and care exactly zero about pace.

A+++ Beat my last Boston time (3:46:48). I would say that if the weather had been normal there was about a 50% chance of this happening, I am now taking that percentage down to ~1%. Looks like I'm taking that shot of tequila. Womp.
A Within 5 minutes on either side of 4 hours. Given the heat and my training, I think this could be reasonable.
B Set a freeze pop PR. Considering I have eaten a grand total of one freeze pop during a marathon ever (Boston 2010, lifesaving) I think this is completely doable!
C Finish. And you bet I WILL FINISH.

This is a weird situation. I've never in my running life as I know it gone into a race without optimal training or some sort of PR-style goal. But I'm hoping that maybe this will be just what I need to rekindle the fire that seems to have gone missing lately. And I mean, hell, if I can make it through a marathon in 88 degree heat, every other race/run EVER is going to seem like heaven in comparison, right?

Right on Hereford, left on Boyleson...

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