I barely had a chance to descend from my post-marathon high when I shot back up again, along with the entire running community, with the 113th Boston Marathon, which took place yesterday. Knowing that I will be joining those ranks in a year's time only made it more exciting!
The women's BQ thread from RWOL sent four regular posters and two occasional posters to the Boston Marathon this year. It was such a fun time tracking them while watching the elite races unfold on the Universal Sports webcast. I also tracked some local women I know from one of my running groups, as well as my friend Tracy from Louisville, who had an excellent race on that tough course. Besides that, RWOL was alive with tracking threads, both on MRT and on the Boston forum. It was such an exciting day. HikerGirl, BarbBQ, MichiganMama, and Betaboo--you all did a great job! I can't wait to read race reports and hear (see?) your thoughts.
The elite races were very exciting to watch. Kara Goucher, in only her second marathon, stayed tucked into the lead pack for the entire race. She put in a surge in the last few miles, but couldn't quite hold on. She ran a smart race and had the win in her sights, but as so often happens, the stars just didn't quite align. I have a feeling she'll be hungry for a victory (hopefully she'll be back in Boston next year!). Kara faded back, and the race was decided in a heartstopping sprint between Dire Tune and Salina Kosgei. I thought Tune was going to get it, since she won in similar fashion last year, but Kosgei got a stride up on her and crossed one second ahead.
I was also very impressed with Ryan Hall. He ran a gutsy race, seemingly determined to show the world that he's someone to be reckoned with. At the gun, he was off like a shot, leading the pack through a blistering first several miles. Then he seemed to fade completely. As eventual winner Deriba Merga put in a powerful surge that pretty much lasted to the finish, we lost sight of Ryan Hall. I thought he was toast, wasted after his risky burst of opening speed. But he didn't give up. In fact, he gave second-place Daniel Rono a run for his money and managed a solid third-place showing. He shaped the race into what it was: not a tactical game, like the women's race, but a fast-paced contest of attrition.
So, with the marathon afterglow renewed by the excitement of Boston, it's been hard to run too much or too fast during my own training runs. I've been running steadily, but keeping things easy. Yesterday I was definitely a bit too fast (8:30 miles), but I think I can be forgiven after such an exciting day. Today, maybe a rest day would be in order, but if I run, it will be short and VERY easy. I'm determined to keep things easy while building my mileage back up to around 50 mpw. On May 3, I'm going to start a new training program. This one will be targeting a 5K, the Limestone Classic in July. This race is well known locally for being fast and accurate. I'm thinking a sub-21 could be a real possibility. I haven't training specifically for a 5K since college, and then I didn't have the solid base that I have now. I also eat better and get more sleep now. Could I get faster than I was in college? I will find out in July!
After that, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. The allure of running a fall marathon is definitely there, but I also want to try my hand at shorter races, not just this 5K. I would also like to go sub-1:37 for the half marathon, in order to qualify for automatic entry into the NYC Marathon. So it's possible that I will start a half marathon program, targeted toward one or two halfs in the fall. Nothing definite yet though!