Monday, October 25, 2010

Marathon Training Update, Weeks 9 - 15

Apparently, posting a training update once every four weeks was too much to ask. I said I would write something for weeks 9 - 12, but time got away from me and I never got around to it. Fortunately, it doesn't appear anyone has noticed. :p


The highlight of the past seven weeks was my performance at the Montgomery Half Marathon. I blogged about it here, and it served as a huge confidence booster when I did better than expected. I now feel that unless events beyond my control conspire against me I should be able to achieve my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

Speaking of Boston, one development that has me a little concerned is how quickly the marathon sold out this past Monday. With the popularity of the race soaring it stands to reason the Boston Athletic Association has some tough decisions to make. The pundits say they could institute a lottery, increase the size of the field, or make qualifying times tougher. Or, they may choose to implement a variation of the three. Whatever the case may be, I feel now that I need to do more than post a 2011 qualifying time of 3:20. Fortunately, I've been training for a 3:15 all along, so no last-minute adjustments are needed. I just need to mentally commit to this being the actual goal, instead of a stretch goal.

So, what to do about a new stretch goal? Based on my recent half marathon time and the McMillan calculator I should be capable of finishing under 3:12. As my friend James would say, that's one Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). Well, the thought of even qualifying for Boston a few months ago sounded preposterous, so I won't dismiss this as a possibility. Time will tell.


As is probably the case with most people at this stage of training, I'm dealing with some aches and pains I believe to be minor. My left hip flexor has felt strained for almost two weeks now, though it hasn't hindered my workouts. It's sore when I start and stop, but once moving I don't really notice it. Otherwise, it's the usual fatigue and soreness - especially after an intense running weekend. I'm hoping and expecting that as the taper begins, so will the healing.


Not a lot to discuss here, as I don't have any big decisions to make regarding shoes or clothing. On race day I'll be wearing my Saucony Kinvara Vizis that have about 50 miles on them. I wore them for the Montgomery Half Marathon and never once thought about my feet, so choosing them for the full was easy.

If I did have a dilemma it would be whether to carry my PowerBar Energy Gels in the Hydrapak Softflask I recently purchased. I learned about it from Pete Larsen at Runblogger, and have used it on my last two long runs. I got the 5 oz. version, which I like, but I probably should get the 8 oz. one instead. I can fit 3 gel packs in the one I have, but think I want the larger one so I can take along at least one more.

That's all for now. I suspect I won't have any more updates at least until the taper is in full swing. Until then, happy running!


  1. Hi Drew, I can't remember how I found this blog, but I know I subscribed to the RSS because I'm also training for a BQ attempt. Mine is less than 2 weeks away in Raleigh.

    Did you see this article on Runner's World about carb loading?

    The main thing I got out of it is to eat low protein, low fat and high carb meals for the 3 or 4 days before the marathon.

    Which marathon are you doing?

  2. Thanks for your comment, Matt.

    I did read the article you mentioned, and didn't think it broke any ground. I'd hoped the calculator would be helpful, but didn't find it provided enough information. I was looking for suggestions on how many carbs per day, and how many days before the marathon one should start loading. Anyway, I'll probably just use common sense and eat roughly the same way you stated.

    I'll be running at the Chickamauga Battlefield on November 13th. Good luck on your BQ attempt!