Back To The Drawing Board (Road to Boston) Part 4

Returning home from Erie, I knew what I had did wrong...  1 week earlier before the goal race, the race I had trained for, for twenty weeks, I ran the R&R VA. Beach Half.  Now this race is in August and is usually a very hot event. Not one that I would normally "race" due to the heat!

But that year it was the coolest it had ever been and I was at the top of my game... So I raced it. That was not my intention when I started but that's what happened... So I guess I essentially peaked on that race.. I thought  a week was enough time to recover.. but it wasn't.

This is why my quads blew out at mile 19.

Training started for my second  BQ attempt in December 2015 for  the Emerald Isle marathon to take place in April of 2016, just one week before the 2016 Boston Marathon.

This go around we had a whole new plan. There was a new partnership and new goals.

On top of that, life had changed a lot for me in the last 6 months!

I felt driven to succeed. To show up every day and to grow as an athlete.

My training partner Heather was training for Boston.. she DID qualify at Erie and had run Boston the year before for her first time! Since the races were just one week apart we could train together.

Not too long into our training, we met Emily! A 27 year old runner that had one marathon under her belt but was on fire for Boston! She joined us on a long run one Saturday and decided she would train with us. Mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, our hard work out days and then on Saturdays for our long runs!

Emily reminded us of.. well.. us! Determined and feisty with a 190 cadence, she was all about getting it done and she showed up!

While we were all training together we had different pace goals, so therefore our warm ups and cool downs were ran together but the hard workouts, yasso's, intervals, tempos and other workouts were all done to the specificity of our own pace parameters based on our plan layout.

Emily decided she was going to run Emerald as her BQ race and to my surprise a couple weeks later Heather threw down the challenge... BIG TIME!!!

Here is what she said...

"So I think I am going to cancel Boston this year, qualify at Emerald and then we (Me and Heather) can run Boston together next year!"

What?? Okay.. so this is assuming I am going to qualify at Emerald!! Ummm... I need to improve my one time 3:32 to at least a 3:23 to somewhat guarantee entry into the race!! This is a big gamble and a lot of pressure to put on someone... right?

I mean... holy shit!! That's 9 minutes!!

If you remember I ran Erie with a 9 minute PR... so that means I would need to run THIS one 9 minutes faster than Erie.... Is that even possible?

I was still unsure! But training kept on!

Now might be a good time to read my race report on Emerald Isle!

So Emerald turned out like this.. I finally got by BQ! Qualifying with a 3:20:41! Without a doubt the best race I've ever run with negative splits for the last 6 miles or so! And that was with hills and headwinds!

The day ended with all three of us qualifying with Emily and Heather taking first place age group awards and a second place age group award for me! It was a great day had by all!

We were going to Boston!

My daughter was at the finish line that morning, driving up form Wilmington. I was so happy that I could share that moment with her!

Qualifying for Boston took a myriad of changes and discipline, total dedication and a few lessons learned! It brought camaraderie, friendship and new goals!

... and a 21 minute increase in my time over two marathons... I would have never believed it could happen!

But it did!

We spent the rest of the day celebrating our victories!!

Next up: Running the 121st Boston Marathon (Road to Boston) The Final Report


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