The first time I ran a marathon (Oct. 2016), it was about completion. Since I have one marathon experience under my belt, the goal this time around is to shave some time off. The question is: how much? Do I want to focus on JUST getting that BQ or do I want to try and really push it and go for a giant PB?
I have had a good start to the year in the races I’ve participated in, 3 PB’s in different distances. My training has been consistent and my workouts have been strong. I think that sets me up well for the Eugene Marathon. The concern with running a much faster marathon is this notion of “blowing up” that other runners talk about. I have not experienced this myself, and I am not sure I want to take the chance of having it happen.
If I were to plan on running fast and did end up “blowing up”, my BQ might be at stake. I don’t think I want to risk that. At the same time I think, sometimes you have to push yourself outside your comfort zone to get the results you are capable of. I do believe that to be true, I am just unsure of whether this is the race for that.
Sometimes I wonder if expecting a BQ in my second marathon is a tall order. The reason I expect it is that I have worked hard and my first marathon wasn’t far off at all (3:35:16). I know I am more than capable of taking off the few requisite minutes to qualify and have a buffer. But I have been reading Long Road to Boston and the author felt prepared on many occasions but circumstances arose on each marathon and it took him 21 tries to BQ. I don’t like to think there’s that little control over the situation. I have commited to training, eating well, practicing race fuelling, and recovering, but still, there seems to be this sense of “anything can happen in a marathon”.
There is exactly one month until race day, I plan to finish up the last bit of this training cycle strong and really embrace the taper. I still have time to decide how I want to race this event. So for now, I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing and closer to race day make a decision taking into account the weather and anything else that might impact my race.
Have you ever “blown up” in a race? What happened?