The time to register for Boston has finally come (it will be nice to have the money to actually register ;-)), and I am getting really excited. I still won't be starting my serious training for another couple months, but I have been thinking lately of how I got here. The time and effort, not to mention the support from my family all paid off last October in St. George, Utah where I qualified with a time of 3:09:41 (I had to beat 3:10).
Many of you know that I have a beautiful wife and two sweet little girls who are all very important to me. Looking at most marathon training programs, one can see the extensive amount of time it takes to train for a marathon. Family support is crucial because the time you take to train is, in most cases, time away from your family.
Inspired by an article in Runner's World magazine called "The Less-Is-More Marathon Plan," I began to train only three days a week. I didn't really follow the plan to the T, but I used it as a rough guide to keep me on track. This plan was perfect for me because I really didn't want to take more time away from family (I was also finishing up graduate school and working a full-time job at the time).
When I say I used this training plan as a rough guide, it literally was a rough guide. I am in no way advocating that others follow my training plan (like the experts say, you should check with your doctor before starting any intensive training program). I am simply sharing it because interest has been expressed, and I'm kinda proud of myself. I did run three days a week, like the training plan suggested, but instead of doing a tempo run, a track workout, and a long run each week, I ran most of my miles at my marathon goal pace of about seven minutes, with the occasional tempo and track workout thrown in. My mid-week runs ranged from two to seven miles, and my long run only reached about 16.5. This kind of miles allowed me to spend more time with my wife and kids. And, I think they appreciated having me around.
Some people may think I was crazy to train the way I did, and there are plenty who don't understand how I was able to run the way I did in St. George. But it worked for me, and I plan to train in a similar way come time for Boston.
Another factor in helping me run a qualifying time was some of the lessons I've learned running other marathons. I definitely ran a smarter race in St. George than I did in my previous marathons. No matter how good I was feeling early on, I kept to my goal pace (remembering to bring your watch is helpful with this). Approaching the finish line and seeing the clock still under 3:10 was such a wonderful feeling. I had finally reached my long-time goal. I was going to Boston!