I was looking at the Boston qualifying times yesterday and noticed that the time applied to the date of the Boston Marathon, not the date you run the qualifying race. I wasn't considering trying to qualify for Boston this year. I'm 44 years old and I thought this meant a qualifying time of 3:20, which is way out of my league right now. But I will be 45 on April 20th, 2009. This means that if I run a 3:30 marathon or better, I qualify.
Now, in theory I should be good for 3:30. I had a fantastic half last Sunday and finished right on my A target of 1:40, which gives me a predicted marathon time of 3:28. But. This is my first marathon and I know very well that the half I ran is the EASY half. My longuest run will be this Sunday at 20 miles. This will be the first race I do where I never actually ran the distance in training. There's a black hole of 6 miles where anything can happen.
I think I WILL go for it though. Over the last few weeks, I've been f@#king around thinking that maybe I should run a bit slower since this is my first marathon. A bit of fear of failure, I think. Thankfully, last Sunday's race showed me that I can do it, IF I decide to try. The thing with racing long distances is that shit doesn't just happen. There are no (good) surprises. You have to plan your pacing and stick with it or there WILL be a surprise and it won't be a good one.
So, on October 19, 2009, if the weather is right, my body is unhurt and my mind is clear, I will run the Toronto marathon as fast as my body can sustain and try to qualify for Boston.