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Qualifying for the Boston Marathon

Posted March 4, 2015

GOAL: Qualify for the Boston Marathon at the San Luis Obispo Marathon this April.

Yes, this is my goal.  Why SLO?  It’s my hometown, but it’s a lot more than that.  The SLO Marathon is a beautiful and challenging hill-laden course that won’t be an “easy” qualifier.  I will be 50 in September, so technically, I just need to break a time of 3:30:00.  I know I have a sub 3:20:00 in me (although I only have to beat the qualifying time by two minutes), and I hope to qualify in the 40+ division since I feel young (most of the time).  I am aiming for a little over a 7:30 pace for the first mile circling Tiffany Ranch and Corbett Canyon.

You might be asking now, how did I get here?  This will be my seventh marathon and fourth consecutive SLO Marathon!  In 2010, I ran the Leadville trail marathon in Colorado, which was above 10,000 feet in elevation and marked my first marathon.

My second race was the SLO Marathon in 2012 finishing in 4:28:00 with a cramp.  The following races leading up to last year, I was overtraining, recovering from injuries, and suffered from cramps after mile 14.  Why was this happening at mile 14?  Dehydration? Low sodium levels? Overtraining? Did I need to wear compression shorts to keep my hamstring snug?  I tried different solutions to these questions, but didn’t make a breakthrough until recently.  In an ultra-marathon training guide by Hal Koerner, it stated that some people do well to use Tum’s for their calcium which helps prevent cramps.  Now, I am no longer suffering from cramps and have been building a consistent training regimen.

My training plan:

  • 3-hour trail run each week
  • 10-miles at a 7:15 pace
  • A speed workout
  • 3 easy recovery runs

*my weekly mileage has increased from 50 miles to the high 70’s.

The SLO Marathon has a lot going for it, and I’m really looking forward it!  See you all out there!