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!