Marathon #3 of the year is Chicago. October 9. Last race in the Year of the Marathon.
I am seriously going after a BQ at Chicago.
There. I said it.
There is a pretty good chance I won't make it (again), but I don't know if I don't try. My Boston qualifying time for 2013 (b/c 2012 registration will close well before the Chicago Marathon) is 3:35. My Gansett Marathon qualifying time for 2012 is also 3:35. 8:12 pace. No 59 second leeway in either qualifying time. That sounded fast, until I realized that I ran close to that pace in the first half of Cox. I've done half marathons at 8:13 and 8:06 paces. Yes, it is different trying to hold that pace for a marathon. But at least I have some idea about how to make it happen. Chicago is flat. Crowded, but flat. The 8:06 pace half marathon was on a moderately hilly course. Run 3:35 in Chicago and I am in Gansett for 2012. Run 3:35 in Chicago and I am possibly in Boston for 2013. Good thing I just barely got myself into that qualified corral. Corral C baby all the way.
I am upping my mileage, doing some speedwork, and adding strength training. The training plan I picked (Hal Higdon's Intermediate 1) is 100 miles more than the plan I used for marathon #1 and #2 (Hal Higdon's Novice 1). That sounds like a lot, but it's only an extra 5-6 miles per week. I am faster, so it should be about the same amount of time. Sorta. The bulk of my training will be in August to mid September. I have to factor in heat and humidity. While I may be faster, the heat and especially humidity will slow me down. But then again, I am supposed to do some of the runs faster. I can always go to the gym if it is too hot. I am going to work on strengthening my quad muscles. I didn't do any weight lifting in my last two training cycles, and I realize that is a mistake. Two massive quad muscle failures is enough. You hear that, quad muscles?
Of course, the big deciding factor is the weather. The weather on raceday is the wildcard. Right now, my foot/ankle is another wildcard. So we will see.
It all starts June 6. Stay tuned.