This will be my 4th marathon and 3rd attempt at a Boston Qualifier/Gansett Qualifier. Well, it's my 2nd real attempt at a BQ/GQ. I was coming off of an injury and wasn't properly trained to run a BQ at Cox Providence. You don't know what you can do unless you try, right?
The course is flat. The size is decent. The weather is a wild card as always. I know I have a BQ in me and now I just have to get the right day.
I still have some time to think about a training plan, but I am pretty sure I am sticking with Hal Higdon's Intermediate I marathon plan again. I may tack on an extra mile or two here and there. I am going to drop my (training) marathon goal pace to 7:45 and my training runs to the 8:15 range (previous marathon goal pace was 8:00 and my training runs were in the 8:20-8:30 range).
I do not think I can run 7:45 in a marathon nor do I need to or want to. I am still going after 3:35:00 or an 8:12 pace. To give myself some wiggle room, I will aim for an 8:00 pace in the marathon. In order to run faster, you gotta run faster. What a shocking idea. One thing that works well for me in races is being ahead of my goal pace. If I train faster but keep my time goal the same, I should be able to run faster and be ahead of my time goal for a good part of the marathon. That strategy works well for me. It will hopefully give me a time cushion to work with. That leads to positive thoughts. Positive thoughts make my legs go faster.
Or I could try to run negative splits. I trained running negative splits for Chicago, and I think the major reason why I didn't run negative splits was the heat. Buuut, I have never managed to run negative splits in a marathon. I'm not planning on it.
So we'll see. 19.5 weeks to go.