Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gansett Training - All Wrapped Up

My short run this morning ends another training cycle. A short one. Now I head off on the road to Rhode Island.

Goals? Oh, I dunno. On a perfect day, I would like under 3:30. Then I'd be able to register for Boston when it is open to runners 5 minutes under the qualifying times. Believe it or not, Gansett is certified and should be accepted as a Boston qualifier. I am not hell-bent on 3:30, though. Even without being 5 minutes under the qualifying time, I think my Shamrock time will be good enough for Boston because 1) it is the first year with tougher qualifying standards 2) I am 3 minutes 30 seconds under the new standards and 3) last year everyone 1 minute 15 seconds under the old standards got in. I should get in with my Shamrock time. But strange things are happening in marathon registrations. It would be nice to meet the new standards by 5 minutes.

3:30 was my super secret goal for Shamrock. Yeah, yeah, I said it was 3:35. It was. Yet, I was on pace for sub-3:30 until mile 22. At that point, I remember thinking that I didn't want 3:30 that badly. I knew I'd make 3:35 with plenty of time to spare. That was good enough for Shamrock. I wasn't huffing and puffing to get a 3:31 finishing time. I wasn't wiped out at the end of the race. To get down to 3:30, I'd only have to run 1 minute 30 seconds faster. That's not slowing down in the last 4 miles or going 3-4 seconds per mile faster earlier in the race. Hmmm. I think I can do that.

On the other hand, I'm realistic. Shamrock was a perfect race. Perfect races don't happen often. I have no idea what will happen when I get out there on Saturday. Two marathons in 27 days is no small undertaking, especially when you were training for the first marathon all along. My body could decide I pushed it too far. I could mentally collapse. I am most concerned about my mental skills holding up. As a backup goal, I'll go with 3:35. Or 3:40. Or 4:00. Or not last. When it really comes down to it, I'm not that concerned about the time on the clock. Honestly. I just want the T-shirt and finishers patch. I want the bragging rights of being able to say, "I ran Gansett."

Why Gansett Could Be Good

I know most of the course. I love running in Narragansett. The Towers? Point Judith Lighthouse? Yes please.
My friends will be out to cheer me on.
The course is flat. Mostly.
Volunteering last year was helpful. I have extra knowledge that most runners don't have.
Easy logistics. No big crowds. No big hassles. It is pretty much show up and run.
The weather should be reasonable. Well, it is New England. Anything could happen.
I'm still coming off of a stellar training cycle and marathon performance.
I maintained my training in between the two marathons, including a most excellent fast-paced long run in poor weather conditions.
I have ran back-to-back races before and did well in both. Granted, running 2 half marathons 2 weeks apart is different from running 2 marathons 4 weeks apart. Still, I did PR in both half marathons ... by a minute and a half both times.
My confidence stuck around. That's big.
New mantras. Stronger now. BQ-5.
Everyone at Gansett qualified by meeting pretty difficult standards. Running with skilled runners is a good thing.

Why Gansett Could Be Bad

I know most of the course. There are a couple sections that are very boring.
2 marathons in 27 days? Kinda crazy.
Very small size. Most likely, I will be running alone at some point.
It is a 2-loop course. You pass all of the points in the second loop on the first loop.
I will be in the back of the pack.
Could be windy.
I am working the day before the marathon. Why did I think that was a good idea?
Distractions. I have been so scatter-brained and aimless for the last few weeks. Not having a routine is no bueno.
Didn't train specifically for Gansett. Shamrock was my goal race. Not sure I have switched mindset that quickly.

I have a feeling that Gansett is going to be more mental than physical. But we'll see what happens once I am out there. You never know what is going to happen in a marathon. I am using the same pace card I made for Shamrock. I am wearing the same sparkly white nail polish I wore for Shamrock too. Whatever happens at Gansett, getting into Gansett period was the bigger achievement. If I walk away with my 3:31 marathon PR intact, I am perfectly happy with that. Worst case, just think of it as going for a nice 26.2 mile run in Narragansett with a bunch of other people.

Go go Gansett go!!


  1. I am excited to read about your Gansett experience!!

    Thanks again for your positive advice.

  2. I am trying to not put too much pressure on myself, since that has worked in the past. Seems like a great small race.

    You're welcome :-)