Last night the BAA emailed all runners registered for the 115th Boston Marathon. Arriving in my inbox with a time-stamp of 7:49 p.m., the email declared that we were, at that moment, exactly 26.2 days away from The Big Day. While I’ve been counting down the days, I never thought to do that division–very very cool 🙂 (Duly noted that I shouldn’t be allowed to do that division, as math is…how shall I say it…not my forté.)
The email also announced that all runner bib numbers have been assigned; you can search for any registered runner’s number here. My number is fantastically memorable with a wildly long string of super-lucky 7s: I am runner number 24777.
I am tickled pink about this. I am driving my family crazy. They would love it if I would stop yammering on about the brilliance of 24777. Sorry guys, I’ve tried. I appear to be incapable of stopping. I just love my number! 🙂
When I met with my coach after last weekend’s New Bedford Half Marathon, I asked him what The Plan was from here on out. Specifically, I wanted to know what I was supposed to do on this weekend’s 21-miler on the Marathon course with my Children’s Hospital teammates, the longest run of my entire 16-week marathon training plan. I braced for some specific and challenging directive. At New Bedford, he had assigned me to hold an 8:30 pace for the whole 13.1 mile race. At Salem’s Black Cat, I was to run as many super-fast miles as I could and switch to LSD only when exhaustion set in. At the BP-16, I was ordered to negative split. So there was some serious precedent here and I was eager to know what gauntlet he’d throw down for the 21-miler.
Much to my surprise, he gave no gauntlet to run. Quite the opposite occurred: instead of giving me some super-tough assignment, he gave me permission to bail. “Your work is pretty much done,” he said, showing me various signs of this work and its doneness on charts he generates from my Garmin data. “Your main job now is to stay healthy and uninjured. Have fun with your team. Enjoy the course. If you feel the least bit negative at any point, stop running and go home.”
He went on to say that I am now physically capable of running a qualifying time at Boston—of qualifying for Boston at Boston. Whether or not I will is dependent on the weather, on my mood, on whether my heart breaks on Heartbreak Hill. It’s dependent on my heel and on my neck—on too many things to enumerate. The question isn’t whether I am capable of achieving my goal but whether I will on a certain day in April on a certain stretch of asphalt connecting Hopkinton and Boston.
To further stress his point, my coach told me about another athlete he coaches, Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker. (Yes, I know it is crazy that I share a coach with an Olympian. Pure wackiness.) He has been working with Jarrod to get him to the point where he can run a sub-14-minute 5k (wow!). He showed me pretty charts and graphs of Jarrod’s workouts that apparently scientifically prove this awesome athlete is fully capable of the sub-14-minute feat (in case you’re wondering, the male 5K world record is 12:37:35).
“Jarrod is capable of a a sub-14 minute 5K. You are capable of a sub-four hour marathon. Will he do it? Will you do it? There’s only one way to find out.”
Well said. 🙂
Bye for now, folks. Chase those negative thoughts away–just don’t injure yourself in the process!
– #24777 (aka Christine)