After yesterday’s 22-mile long run which wrapped up the endurance building portion of the NYC Marathon Training Cycle we are moving on to a three-week stretch of racing each Sunday to put some speedwork back into the schedule.
September 25 – Silicon Labs Austin Marathon Relay
October 2 – IBM Uptown Classic 10K
October 9 – Denver Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon
Three straight race weekends and then two final 20+ mile long runs will take us to a two-week taper for NYC. I am reducing the taper by one week for New York, feeling that adding a 5th 20 mile long run just two weeks out from the starting line on Staten Island will help us close strong over the final miles in Central Park.
Adding races to my marathon preparation is something that I did for the first time last year competing in the Austin Distance Challenge. The Distance Challenge was a 5-race event featuring one 10K race (IBM), one 10 Mile Race (Run for the Water), two Half-Marathons (Decker & 3M) and finally the Austin Marathon on February 20th.
I felt like the miles run at race pace really paid dividends during my training cycle as it is so hard to run at “race pace” alone in the morning through a training run. It takes the spectacle of race day, other runners and pinning a bib on to your shorts or singlet to get that race day mojo going and drop pace that final :10-:15 seconds per mile that make the difference between “running” and “racing”.
Each event will test my readiness in a different way, racing this coming weekend on somewhat tired legs without the benefits of a taper.
Then on to the IBM Uptown Classic where I hope to rebound and make a run at my 10K PR of 38:06 set last October.
Finally the Denver Half-Marathon, run at elevation, which should tell the tale of the tape regarding my ability to punch through the 3:00:00 mark in New York. 1:24-1:25 in Denver means we’ve got a shot. Anything over 1:25:30 – even at elevation, and it will be tough for me to even decide to go for it on race day.
Amazing in a footrace of 13.1 miles how much :30 will mean.
The SI Labs Austin Marathon Relay is a 5-person relay event covering 26.2 miles in Downtown Austin. Each runner on the team is responsible for handling their leg of the course, which is divided into a 12K opening leg, two 10K legs and two 5K legs.
Our team comprised of Brendon, Mick, Lee, David and yours truly are running in the Men’s Masters Division – as all of the runners on our team are over the age of 40. We are running under the moniker – 5 Sorta Fast Old Guys or 5 S.F.O.G.
Last year’s Men’s Masters winning entry ran a time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. On that team was my good friend Scott Birk, who you may remember passed away on June 13th of this year after being struck by an automobile during a morning training run here in Austin. The post about Scott’s accident can be found by clicking HERE.
On Sunday, on my left race flat I have Scott’s initials and date of his accident. On my right instep are Dom’s initials and the date he passed away in August of last year. With the team we have put together we should be able to throw down a time in the 2:42:00 – 2:43:00 range – which we are hopping will be fast enough to earn us some race day hardware.
I will be running the second leg of the event, the first 10K taking the timing chip from Brendon who is leading things off for us, and handing it over to Lee for the third leg. Mick and David will run all out over the final two 5K legs and bring home the bacon so to speak.
It is going to be a lot of fun to race with some good friends, and kick off this mini-race season of ours before things turn very serious over the final few weeks leading up to New York City.
As for Boston – we registered for the race just a few minutes ago. The final spots will be awarded based on how far under the qualifying time a runner ran their qualifying race. Today’s registration date is for all runners who beat their time by less than 5 minutes, giving out spots from fastest to slowest.
Our qualifying time was 4:59 below our standard, meaning we are at the front of the line for Bibs, only competing with those who ran an identical time as ours. It looks like we’re in for Boston in April.
Lookout Hopkinton. A VERY different marathoner will be there on April 16, 2012 than the one you casually threw aside on April 19, 2010. I look forward to putting a size 9 Adidas Adizero Aegis squarely up your ass.