I'm Boston bound in a few days here for the 7th time and as always chatter begins to start about what my goals are, what time I want to run etc. To be quite honest I really hadn't thought about it, at all, until the big 16 miler a few weeks ago. I really thought Boston was going to be a hard training run where I went, had fun, and finally sneaked in under 3 and just enjoyed myself.
Then I went and ran a fast 5k off two weeks of training, I started running fast track splits, I felt like an animal at Youngstown and couldn't run the prescribed slow pace despite having fun and running relaxed on some gnarly hills, and then 16 at 6:36 pace felt like a pace job (and it basically was as I was helping my teammate). After all that I had to admit I should probably think about a goal for Boston other than have fun and run a hard training run.
Before I knew all that I opted out of the elite women's start this year. I really didn't feel I would be in shape to cash in on it, and to be quite honest I wasn't sure if I was mentally ready to race 26.2 by myself again. Originally my thought process was if I was in shape to PR I should take the mass start and have more men/bodies to work with, and if I wasn't in shape take the EWS and force myself to learn how to race better in a stacked field. i.e. don't run anyone else's race but your own even when the stakes are high and the field is really fast. I didn't really discuss this with my coach but decided to leave it in his hands whether or not I would take the elite start and we decided I wouldn't this year. Given my high fitness, and now knowing the EWS field, I am glad we made that choice. Out of the 50 or so women in the start my qualifying time was only faster than 7 or so. The real race in Boston for women certainly isn't around 2:50 :) But in the mass start there will be plenty of men to race around that time!
I'm not setting any real time goal, the marathon has too many variables for that and my experience with Boston is that every time I get my hopes up I suffer and come very short of the goal. But I do have the goal of racing my best on Monday and I have an idea of where that should put me. I want to be competitive in the field, I want to represent my teams well, and by all means if that results in a fantastic time I will be very stoked. No limits and no expectations, just hard racing on Monday for me!
Feel free to follow along! Bib 1993