I put in 9 miles at a 12:30 average pace. If Boston were tomorrow, I certainly wouldn’t qualify however I achieved something equally as important. Consistency.
I realized that if I go out every long run with the expectation that this is the run that will qualify me, that I am going to be so focused on the end goal that I forget to focus on the small details that will lead to the big successes.
The only way that I am going to be able to shave the 3+ hours off my time necessary to qualify, that I need to be consistent at a pace that is comfortable. I need to be consistent at a pace that challenges me. I need to be consistent at a pace that is fast. But before I get to fast, I just need to be consistent.
When I struck out today my goal was to try and maintain a consistent pace that would lead to a negative split. I wanted to start out gentle so that when I was heading home I would still have gas in the tank to keep going. While I didn’t have negative splits, I maintained, within about 30 seconds, the same pace.
I worked on strategies that would keep me running when I felt mentally like I needed to walk. I worked on slowing my running pace rather than walking. I would pick something in the close distance, i.e. phone poll, fire hydrant or flower, and I would slow my pace down until I got to the landmark and then I would pick up the pace again once I got there. It worked! I had 4 walking breaks (no more than 20 seconds at a time) and I had to contend with traffic lights when I headed home. Overall, I was pleased with the run. I returned home exhausted and feeling that I had put in a solid effort.
Another goal that I wanted to focus on was getting into a hydration routine. One of my biggest downfalls is not consistently drinking and eating while on long runs. A habit that I believe has harmed me on race day. The new hydration vest that I got for my birthday was a huge help. It was super comfortable and I found myself drinking more water because of the ease of access of the water hose. Also, it didn’t rub my neck or weigh heavily on my shoulders. After a couple more long runs I will make sure to write a comprehensive review.
Even though I was tired, I was incredibly pleased that I have the beginnings of a solid routine in the making. As always, consistency is key. I may not be super fast right now but I am on my way.