My 2015 running goal was to qualify for Boston. Done. Thanks Run S.M.A.R.T. Project!
This past Sunday, March 15th 2015, I ran the Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary, North Carolina. I needed a 3:40 to qualify for Boston. After training with my Run S.M.A.R.T. Project Jack Daniels Marathon Training Plan since December using the VDOT O2 App, I ran a 3:18:53, over 21 minutes under my BQ time. This was my 7th marathon and it was very different than any of the other six.
What was different? I was passing people for the entire second half of the race and ran a 5-minute negative split. Mile 26 was my second fastest mile in 7:15. I finished strong. I started the race with the 3:30 pace group, left them at mile 9, then caught and passed both the 3:25 and 3:20 pace groups before I hit the finish line.
I’ve never experienced this kind of strong second half in a marathon. In my previous marathons, I faded during the last 10K. Even for my 2004 2:53:14 PR in Philly, I slowed by 20 seconds per mile after the turn at 20. During my one trip to Boston in 2003, I ran a 12+-minute positive split, dragging myself past the CITGO sign and down Boylston Street in 3:12:22 after hitting the half in an even 1:30. But this past Sunday at Tobacco Road was a different story.
What I’ve learned from training with The Run S.M.A.R.T. Project Jack Daniels Marathon Plans over the past year is that each workout has a specific purpose. My easy runs were easy and enjoyable and the hard workouts were very hard, but I never felt overtrained. Just the opposite: I felt confident that I could bring it all together on race day.
One of my favorite workouts was the combined Threshold & Repetition pace workout we did on January 31st. The screenshot below shows the workout in the VDOT O2 App:
I posted this on Facebook and we had a good group respond and join in the workout:
Here are the splits:
Another huge day was the bunched long run we did on February 6th, 24 miles in one day. We did 12 miles early in the morning and then another 12 after work. The second 12 miles started just about twelve hours after the first 12. We also had a lot of interest from our group in this run. The picture below was taken after the first 12, but we were still smiling at the end of the day with 24 miles in the books!
When I entered my 3:18:53 time into the VDOT O2 App after Sunday’s race, I was prompted to answer whether or not I wanted my VDOT number to be updated based on this race performance. Of course I did! And I went from a 44.35 to a 48.42 and my VDOT badge changed from gray to yellow. Looks like I’m getting faster with The Run S.M.A.R.T. Project. I’m looking forward to Boston 2016!