Pondering the Pace

on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 8:29 PM

With less than a month to go till race day, it's usually at this time that I try to decide on what marathon pace I will attempt.  I haven't quite figure it out yet.  I think I"m probably at about the same fitness level maybe a bit faster than I was at this time last year. Back then, I was thinking 3:20 was reasonable with maybe a 3:15 being a possibility.

The BQ magic number came out for next years race which was 62 seconds. That means you got in if you beat your BQ time by 62 seconds.  This was a big reduction as compared to this years race where the magic number was 98 seconds which probably has something to do with this year's event being after the bombings in 2013 and also possibly because of an increased field for next year.

So what this all means is that I could probably get into Boston, if I ran 75 seconds under my 3:15 BQ time, probably safer to say 90 seconds.  This translates into about 7:23/7:24 min/mile pace.  The fastest I've been doing my MP runs at is 7:30 min/mile pace. Though the 6 or 7 seconds per mile may not seem like a lot, I know for me it is considering that my LT pace has been at around 7:00. There really is very little room for error. Do a couple of miles at too fast a pace and I'd be basically screwed.

While originally signed up for Niagara Falls, I've been giving some serious thought to holding back a week and doing the Hamilton Marathon instead.  While Niagara Falls has about a 30m net elevation drop  with a kinda big uphill and downhill as you cross over the border in the first 8 miles or so, Hamilton is a generally flat course will no big hills, but one very big downhill at the halfway point. I'm talking a 140m drop, with the overall course being 160m net downhill.  That 160m would certainly buy me a good chunk, if not all of, the extra time I'd need.

So what this essentially means is, well, I don't really know.  I have one more tune-up race scheduled for two Saturdays from now. I was thinking of doing a Yasso's workout, but don't think that will be particularly useful at predicting my current marathon pace. There's a 10k about an hour and a half drive from Toronto, but that seems a long way to go for just a 10k race.  Way back when, before the advent of GPS watches, I had mapped out a fairly precise flat 5k loop course around the neighborhood. I once tried to do a 10k time trial on it, but I just sort of gave up after the first loop.  I never tried it again.  But seeing as this could be important indicator of my current fitness, I may just decide to take another crack at it.


Robin said...

Good luck with the decision! Glad to see you back in marathon form and racing! Good luck at the tune up race.