Sunday, July 17, 2011
#4--Twin Cities Marathon
October 8, 2000. 3:09:52
When I finished the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, I set my sights squarely on qualifying for Boston. I had basically spent the last year training. I was in great shape, and I thought a BQ was within reach. I read everything I could get my hands on about running. I was in marathon shape, I just had to get a little bit faster. I took a week or two off after San Diego, and then began a fairly intense program to try to qualify for Boston. I incorporated one of Hal Higdon's intermediate programs. Each week I would do a track workout, an easy recovery run, a tempo run, a long pace run, and a long run. Every run had a purpose. The program was challenging but doable. My peak weekly mileage didn't ever exceed 45 miles. This was important, because I had just started my third year of medical school (the first clinical year and probably the busiest and most time consuming. During my surgery rotation I would start rounds at 3:30 in the morning!)
After 18 weeks, I was ready. I can't remember why I chose the Twin Cities. Probably because it was within driving distance, and I had a friend that I could stay with. Race day was clear and cool. Probably high 30's at the start. I was a little late getting to the start area, so I had to start towards the back. There weren't any corrals that I remember. Anyway, I knew I had to stick to a 7:15 pace at least. After the first mile, I was already a minute or two behind. I went to the side of the road and even on the sidewalk at one point in order to pass the slower runners. I felt great and quickly got back on track. I remember that I had at least one sub 6 minute mile during the race. By ~ mile 19 or so I had a comfortable cushion. At this point, however, the Twin Cities course becomes very tough. Right after mile 20 there is a steep hill that doesn't end until about mile 23. I had run plenty of hills, but none like this. I did my best, but at the top of that climb, I had lost my cushion. I was now well off pace. I was crest-fallen, but I had come too far to give up. The only thing I knew to do was keep running, which is what I did. I remember looking down at my watch at mile 25. Although I can't remember the exact time, I do remember thinking that if I had a strong kick, I might still be able to make it. At that point I went into what was basically an all out sprint for the last 1.2 miles. I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch. It said 3:09:52. I had just qualified for the Boston Marathon.