Before I ran my first marathon almost ten years ago I would dream about qualifying for Boston. I would imagine what it’s like to cross that finish line in under 3:10. Today I am still dreaming about what it would be like. I am fortunate to the point where I am getting closer and know what it takes. For the first few years in my race training I would have no idea what it would take because I was so far off. My best time for years was about 4:11. Since I would need to improve by another hour it was really just a distant dream. I am now within 30 minutes of qualifying.
As I have written about before it would take cycling for me to really improve my run. Now I believe I am a full 12-16 week training plan away from qualifying for Boston.
What about Kona?
For those that don’t know what Kona is it’s the Super Bowl of triathlons. It occurs every year in October. To participate in this you either have to qualify in the top 3 in your age group in another Ironman or get in from a legacy program, charity, or be a lottery winner.
Before I did my first and only Ironman so far I would never even give the thought of qualifying. For me to have a chance to qualify based on my age group I would need to finish in sub 10 hours.
On my best day I felt I could do an Ironman in about 12 hours. Even though I finished in about 15 hours I think changing a few things I am not far away from doing about 12-12:30 hour Ironman.
For Ironman Louisville 2013 the winner in my 35-39 age group finished in 9:28. The third place finisher completed it in 9:38:43. So that still leaves me 2 1/2-3 hours on a good day.
How do I possibly get my time down from say 12 hours to a sub 10 hour Ironman? For me it’s really about the bike. Even though I spend most of my time on the bike this is by far my weakest of the three. I think on a good day on the bike I can do about 6 hours. I need to work harder at finding a way to get to a sub 5:30. These 30 minutes are huge.
My training most weeks are about 8-12 hours a week. I try and average about 10-12 hours but life happens. For me to lower my bike time significantly I need more hours on the bike and a fall Ironman so I can come into it peaked for the event.
I also think it takes someone like me years of triathlon racing to figure it out. I don’t have a time frame of when I hope to qualify for Kona but based on my training and what I am willing to put into the sport I think by my mid to late 50’s is when I hope to go to Kona.
I would do Kona based on a legacy program because of how difficult it is to qualify.
At the end of the day my first dream is qualify for Boston. I think looking at my race schedule for 2014 and 2015 I have a real chance to qualify in the fall of 2015. As of now I am thinking of going to Hartford to make this attempt. I have run this course twice so far and know it fairly well. It’s a fairly easy course and not that many runners. The other option is to go back to the Marine Corps Marathon where I first ran it in 2004….. Still chasing the dream…… Boston!!!!
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I would be extremely happy to cross the finish line in a marathon at all, let alone in under 3.10 !!