WHERE ARE WE GOING?
Sunday, Dec. 12
Holualoa Tucson Marathon
NO REALLY, WHY?
To qualify for Boston. No other reason. I would not run this race otherwise (no offense, Tucson, but you must admit, that's your top selling point).
WHO ELSE IS GOING?
Somewhere around 1300 folks for the full marathon. The race grew 20 percent from 2008 to '09, but last year's course change was so thoroughly panned that I'm sure it turned some folks off, even though this year's course is largely back to the old one.
WHAT'S THE FORECAST?
Low 40s start/upper 60s finish, no chance of rain. The double whammy of the drop in elevation and the rise of the sun will make this uncomfortable by the finish. The big X factor, though, is the wind. Last year's race featured a brutal headwind, but right now Accuweather is indicating winds from the north, which would be just perfect.
HOW DO WE WIN?
We won't know until the Boston Athletic Association sets the qualifying standards for 2012. That's what will make this race so agonizing. I'm going to stick with the 3:15 pace group because in today's world, that's the time I need. If I don't finish with them, so be it. If I do, that'll be great, but the celebration will be delayed until I hear that the BAA is only going to stick it to women or the under-30s. (Oh, and then I still have to get online and register successfully on the day registration opens, but we'll get to that then.) Age-groupwise, I'd need at least a 3:08 to make the top 3, so forget it. I may well be capable of something faster than 3:15, but I'm sticking with the pace group to be sure I get it.
WHAT'S THE PLAN?
Not sure about Monday, maybe an easy bike ride at the gym, then 3 miles easy Tuesday, 4 Wednesday (I'll mix in some last few hills), rest Thursday, hit the road Friday, and 2 easy Saturday.