Semper Currens XIV: DC Gets Closer, While Boston Moves Further Away

Week Thirteen Training Wrap-Up

I made it! Not only did I get through the hardest week of the program, but by switching up my 16-mile long run to 20 miles, I ran 61 miles–the most I have ever run in one week since this whole lark began. In the process, I crushed both my 12-mile interval and 10-mile tempo workouts (at 8:06 and 8:14 min/mile paces respectively, the latter in a torrential downpour).

Along the way, I ditched my MapMyRun app and went with Runkeeper to log my miles and calculate pace times. It had been messing up all summer, but the final straw was when it registered 18 miles for Tuesday’s 10-mile run, generating a hysterical map that had me running out of the park and straight across Onondaga Lake from Liverpool to Solvay then back across the lake to Baldwinsville before getting back onto the trail.


I may be a lot of things, but Jesus I am not.

The Week Ahead

Two more weeks of hard workouts lie ahead, but the long runs are over like the onions in the Canastota fields.


The main thing now is to stay healthy and focused.

The experimental switch from MapMyRun to Runkeeper will continue. While it has been pretty accurate on three of the four runs I’ve used it on, my phone disconcertingly shut down after 16 miles on Saturday. Now that could be a phone issue, of course. But I will persevere with it, even though there are things about it that I am not very fond of, such as its web interface and its strange pace calculations.

I also need to finish firming up logistics for the MCM weekend. Getting to the Expo and the Team Fox pasta dinner on Saturday will be hard enough, but getting to the start line with 30,000 other runners on Sunday morning is going to almost as hard as the race itself, so I don’t want to leave anything to chance. I also want to make sure that Tessa, too, has a memorable experience as a spectator. So there’s still plenty of planning to be done.

Feature o’ the Week: Shipping off to Boston?

If you’ve followed Semper Currens from the beginning, you’ll know that one of the goals I have for running the Marine Corps Marathon is to post a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon, which is an ambitious 3:40 for me.

That goal took a blow on Wednesday when the Boston Athletic Association, organizers of the iconic Boston Marathon, announced that registration for the 2016 Marathon had officially closed. The news was accompanied with a statistic that no ambitious mid-pack marathoner wanted to hear: the cutoff time for qualification had, once again, been raised.

Since the tragic events at the conclusion of the 2013 race, the goal of qualifying for Boston has become progressively harder. The trend looks like this:

2013 Marathon cutoff: Not needed–qualifying standard sufficient

2014 Marathon cutoff: 1:38 under qualifying standard (field expanded from 30,000 to 36,000)

2015 Marathon cutoff: 1:02 under qualifying standard

2016 Marathon cutoff: 2:28 under qualifying standard

(Source: Runner’s World)

This means I would have to run 3:37:32 or thereabouts just to get a look in for 2017. That’s around an 8:17 pace.

Recent runs are not encouraging indicators of how possible this would be for me. Although I ran an 8:11 pace at the 2015 Flower City Half this spring (my fastest half), I ran 8:29 two weeks ago at the 2015 Rochester Half and 8:38 at the 2015 Vermont Marathon (my fastest full).

Very simply, if I am going to qualify for Boston, I’m going to have to run the race of my life.

Team Fox Update

A few more substantial donations came in this week, and my fundraising activity is increasing as the deadline gets closer. But with only three weeks to go, we’re still a long way from achieving my other goal of raising $1,500 for Team Fox. So, please go to my fundraising page and make a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and help eliminate Parkinson’s!

What is your goal for your marathon? Are you hoping to qualify for Boston? Leave a comment here, or send me a photo, and I’ll feature it in the next Semper Currens.

About Bruce Pegg

I write about running, music and spirituality.
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