Well it was quite the experience – following Saint Stephen all through the Boston Marathon. I had signed up for e-mail alerts of his times, along with some of his other fans. Steve is so modest that he always claims to have just 10 listeners – well, Monday, he was proved incredibly wrong. My inbox groaned with the e-mails from other listeners which I was cc’ed in on, waiting to hear how he was doing. Amazingly, some were able to watch the marathon online across the world, others followed the e-mail and still others were actually able to watch it in person. We must all be quite geeky listeners because those who watched obviously went home and e-mailed about it – it was a wonderful experience. It was like we were all watching and spectating. When it became clear that Steve was having a hard time everyone started mailing in chants, like we would have done had we been on the streets of Boston, along the lines of “come on Steve, keep it going, you’re looking great” etc. It later transpired that one of the e-mail readers passed this on to Steve and that this was one of the things that kept him going – that there was a whole community out there willing him along and sending out their positive vibes. Quite an experience.. I’m not through listening to his podcast about the race – I know he did not manage a PB, but given the conditions I think it was utterly remarkable he finished at all. St Stephen – a hero to us all!
I’ve been checking out the Boston qualifying times – what else does a girl do after a day like that? and I see that I was wrong – 4:00 is the qualifying time for 45-50 women – at the moment I’m 35 so I’ve got to get 3:45 (yeah, right) and when I’m 40 it goes up to 3:50. Sigh.. I’ve either got to get a lot better or a lot older. Can’t decide which is easier..
In the meantime, on a positive note, however – my running is back on track. I’ve been doing my daily maintenance runs of 4.2 miles since Wednesday without trouble or discomfort and am heading out for an easy 10M tomorrow morning with Sally. We’ll have a marathon conversation no doubt – she wants to do Nottingham but I’m secretly contemplating Amsterdam.. You may not realise this but I’m actually Dutch and go back home very regularly and it would be great to run a race my family could come out and support in some serious numbers! Also – as my parents would be there they could bring the kids and they could see me race. Finally – it’s 2 days after my birthday (36) and I seem to be making near birthday marathons a tradition, saving the champagne for after the races… So I’m going to try and talk Sal out of Nottingham and into Amsterdam. Watch this space…
Finally – thank you all for your feedback on giving up on my May marathon.. You know, once I started watching Steve on Monday I put it all behind me. I realise that, somehow, part of me wasn’t really focusing on it – I was not training mentally at all, the way I should have been. So I’m picking a new goal (oh joy!) and … tatada! going to try a new training plan. I’m contemplating the Hansons moderate consistent plan but suggestions are welcome. If I do run Amsterdam, I’ve got a few weeks to go before deciding so let me know what you think would work. I’ve done one marathon on a Mike Gratton training plan – not particularly great, too hard for a first-timer, one marathon on Hal Higdon – good, but, as Terry says, not going to get you speedy – so now I’m looking for improvement. And I’m prepared to go the distance – she says boldly. So let me know what you think – what / who works for you and why?