Plan B is GO!

As many regular readers will know, my goal for 2016 is, above all, to qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon. 

Despite my interrupted training programme (entirely my own fault – a result of my being unable to commit to training for one event at a time), at this stage I feel like I am on track to run close to 3:40 and therefore a 5 minute buffer under the 3:45 qualifying time. 

Because I knew I was running UTA100 2 weeks before Barossa Marathon, I decided to enter the half rather than the full marathon at Barossa. A good solid half, 5 weeks out from my goal race (Gold Coast Marathon) would be a better option than a full marathon on limited preparation where I would be highly unlikely to achieve the magic number. 2 weeks after an ultra, too, it would be a perfect opportunity to test out my road legs (ie make sure they still work) and be a part of one of SA’s biggest running events.
Last year I broke 3:40 twice so I know I can do it. In fact, I think probably I am better placed now than I was at this time last year. 

This weekend I did my LONG run (38km as it turned out) at just under 6 minutes per kilometre. For the first time too, I ran over 21.1km without stopping and/or walking. Plus it was on a challenging trail loop in the rain so it was somewhat slippery. 

By way of comparison, my long run 4 weeks out from Barossa Marathon in 2015 was 6:25 pace, and the corresponding run before Liverpool 2014 was 6:28 pace. So it’s safe to say I am quietly confident.
But as we all know, things can and do go wrong. It happened for my Boston buddy Beck at Barossa (too many B’s!) and as a result she has had to refocus on Plan B, the Adelaide Marathon, in August.
Adelaide was also always going to be my Plan B, but to be honest I had not really considered the possibility of having to run it. 

I haven’t run the Adelaide Marathon before. I went along to cheer on some friends (dressed in a tiger onesie, just because!) in 2014, and in 2015 I was the 2 hour pacer in the half, dressed in a Snow White costume. 

I had intended to pace the half again this year – the lure of being able to finish on the hallowed turf of the Adelaide Oval was too much for me to resist!
The idea of going to the Adelaide Marathon dressed in running gear hadn’t even really entered my mind! But now I realise that things not working out at Gold Coast is a very real possibility.
After discussion with Beck last Sunday, and after I posted my race report on Monday, Beck made some comment like “I don’t wish for Gold Coast to not work out, but I would love to have a running buddy at Adelaide!” I thought about that for a bit. Last year I ran 2 marathons in 6 weeks and the second one was actually faster! Adelaide is 6 weeks after Gold Coast. It can be done!
So here is the new plan. I will continue to train for Gold Coast as before. That will remain my main focus. I will also plan to run Adelaide with Beck, 6 weeks later, if my body allows it. If I manage to get my goal time at Gold Coast, I will only run Adelaide if I feel there is a chance of me going close to sub 3:40. I’m not really any use to Beck if I’m running 4:00! 

Of course, if Gold Coast goes pear-shaped (being in Queensland I should say ‘pineapple-shaped’) I will be running Adelaide regardless. 

And if for some reason I can’t run the marathon, I will run either the 10k or the 21.1k (even if I have to walk some of it) purely for the novelty of running on the Oval!
I think this will take some of the pressure off me at Gold Coast, which will hopefully mean a better run for me – I was extremely happy with my run at Barossa and I hadn’t put any pressure on myself.
So there you have it! Plan B is GO! 

And now it’s in writing, so it has to happen!