There is (less than) one week to go until the Boston Marathon, and I set a new PR today. It is amazing how much easier swimming is when you don’t work very hard in the day(s) before the swim. This weekend, I only ran 17 miles and averaged around 7:00 minute pace. When I got to the pool this afternoon, I managed to swim an extra lap in less time than my previous best.

My swims basically amount to how many laps I can swim in 30 minutes, which is about how much time I can afford in the pool on my lunch breaks. I have managed to swim 27 laps the last 3 times that I have been to the pool, with my quickest being in 29:50. Today I managed 28 laps in 29:47. Only a little over 5 laps to go and I will have managed to swim a full mile in under 30 minutes. I don’t actually expect to get to that point, however.

The taper is going fairly well. I plan on doing some track work tomorrow night, and I will try to get in the pool again one other day this week. I don’t plan on working quite as hard, however. Now is when I need to be conserving my strength a little. I will probably get a couple of 5 mile runs in before the weekend, which will bring me around 20 miles for the week. This weekend, I am not sure what I will run on Saturday; Sunday will probably be around 2 or 3 miles. Monday, I’ll be running around 27 or 28 miles, most of them at or under 6:00 minutes per mile pace.

I have not completely formalized my race plan yet; I want to run under 2 hours and 40 minutes though. The last time that I ran in Boston, I ran a (net) time of 3:40:37. It was very painful, and I hope not to be in a situation where I am running a marathon with long runs of 4 miles up to a month before the race. I got to the point where I knew I could finish, and Boston remains my slowest marathon by over 20 minutes. My next two slowest were the first two. I want to be able to say, “I beat my Boston PR by over an hour.” It would also be nice to run a personal best that is over 10 minutes faster than my current one, which I ran with plenty to spare at the end.

My original goal of 2:45 is my slowest acceptable pace. That is a 6:18/mile pace. A 6:00/mile pace over the entire distance would net me a 2:37:12 time. That means that I need to average between 6 minutes and 6:07 over the entire course to make my goal. I think that if I can do that, then next Autumn is going to be very interesting. I am not sure if a 10-15 minute PR is possible right now, but if I can do that this Spring then my goal for the Fall race will have to be 2:30:00 even. I did not think that I would ever bother getting myself to that point, but now that I am getting closer I want to see how low I can go while I have the chance.

I am going to give high mileage one more chance this Summer. If I get hurt, I may just accept the fact that I run well in the 40-50 miles per week range and stop risking the injuries that the high mileage brings. If I don’t get hurt, though, then I like imagining what I might be able to do in a marathon if I have 20 or 30 more miles per week average under my belt than I have had up to this point. It has been about 7 years since I ran more than 100 miles in a week, and I don’t expect to do it again this year. We’ll see, though.

For those others who are running in Boston next Monday, how are you tapers and your planning going?