Today I ran the Trolley Run. It's a four-mile point-to-point with a lot of gentle downhills. I finished in 32:43, an 8:11 pace. It felt pretty darned good, like I was running right at the edge of my ability. Maybe I could've gone a little faster, but not much.
I'm pleased with my performance. Six weeks ago, I ran 4 miles in 36, a 9-minute pace. That was a hillier course, and it was colder. But still, I propelled my body through space and time at a much faster rate than before.
According to an online pace prediction calculator, this means that I ought to be able to run a marathon in 4:03. Of course I can't do that right now. I will not do this in Cincinnatti. But given my current fitness level, if I were to do more training at higher pace for longer distances, I should be able to do it. In fact, it's more likely that if I embark on a training program like that I will wind up running a 4 mile faster, kicking the whole prediction model up a notch or two.
Which is all a longwinded way of saying that maybe, just maybe this "qualifying for Boston when I'm 45" thing could work after all.
Still, I have a ways to go. If I were to run as fast as I did today for 26.2 miles, I would still miss qualifying by almost five minutes. To make it, I would have to maintain 8-minute miles the whole way.
But while I still have a ways to go, I also have plenty of time. I haven't even really begun speed training yet. In fact, I haven't really done a sustained time-goal training program yet. My first will be for Chicago, which will be the culmination of an 18-week training program developed by Matt Fitzgerald, in conjunction with participation in a running club. I have a hunch that I met well make a good run at the four-hour barrier in that race, if training goes well.
In other news: I'm going to be on The Walt Bodine Show tomorrow, talking about speech writing. It is at 10 a.m. Central time. You can listen online if your like.