Today was a big day. I had my first real marathon training “long run.” My goal for this run was to keep it under a 9 minute pace. As Boston approaches (5 weeks from yesterday!) I have been giving my race strategy some thought. While my overall goal is to finish and enjoy the whole experience I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any time goal. While I KNOW it will NOT be my best marathon time, I’d still like to push myself a little. I am beginning to think that running it under 4 hours is an obtainable goal. I have run 2 marathons before and both were under 4 hours. So, the competitive part of me would like Boston to be no exception. As luck would have it, that is also the goal of my 3 friends who also qualified and will be running Boston too. They are not going for their best time either. So, hopefully we can all stay together and keep it under 4 hours. A 9 minute pace will give us a 3:55 so I think we are shooting for a 3:40-3:50 for the first 20 miles so that when we hit the hills at the end we have some wiggle room. We averaged a 8:44 minute pace for the 17 today. I’m pretty sure I could have kept that up for 3 more miles so then it’s just a 10K left. Next week is our 20 mile run. It will be my training partners 2nd 20 miler and my first and only. I just don’t have time to do 2 20 milers with my condensed training schedule. Hopefully one will be enough! All in all, I am feeling better about Boston. I am just praying for good health and no injuries. When I got home I immediately stretched and iced. Then I had to switch into “Mom” gear so John could get going. It’s a little difficult to do that after a 17 mile run but with 4 kids I don’t really have a choice. Thankfully I have a husband who is so supportive and encouraging with my running!