I need to run the Phoenix Marathon in 3:30 or less to qualify for Boston. This translates to an 8-minute-per-mile pace. The race starts in Mesa at an elevation of 2,050 feet and ends at an elevation of 1,200 feet for a net elevation drop of about 850 feet. This translates to an average of about 33 feet per mile, but miles 4 to 8 are actually slightly uphill.
Since I got sick last month, I have been struggling to hold a pace of 9-minutes for any length of time. That seems to be changing. Today, I ran for an hour and forty-five minutes and for the first time in more than a month, I felt the rhythm in my stride, I felt the rhythm in my breathing and I felt the running euphoria that has been missing. I ended up doing 12.66 miles (average pace of 8:18 per mile); not quite BQ pace, but close.
The Phoenix Marathon is still more than 2 months away. I have plenty of time to feel better and train.