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January 14, 2010

Napa Valley Marathon (3/7/10) - Jeff Reichbach’s first entry on his upcoming Boston Marathon qualifying attempt

Written by Dena Evans

The highly sought after Boston Qualifying time… that’s the goal.  3 hours, 10 minutes, 59 seconds.  I’ve had my sights set on it ever since I finished the NYC Marathon with a 36 minute improvement over myfirst marathon.  But, that was back in 2005.

After a successful knee surgery in 2007, my 2008 attempt at the Vancouver Marathon was shut down months early by a neuroma in my right foot.  Then, a last minute hamstring strain ended a great 9 month training cycle just 9 days before the 2009 Fresno Marathon during aneasy 3 miler and then wouldn’t heal in time for the California
International Marathon.  A couple of months later, here I am with just 8 weeks until I plan to toe the line at the Napa Valley Marathon. Willthe 4th time be the charm?  Will this short training cycle be enough to get back into 3:10 shape?

I never expected this journey to be easy, but I never imagined that it would take over four years (so far), countless, 6AM, solo, morning track workouts in the dark (there were even ice patches on the track two weeks ago), months of physical therapy, an incredibly understanding and supportive girlfriend and family, and a new level of creativity in balancing a demanding and ambitious work schedule.

Overlaid on all of this is an emotional rollercoaster of great highs seeing my fitness improve and setting new PRs at shorter distances, followed by deep lows as another year goes by without even getting to the starting line of a marathon.

One of the things I’ve taken away from the experience so far is that the marathon requires both an adherence to long term perspective and an ability to focus narrowly on the minute task of the moment.

Currently, my hamstring is healed, my foot and knee feel fine, but there’s always a challenge preventing my training from being
predictable.  I just caught the cold that’s been spreading around the office and an old hip flexor injury has been feeling a little achy recently. So, this weekend I made a judgment call to skip a short easy run, but gut out my long run in order to make some progress in getting over the cold and resting the hip flexor while trying not to set back my training.

I guess only time will tell whether I made the right decision.

Last modified on October 10, 2010
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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