Ed, actually, for many people like me, the Olympic Trials are the Olympics. Comparing wanting to run in the Trials to wanting to qualify for Boston isn’t really the comparison I see. I see the comparison to be more accurate if you say wanting to qualify for the Trials is comparable to wanting to qualify for Boston. If you want to qualify for Boston, do you do so wanting to finish in the top 3 at Boston? Same thing with the Trials for those of us who are just hoping to catch the tail end of the qualifying time range. We know going in that the sub-2:12 guys are in a whole different league than the over 2:20 guys, we’re just happy with the opportunity to live a dream and experience the thrill of the Trials.
As for the improvement curve, because of the way I am going at this, I’m going to expect a more flat curve than some might expect. However, I’m not looking at a simple 8 minutes per year. Of course, also to take into consideration is that I’m not expecting to run 25-26 miles of every marathon I run into a 30 mph wind with 45 mph wind gusts, so I have to assume some of this 24 minute improvement, 10 minutes or so based on what I believe and what those who have been there told me, will be accomplished simply by finding better conditions.