Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Breathing Exercises, Part 2

The moment after I clicked "Publish Post" yesterday I went to the online registration site for the Towpath Marathon. It's official. I am the owner of a brand new marathon registration -- my third ever.

This is a new challenge. This is a challenge for which I am trying to leave out the numbers, even though some non-marathoner thinks it makes me sound slow. This is a challenge that may need its own goals.

Goal Evaluation
I'm going to chalk it up to the delusions of taper madness, but Nitmos had something ... [gag face] ... constructive to say regarding my second marathon in two weeks. "You shouldn't have the expectations to PR, as piling two marathons on top of each other usually isn't recommended," he wrote. "But, for that reason, you might just surprise yourself. This is a No Lose proposition in my opinion."

It seems Nitmos is suggesting that I set my race goals in the "I Like Shiny Things" mold. (I'm withholding -- and getting off on it -- the results of the F.M.S. Race Goal Calculator.) However, I do have some competitive spirit. There is no way I can go into a race without expectations.

I have never run two marathons in one year, let alone in two weeks. I know I should say my goal is just to finish. But come on! Did you really expect that?

I set four goals this year:
  • Break 50 minutes for 10-K (Result: +0:49)
  • Break 1 hour, 50 minutes for a half marathon (Result: -0:51)
  • Break 4 hours for a marathon (Result: +30:44)
  • Break 1,000 miles for the year (Result: incomplete; 752 miles currently, 17.6 miles behind schedule)
I took two cracks at each of my previous race goals, the 10-K and half marathon. I missed my goal both attempts at 10-K, but I at least gave the running community a new term for its lexicon. And the second attempt reclaimed my racing superiority over Vanilla. I missed the first attempt at the half marathon, but came back strong last month with a 1:49:09 finish.

Despite the results of those races, each one was a PR.

I've set new PRs at every distance I've raced this year. Except for the mararthon, a mark I missed by four minutes.

This summer, I took my marathon training up a notch to run at a sub-four pace (9:10 per mile). That marathon is in me, but I recognize that my short recovery may compromise my chances of acheiving that goal.

Towpath Marathon Goals:
  • Find a race strategy that works for me
  • Break 4 hours (whoops, so much for leaving out the numbers)
  • PR (I know I can run four minutes faster than Akron on flatter course)
  • Enjoy another run in the park

The Challenge:
  • Leggo my ego
  • Run the best race possible
  • Be satisfied with the results no matter the number


Spike said...

Said as if were from a university professor: "it is the nature of all races to have a number affixed to them, such that it cannot be otherwise. Therefore, it is expected that all races will have a number, however hidden, attached to their finish."

So, you have a goal, and you are going to go for it. Two marathons in two weeks aside, you are a champion for giving everything you have to reach your goal.

Good luck!

Ian said...

Non-marathoner? I prefer the term distance challenged.

As for finding a race strategy that works for you I've been pondering this particular strategy lately.

Marcy said...

Ok so I went back and read Nitmos' whole comment and I tend to agree. There's no pressure AND you already have an excuse if it doesn't happen so *try* and enjoy, k? Cause really, if it doesn't happen what is another couple months or year of waiting gonna do? It WILL happen, just chillax homie! ;D We're rooting for you no matter what ;-)

Vava said...

All this thinking is hurting my brain... You're going to have a great race and will be satisfied with it no matter what simply because you will have run TWO F^&#ING MARATHONS IN TWO F@#%ING WEEKS!!! That alone puts in elite company whether numbers are put into it or not. I don't even run anywhere near a marathon in my weekly training!

ECrunnergirl said...

Amazing man! Im like you...a numbers cruncher and goal setter!!! Hang tough and shoot for the moon....a four hour marathon is within your reach but remember to enjoy the journey! Best wishes from the East Coast!

Laura said...

The first time I did two marathons on consecutive weekends, I shaved 15 minutes off my PR. The second time (Akron -> Portland) I was on pace to shave 20 minutes off my time until I got really sick. So - maybe you'll surprise yourself!

Now if you just do one more soon after Towpath, you can join the Maniacs with Chia and I :)

Aileen said...

I just like the sound of "Towpath".

Run well and enjoy a drink. Or five.

tfh said...

I think that last challenge is probably the toughest one. It's so much easier to be dissatisfied with the results no matter the number. Good luck. For some reason I am now craving frozen waffles...

Nitmos said...

Everyone already has their "you fool, you ran two marathons in two weeks what did you THINK was going to happen" comments loaded up and ready to hit publish. Soooo....may as well run this and just see what happens. At the very least, this will provide us a second chance to dump all over you in a 14 day span so, while you might be in a No Lose situation, we are definitely in a Win-Win situation.

Good luck! Run loose and free of expectations!

Jess said...

Good luck with the second race! I'm sure you'll rock it no matter what your time is!

And if not I guess I'll practice those "you fool" comments Nitmos mentioned...

C said...

If you can actually achieve that last challenge, you have to let me know how you did it. That is in fact my white whale.

And god help me, between you, Nitmos and Vanilla, I'm going to have to stab my inner eye out. The imagery you three keep coming up with is killing me. Seriously, you had to say "getting off on it"? Thankfully I have no idea what you really look like, but it's still a horrid image all the same. *gag*