Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Looking ahead unobstructed

My first run focus week since forever is in the book (not literally as I stopped my log last year after 23 years). Any normal person would know better than to assess one's fitness based on that but we're runners so we're stupid.

Apart from a few regular jogs, I did 
  • one tempo run. Something like 2mi and 1mi, who knows exactly. I didn't wear a watch.
  • one long run with the crew of 2:20h-ish
  • one fartlek
  • anything faster than 6:45 pace feels FAST
  • running long is merely a question of specific muscular endurance. I have plenty of general endurance.
My original goal for NYCM was to get into the Top 100 once again. To achieve that, you usually have to break 2:39. 

For background, my recent history in marathons:

2008 NYCM 2:34
2009 NYCM 2:33 (trying to break 2:30 and failing)
2010 NYCM 2:45 (trying to break 2:30 and failing spectacularly)
2010 Fukuoka 2:42 (trying to break 2:30 in warm weather, ended up in hospital)

2012 Osaka 2:44 (backup race for the cancelled NYCM, was hoping to break 2:40)
2013 NYCM 2:48 (no longer in shape to go near 2:30, goal was a solid 2:45)
2014 Boston 2:58 (didn't train and melted so badly - walking - that I wasn’t even sure I’d finish under 3h)

After that Boston race, I decided that running marathons without properly training for them is not fun. “Properly” is definitely a term that needs definition. To me, “properly” means an honest effort. Averaging 30 miles/week does not rate as an honest effort in my world.

I most likely let that Top 100 goal slip this summer as I was racing my bike through the alps. I raced much better than last year so I hung on to those eight weeks of cycling bliss. Also unlike last year, I kept running a couple of times a week though. Hence, not all is lost. That said, cracking the Top 100 would have required long runs, track workouts and the odd race. Apart from two abysmal efforts on the track, I did none of it.

So what, really, is still possible? I put myself out there and promised my running buddy Seth to beat him by 10 minutes. His PR is 2:53 and he was on my heels this spring at the NYC Half. Brenn of Cloud259 put himself out there and said he will use beating me as a goal. He broke 3h in 2013, running 2:56 at the NYCM.

Both is intriguing.

I do want to go under 2:45 and think that’s still in the cards. Let’s see where I get in the next few weeks.