Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Did I Catch a Niner in There?

Good news. The great weather over the weekend has carried over well into this week. The extended forecast looks like a little rain mixed in with high temps right around 80.

It was about 65 this morning when I went out for another nine miler. The goal was still an 8:25, but I came in at an 8:00. It felt pretty good and the cooler weather really makes a big difference. Let's hope this cooling trend continues all the way to October. I'd love an overcast 50 degree day on October 12th.

I have another nine miler to run tomorrow morning. On Friday, Yasso and his 800s enter the picture once again. I think I'll be doing them in the early evening so I can have Tiffany keep track of my times and provide support. She's the best.
People have started asking me what my goal time for the marathon is going to be this year. It's kind of hard to say right now. Some people say you should have three goals when you enter a marathon. The first is to finish. The second is a reachable goal if you feel decent. The third goal is if everything breaks right and you have that day where you feel great.

I usually skip the second goal. Barring a major disaster or injury, I will finish the marathon. So, I am training to beat my previous best time of 3 hours and 30 minutes. To run a 3:30, you have to average 8 minute miles over the 26.2 mile course. Not to state the obvious, but I'll need to average sub-8s to beat 3:30. I'd be pleased with anything under 3:30. I will later determine what my goal will be. Right now, I am thinking a 3:25 may be within reach. That would be a 7:50 pace, which honestly looks pretty scary to me. I'll have a pretty good idea of how aggressive I will get with the goal after running the Windrunner 10K on August 24th and the Chicago Half Marathon on September 14th. I'll obviously keep you posted.

1 comment:

yasso800 said...

Yasso makes his return today not only in the marathon training, but also on the blog. It has been too long.
And oh, what I've missed! A post with more numbers than a week's worth of Lotto drawings; some jackass talking about running from the police while drunk; footage of Tony LaRussa jumbling up his ABCs; a Buster Poindexter sighting; and complaints about the heat (In the summer? In Chicago? Really? At least it's not 1996.)
Yasso's favorite things to read, however, are these trite old saws about the goals you should have when running a marathon:
1. Finish.
2. Set a reachable goal if you feel decent.
3. Set a goal to reach if you feel great.
Let's pause for a second before we analyze these goals.
If you didn't know it, in addition to creating complicated running formulas to confuse runners and readers alike, Yasso is a huge baseball fan. One of his own favorite sayings draws an analogy between marathon running and the national pasttime: "A marathon, like a baseball season, is not a sprint. It is a marathon. That is why they call it a marathon."
This is not only extremely insightful, but it also offers an opportunity for Yasso to explain the rules he believes a runner should follow when running a marathon. Please notice that these are rules and not goals. If you set goals for when you feel great or when you feel decent, you will always allow yourself the option of feeling decent. This is not 1984. We don't want to feel "decent" (or "rad" or "gnarly" for that matter).
We will feel great on race day whether we like it or not.

Goal 1: Finish (duh).
Goal 2: Do not crap one's pants in the pursuit of finishing.
Goal 3: If you must crap in the pursuit of finishing, crap someone else's pants.

These rules are straightforward and mustn't be broken, no matter the temperature, the injury or whether one comes down with "runner's diarrhea."
Yes, if you were looking for one more reason to not run marathons, I provide it here, the existence of a thing called "runner's diarrhea," which occurs in 19 to 26% of marathon runners, and in 100% of women named Uta Pippig and Grete Waitz.