Wednesday, November 01, 2006


In 2005 I ran my most yearly miles ever; 2,793. Looking back, it’s kind of pathetic because it included a 5-month stretch where I only averaged 36 mpw. 5 months!!!

If I look at my last 12 months, I’ve run 3,127 miles. That’s better, but it still includes two months of 26 mpw.

Yesterday I posted that I ran 177 miles for the previous MONTH. Later in the day I got an email from a guy saying he ran 147 miles for the previous WEEK. Another gal (who ran an earlier fall marathon) just posted on a forum that she ran 350 miles in October.

Obviously, I need to do my own training, but I do use things like these for motivation. Seriously, 300 miles in a month doesn’t really seem like a lot. It’s “only” 10 miles a day or 70 mpw. Yet I’ve only been above 300 miles on 7 or 8 occasions in 27 years, including four times last winter. It’s interesting that each of these occasions has occurred in the months of December – March. Maybe I should work on getting in more miles in during the summer months next year.

But first I have to get through the winter. And that’s exactly what it felt like during this morning’s 7 mile run, as it was 20 degrees out. The ski hill near where I run is already making snow. And so it begins…winter and base-building.

Looking ahead to Grandma’s Marathon, it’s kind of weird but Pfitz’s 24-week plan would start on January 1st. If I went with his 18-week plan, I’d be able to run the local winter half marathon and then recover for a week before starting “official” training.

I don’t know the answer here, but this thought popped into my head recently. I know Boston Qualifying times can help motivate us and make us faster, but I’m curious if they can also make us slower. Say I’m hoping to run sub-3, but things don’t go as planned and I run 3:05. Instead of being pissed at missing my goal, I’m happy that I BQ’d. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Instead of using my results to motivate me for future training, I’m actually content because of the Boston standards.

Quote of the day;

“Our thoughts and beliefs are the blueprints from which we create our physical reality.” – Lorraine Moller


Anonymous said...

WOW! How many pairs of shoes do you get through per year?

Anonymous said...

To shamelessly plug my own post from way back when, a marathon is partly a crapshoot. Mistakes and bad luck can magnify, so there can be reasons for not hitting your goal even if you did most things right. Thus, having a succession of goals so you can be happy afterwards with what you did is important. In the race you want to keep striving for the best you can do, rather than saying "Well I can lark it in in 10:00/miles from here and still qualify for Boston, so I'll do that." You could have walked it in from 40km and still qualified for Boston. But you didn't. You came close to a PR into strong winds. So, the Boston qualifier is not making you slower, it's giving you something to be happy about on a day you didn't have the best day ever.

Chad said...

Kieren, I don't know but 3,000/500 = 6. That's probably pretty close.

Evan, actually for once I wasn't talking about me in the BQ scenario.

Steph said...

The BQ scenario actually fits me pretty well. I had hoped to run a bit faster last Sunday, but after feeling less than 100% two days leading up to the race, Plan B went into effect (sub-3:40).

My final time wasn't the most important thing. I focused on my first time experimenting with only a slightly negative split at a BQ pace. (Previous two marathons were ridiculously negative splits since I just wanted to know what it felt like.)

Now that I know what type of effort it takes to run the second half faster, I can now concentrate on increasing my marathon pace and attempting to run more even splits.

Even though Plan B was in effect, more important for me was to know what a hard effort in the second half at that pace feels like. I would say I am more motivated to run faster now than just settle for the BQ standard. Marathon training takes a lot of mental (as well as physical) maturity.

Triseverance said...

Funny as I mull what's next I was speaking with my friend Dan who has run something like 12 marathons and 9 of them in sub three hour fashion. We were discussing my chances of ever running a BQ. He can no longer run due to rhumatoid Arthritis (sp) at age 39. But one thing he said struck me as funny and you sort of reinforced it with your post. What he said was "in the "running world" 3:15 marathons are slow but a worthy effort." I told him I did not think I cared to live in that world. :)

E-Speed said...

Maybe a BQ lowers expectations from others on us, but personally if I want to run a 3:25 and I run a 3:40 I am definitely not going to console myself with the BQ. (obvious exception being conditions provided by mother nature that don't lend to a PR despite effort)

I think for a new marathon runnner (with some background in running) BQs are great because it is a good starting goal, but if you are driven to run faster you won't be happy with just achieving the BQ every time. Next you will strive for a better starting number at Boston ;)

I honestly want to scream when people congratulate me on a BQ if I feel I didn't run to potential, but you would get lambasted, so you just smile and say thank you.

Glad you are ready to jump back into running so soon! I feel the same but my legs are still not quite ready for pushing weekly mileage.

MB said...

btw, real BQ's used to be 2:50; also e-speed is right you shoot for a lower bib number

Anonymous said...

Well, then I agree with you. I can think of other people who could run well under the BQ standards, but seem content to satisfy themselves with sliding under.

But really what this comes down to is, what's the distribution of talent? There are people who are legitimately inspired to better themselves by the Boston standards wherever they are.

Arcane said...

You may be happy with a BQ, but there's always something that's just a bit faster like trying to qualify for NY which has a crazy time of 2:50.

Gary Moller said...

Zeke: Google brought me to your quotation from my sister Lorraine. Good to see! I enjoyed reading your blog. You're a keen bloke!
As a matter of interest; if you got to and locate the e-book on training for a marathon, you will find more stuff about Lorraine. Incidentally, I am working on a book on marathon training with Lorraine that will be published in a month or so. I will be offering an Early Bird Special, so let me know if you want to be placed on the mailing list.

Thomas said...

Some people recommend having more than one target, e.g sub-3 as the main target and BQ as a fall-back. I guess that's ok as long as you're still focused on doing your best.

For my last marathon, I deliberately didn't set a second target; I had my goal time in mind, an anything else would be a disappointment.

I don't know if it made a difference, but it definitely kept me going during the last 3 miles.

Chad said...

Steph, nice job at MCM.

Bob, interesting comment from your friend. I would have to agree. Of course, I also think that "every" healthy adult that puts their mind to it can run a BQ.

Liz, this "consoling themself" with the BQ is exactly what I'm talking about.

Mark, yeah I agree, BQs should start at 2:50 or at least 3:00.

Arcaner, I believe NYC is also starting to loosen their standards. They used to be 2:45. Plus you can qualify with a half marathon time too.

Gary, that's awesome - gotta love google. I'll shoot you an email.

Thomas, I've done the 2-3 goal-thing too. Maybe that also causes us to settle on race day.

qcmier said...

Being a non elite runner, I look at the BQ as validation of a "as Bob's friend would say "worthy"" effort.

And yeah if you know you can run sub 3, why would you be satisfied with 3:10?

The first time I ever did the 2-3 goal thing was my first marathon. It prevented me from mentally beating myself up for missing my "A" goal. But that "A" goal is still out there and will be something to shoot for.