Monday, September 22, 2008


After a 2 week stretch that included 8 days off and a whopping 34 miles, I was able to bust out 57 miles last week. The week ended with an 18 mile run. I wish I could say I handled that without any problems, but the last 3-4 miles were a struggle. Having run a 22 miler just 3 weeks ago, I didn’t think 18 would be so difficult.

It seems like I’m asking myself a lot of the same questions that I had before Boston in regards to a race plan and strategy. What kind of shape do I think I’m in? What kind of pace do I go out it in and still have enough left for the hills? Should I even set a goal time?

I must have been drunk prior to Boston because I thought putting myself in a position to run sub-3 was a smart idea. I ended up struggling the last 10 miles. I hope to avoid that this time around.

Three weeks ago I thought I was rounding into okay shape and that I’d have a crack a sub-3. Now I’m not so sure. I wouldn’t think I’d lose a ton of fitness in that amount of time, but based on Saturday’s run, it sure feels like I have.

I can almost guarantee that I won’t be in a position at halfway to break 3 hours. Honestly, 7:00 pace seems fast right now and that would put me at 1:31:30 for the half. I’d have to come back with a 1:28:30. That might be realistic if I felt fit and brimming with confidence – but I’m not even sure I’d know what those things are since it’s been so long since I felt that way.

On a more positive note, here’s my latest interview. Also, the Pioneer Press ran this nice article on a gal who’d make for a great interview, and her family.

Quote of the day;

“I think that I am quite determined and have a pretty good ability to handle discomfort, and that can compensate to some extent for lesser ability or talent.” – Jared Mondry


Anonymous said...

You've run a few marathonas and seem to know your body pretty well. Do you think you'd be able to run your best if you ran without a watch and tried to avoid seeing clocks on the course? I'm thinking that if you're not chasing a time goal and are running by how you know marathon pace should feel, your body might give you your best effort (without the crash/struggle at the end).

For what it's worth, I don't think I could do it. If I ran a marathon without at watch, by the fifth or sixth mile, I'd be looking for the clocks on the course or would be asking others for the time.


Anonymous said...

I believe the conservative approach you mention is probably the best plan. Look, if you go out hell or high water then your all in. If you go out conservative, things can and will happen and I believe you come away with a better race. You have the chance to move up in the latter stages and you might get hot. Make or break rarely results in a good marathon experience.

How many times have we heard people state they would have went out a bit slower? Fairly often. Your circumstances dictate it and I believe you are making the right decision. Your in shape, go out with what feels right and roll with it. Plus you take the added pressure off most of us like to shoulder.

Be the grizzly.


Anonymous said...

When the gun goes off run fast and don't stop until you've crossed the finish line.


Chad said...

Bart, yeah I've been thinking about doing that. When I broke 3 for the first time I wore a watch but only looked at the first 3 miles to get on pace and then didn't look again until halfway.

Thanks Double. It's definitely more fun to track people down at the end of a marathon. It looks like you had a nice Al's run.

Mark, if I were running a 5K I'd take that approach.

Adam said...

Chad the link to the Pioneer Press isn't working for me. Who was the subject of the article?

Didn't you have an article on excuses a while ago? What's your pre-race excuse? Mine is "should have ran this race 3 months ago". I'm looking at the TCM 10 miler and am having trouble seeing myself finishing in the time I thought I could do a few months ago. My coworker was telling me this morning to go for my goal time and let everything sort itself out. I think he's right.

I'm not going to go out at an unreasonable pace, just one that gets me in a position to hit my goal time by halfway with an even split. If it doesn't work, I'll give up a couple minutes in the end, but I'll be happy knowing I tried.

Chad said...

Adam, you probably have to register. The article is on Bev Docherty.

My list of pre-race excuses is basically everything mentioned in this blog; bad calf, 2 weeks missed training, lack of speed, lack of endurance, lack of confidence, would rather be drinking coffee on race day...the list goes on and on.

There's a difference between going out too quick for a 10 mile versus a marathon. For me, going out at my original goal pace would be unreasonable.