run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Friday, August 17, 2012


I'm attempting to get myself psyched up for Marathon Training (which starts in like a month! Yippee!) and aside from seeing how goddamn slow I can run 60 miles a week (ridiculously slow. WITHOUT walk breaks), I've been reading Pete Pftizinger's book Advanced Marathoning.
My book will be entitled: 
Mediocre Marathoning: How to Disappoint Yourself in 16 weeks!

Anyway, it's got loads of interesting info. I'll probably do a book review, so I'll spare you from having to hear all this shit twice and just talk about one thing from the book today: Goals. It's interesting to note that the Goal Chapter comes AFTER the chapters about nutrition and the science of running. I like that. It's not just a book about getting you to your goal... it's a book to teach you about running and all it's geekery. 

Obviously he talks about goals for your upcoming races... maybe you want to PR or qualify for Boston or maybe you want to negative split (all three?) in a race. Whatev. These are goals I think about all the time. The here and now goals. But one thing he mentions is career goals. What is your career running goal?

Whoa. You mean... what is my goal beyond my next race? I've never really thought about that. Sure, I want to run a 50 miler one day and there are bucket list races that I want to run. But, as far as what I want to do with my running career pace/time-wise... I'd never really thought about it. (Well, that's kind of a lie. I used to want to qualify for the NYC Marathon by running a 1:37 Half Marathon. And then they went and crushed my soul by changing the qualifying time to 1:30. Bastards!)

The real question is... how do you know your true potential? If there were a race that you could run that would tell you your maximum potential for running, would you run it? Part of me says YES! I would love to know that my max potential for a marathon is a 3:30 or whatever, but what if it told me that my max potential was a 4:12?

I guess it's a good thing that there isn't such a race and no matter how many times you plug race times into McMillan's Calculator, it's not designed solely for you and your body (and your head). So, how do you know what sort of goals you should set for yourself?

I have already set my goal for my next marathon and it is an aggressive goal. One that is realistic (hopefully) and challenging. There are only 3 people in this world that will know what that goal is (Coach, The KoB, and Steve) so, if you want to know, ask them. But as far as career running goals go, I just don't know. It's going to have to be one of those things that's a work in process. I'm hopeful that I haven't even come close to my potential in running, but I guess only time will tell.

I'm curious about the rest of you... do you feel like you have a lot of room left for improvement in your running career? Do you think about what your all-time PRs will be in certain distances? Or do you try to just focus on the next race on the calendar?

Buzzkill Friday post over. Proceed onto the other blogs with funny pictures of cats and whatnot.


Carina said...

I have known since at least April 2011 that I will aim for a certain time, a career PR, at the Berlin marathon in 2013. I know exactly what the time is (it will be a PR), but I also keep it to myself -- exclusively to myself at this point. I would also like to do an ultra, but I'm not picky about the details. I have a 5k time in my head, but I don't know how realistic it is at my age. My 5k PR was at age 35, and I'm almost 37, and that 5k PR was one hell of an effort. But I'd like to beat it by 1 minute and 49 seconds. Marathon time, I'm hoping to shave about 11 minutes total when I make the go in Berlin. And then I'll keep running marathons, but I won't aim to beat that time again. If I don't make it in Berlin, I'd have to think carefully about whether I'd go for it again.

..:danielle:.. said...

i just completed a marathon where i used pfitz 18/55 plan, and i really liked it. it was the toughest plan ive ever "followed"... i put that in quotes because the other 5 marathon plans were less than stellar in the execution phase. i think i may have missed only a few of the plans this time around and it def.paid off. i felt strong and fast, and despite not getting the huge PR i was working towards, it wasnt at the fault of this plan or the work i had put in. im anxious to see what you think of the plan, good luck with your training!

chacha said...

I also want to do a 50 miler, but probably won't be for a few years since, well, 2013 is my year to try the whole "make a small human."

But I think I have a bit of room for improvement. I have only run a 50 mile week once. Generally, I have only gotten up to mid 40s for training. I know that if I commit to serious training, serious mileage (i.e. 60-70 mpw) I will probably run a good deal faster. But we'll see if I never have time before I get too old to really have a shot at knowing my marathon potential. Unfortunately, at 34, the decision is have kids or running. I think if I picked the latter, I'd regret it.