Friday, January 28, 2011

The rest of the week

It has been a crazy week again. Our internet has been down at home for a few days after I switched our computer to another room. That said I haven't had time to post this week either but this time it didn't mean that I wasn't running. I actually got in two decent runs.

Tuesday I got in 8 miles with a about half of them at marathon to half marathon effort.

Wednesday afternoon I got in another 8 with Clay in the afternoon. I pushed the pace a bit on the way out from 60th to 90th (about 4 miles), and when I caught back up to him we picked it up for one sub 7 min mile before a mile cool down.

The weather has been consistently beautiful in the afternoons. Low of 35 and high of 70, sunny. I just checked since today is the first day that February 6th would be on the 10 day forecast. The predicted weather for Surf City is low of 47 and high of 70, sunny! Sounds like great conditions to me.

Houston half marathon is hosting the US half marathon championships this weekend and it should be a good one. Sergio and Justin are out there now preparing and also checking out the course for the Olympic Trials next January. Lots of guys are going out there with the same plan so it should be a competitive field. Looking forward to it!

One last note:
As the popularity of the marathon grows the average marathon times continue to drop. This is not new news and it makes sense as more newcomers attempt the marathon, more people checking off their bucket list, and more people run multiple marathons every year. There is nothing wrong with it, that is just the way it is. As the marathon becomes more popular, and participation increases, so do the number of events for all of us to choose from, and that is a good thing. One negative side effect is the increased entry fees and quick sell out for many of the more popular and well established races. This I believe also leads to a drop in average marathon times. Instead of waiting to register to make sure I am in good shape (not sick or injured) for race day I am pressured to sign up sometimes more than 6 months in advance to get the cheapest price and guarantee my entry. Once the race gets closer and I am not in the kind of shape I hope to be in, I feel sort of obligated to run because of the amount of money I paid to participate. Not that I would decide not to run just because I am not ready to PR, but I used to be able to wait until a month or so before the race, get into good shape, and then sign up for the event. Those days are over. I think there are lots of people who get hurt or sick and still attempt to run the marathon on race day because they don't want to waste the 100 dollar entry fee that they paid 6 months ago. The result is a poor performance, maybe even further injury, and a much slower time than anticipated. Am I feeling obligated to run this race in a week even though I am not in top shape? No, I am still looking forward to spending time with friends and cheering them on to some great PRs! We are going to have a great time with great weather. It is my own fault that I am not in the kind of shape I hoped to be in, but I had no idea where I would be 6 months ago. Unfortunately I can only afford to run a certain amount of races a year and when I do I like to at least feel like I have a chance to run a personal best. Not this time around. Does that sound snobbish or arrogant because I didn't mean it that way?

I guess I am a little disappointed with myself. I am really going to sound like a big jerk if I go out there and PR next weekend aren't I? My goals still stand as before. I will go out in 1:30 and hang on as long as possible. I plan on a BQ (sub 3:10). I would like to think I have fairly good mental toughness to push through the second half of the race and I will draw on my experiences from other races to get me to the finish line.


Chuck said...

I found your assessment on the good and bad of marathon popularity very interesting. It has sure changed my planning over the last few years.

Even though you are not in the shape that you had hoped for. After your 1:23:25 at the Santa Clarita half I believe with your mental toughness and experience you will do great!

I am looking forward to the Houston half marathon. Last Saturday evening at the meeting for the High Desert Runners award selection I spoke with Justin about his goals for the race. He is hoping to break 68. I am very curious to see how Ryan Hall does!

Karl Stutelberg said...

I think everyone is interested to see how Ryan Hall does. He is sporting quite a beard these days. I think he is going to kill it!