Plans have a funny way of getting screwed up. What’s that they say about the best laid ones?
After I qualified for Boston back in October, I was ready for a change. I read Born to Run, started running on trails, and genuinely enjoyed running in a way that I hadn’t in a long time. I was seduced by the idea of running ultras — by comparison to fifty or a hundred miles in the woods, 26.2 on the pavement seemed sort of like watching the black-and-white part of The Wizard of Oz.
And I was ready for a rest. For six months, I had worked harder than I ever had at running, and I had gotten what I wanted. It was time to slow down, to still put in a lot of miles but at a lower intensity, and to trade in my post-run sports drink for a few too many IPA’s. I set the goal of running a 50-miler this year, and without really thinking about it, figured my next marathon would be a slow one at Boston 2011, a delayed celebration of my achievement. (Newbies: my baby’s due date is April 19th; that’s why I’m not running it this year.)
I should have known it wouldn’t last. Four months later, I’m itching like a schoolboy (?) to get back at it.
The idea of running a three-hour marathon only recently occurred to me. While Boston-qualifying (3:10) once seemed near-impossible, a marathon time with a “2” in front of it would have been better described as unfathomable, for me. But when I finally did qualify and realized that I haven’t yet hit a plateau — before my 3:09:59, my last race was a 3:20:30 — what had previously been a no-way became a maybe.
And now it’s that maybe that won’t shut up, that won’t let me be satisfied with running trails and drinking beer. Don’t get me wrong: I love trail running, and the Thursday night runs/drinks with my group are more fun than I ever thought running could be. A 50-miler this year and the 50K’s in February and March are what I’m focused on right now. But there’s something about that three hours that won’t go away, and in some strange way I’m craving those lonely track workouts where I feel like vomiting as I finish the final few repeats a few seconds slow.
I don’t know if I’m going to go for it this year. I do know that if I don’t do it soon, the 3:10 of last October is going to be a tiny speck on my fitness horizon, if only because I don’t keep up that intensity of training when I don’t have a clear goal in mind. I’d like to, I just don’t.
Three hours at Steamtown in October is very sexy, indeed. Steamy, even.
I just got back from a seven-mile run in my Vibram FiveFingers, followed by the now-standard grocery store trip where everyone looks at my feet funny and where I probably smell worse than I realize. It was the second time in a week that I’ve run seven or eight miles in them, so I’m happy to have finally built up my mileage to the point where I can go out for an hour-long run in them without worrying about getting hurt. If you’re at all on the fence about trying out a pair, I’d say go for it. It really is a fun way to run.
Also, I wrote a post on Running Shorts yesterday about some tricks I’ve used for getting out of training ruts, the times when I just don’t feel like running (this happens a lot, actually). I forgot to mention it yesterday; please check it out so that the number of views it has isn’t quite so sad. 🙁
That’s me chanting. I always mention Tony Robbins on this blog, and I’m sure there are plenty of you who don’t know who he is. Well, lucky you. He has a free 15-minute video online right now about planning for the New Year and the difference between what most people call a resolution and a real decision. I watched it this morning, and there’s no catch — just good, inspiring content from Tony. (Not to mention it ties in nicely with plans/goals theme of this post.) Check it out.
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