Monday, March 11, 2013

If You Can Dream It...

Recently, I told one of my PFR teammates about the Kaiser Half (aka, Operation 1:30), and he asked me about the sub-3:00 marathon. Running sub-3 is on my bucket list, but I've thought of it as a secondary goal to the elusive BQ. (It seems less scary/more feasible if I make 3:05 my "A" goal, and make 3:00 my "A" goal for a future race.) After Operation 1:30, I started wondering if 2013 could be my year to do it. Still, I erred on the side of conservatism and figured I should stick to my original plan.

Fast forward to this morning. It’s the end of the term, and to top it off, I have thesis deadlines looming. To say that I’m stressed is a bit of an understatement. (On a scale of 1-10, I’m currently ranging anywhere from 9-15, and have had about 7 "I'm losing it" moments in 24 hours. But that's another story.) Naturally, these were the main things on my mind when I set out for my 5M run this morning. After about 2 miles, I decided to ignore my Garmin and just run. (I’ve run the route dozens of times and know how long it is.) Somewhere along the Eastbank Esplanade, my thoughts drifted away from my thesis and to the sub-3 marathon. Which led me to wonder, “Would it be crazy if I tried to do that in Eugene?” 

I ended my entry on dailymile with “Am I crazy here for thinking about running a BQ-5 when I haven’t BQed yet?” A few hours later, my friend Erin commented with some very encouraging words and advice. Her advice: “If your fitness indicators point to that as a capability right now, man, don’t think twice...particularly if everything is right on race day.” 

For the analysis (because I'm a math nerd, and clearly, analyzing data for a thesis project wasn't enough), I decided to look up race time predictors, and make a prediction based on the Kaiser Half (that’s my most recent race). I’ve used McMillan’s before, but wanted something else to serve as a comparison, so I found the Runner’s World Race Times Predictor. Based on that race time, McMillan predicted a marathon time of 3:06:17, and Runner’s World predicted a time of 3:04:33.

Okay, so that points to about a 3:05. But based on a 10K time from September (on a fairly downhill course), it told me I'd run Chicago (which was 4 weeks later) in 3:18, which was 7 minutes slower than my actual time. 

Compared to previous marathons, my training has felt really good. I'm not sure what my sweet spot was before, but now, it seems to be around 40 miles/week (based on my last few weeks of 38-45 miles/week). So long story short, predictions look good, and it's possible to beat estimates.

And now onto the mental portion (because as I've learned, there's a big mental game involved with racing). Do I think it's possible? Yes. Does the thought of running sub-3 scare me shitless? You bet. But the thought of crossing that goal off of my life's to-do list is nothing short of exciting. And as Walt Disney once said, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

Erin also sent me this fine graphic from the SF Marathon's Pinterest board
Sidenote: She only had a vague idea of how freaked out I was/am when she sent this. We're obviously on the same wavelength.

As I type this, I'm recalling my conversation with Erin, where she expressed hesitation about her goal, and I basically said to just go for it. Maybe now's the time for me to eat my words and say, "Fuck it; I'm doing this shit."

What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Austin, my friend! So many things to say. First, I read your entry around 5am this morning before I went out for my 1k repeats and you TOTALLY made me so happy and stoked for Eugene. Though I'm not aspiring for sub-3, I completely know what you're saying about the whole "am I scared shitless" versus "how badly do I want this" thing; hell, it wasn't that long ago that you had the same conversation with me! (albeit re: a different goal time) You can TOTALLY do it. Since this morning's read, I have probably read your entry another 2-3 times, and each time I have gotten so jazzed for you! Eugene is gonna be amazing. Totally. Effin. Amazing!!!! #rybqlove