Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shoot for the moon ...

ORN: 5 miles in 41:55, 73 degrees and muggy. This was Diane’s (a.k.a. Friend A) first run back since the marathon, and Eileen’s first since the half. We were slogging along.

Yesterday was 5 miles in 39:57, 82 degrees and muggy. Kelly ran the half over the weekend, too, her first.

I’m really excited for the half marathon we have coming up in June. In fact, I’m excited about running in general again. Not entirely sure why. Maybe because the weather is finally nice!

I’m following Pete Pfitzinger’s fifth mesocycle, a five-week recovery schedule I highly recommend ... so far. I’m in my 30 mile week, and it continues to step up over the next four weeks, capping at 50. That’s perfect, since then I’ll have one more week then a taper for the half. And then ... of course, right back into it.

This morning I read a brief bio about Priscilla Welch. She started running at age 34, ran her first marathon in 3:36 ... and went on to win New York at age 42, and held a PB and master’s WR at 2:26:51. Within eight years.

So the question I keep kicking around is, can I do that? I saw a friend’s dad today who made me think of it all again. He was in Boston last year when his daughter and I both ran the marathon, and all of us watched the Olympic Trials the day before. That was where I decided I wanted to qualify for the trials and was willing to work my butt off to do it.

Of course, this was one day before my second marathon. Boston kicked my butt. I sobbed over lunch, partly out of exhaustion and partly out of despair. I worked hard to get ready for Boston that year, and PR’d by a mere minute. That did not seem like enough forward progress to get where I wanted to go.

But my friend’s dad came in and congratulated me on this year’s Boston — nearly 16 full minutes faster than last year’s — and said he was happy to see I was still on track.

Can I really drop another 30 minutes — almost a minute per mile — in the next two years? Yikes. Sounds scary, but I did drop 15 minutes in one year ... So maybe?

Only one way to find out.


Julie said...

Here's some food for thought:

- If you want to run Boston well, you have to train specifically for a hilly marathon, with emphasis on downhill running.
- Judging your potential as a marathoner based on a Boston performance (even a good one) is a disservice to yourself. Run a few half and full marathons on friendlier courses and go from there, based on how you do.
- You absolutely can qualify for 2012. You are already a good runner and you have youth on your side.
- Don't make assumptions today about how fast you can run in 2-3 years. If you can run a mile in 6:20, then over the next few years you can train to run that pace over 26.2, if you focus on just that (meaning don't scatter your efforts by trying to train for shorter distances at the same time).
- And, just as point of historical interest: Priscilla Welch was an extraordinary talent, so much so that her master's marathon record stood for over 20 years -- it was broken by over a minute in the 2008 NYC marathon by Lyudmila Petrova.

Tracy Lightfoot said...

Thanks, Julie. I'm doing a little bit of shorter stuff, but not focusing on it -- just tossing them in between training cycles, pretty much. Or in the middle of them in place of a workout.

Mir said...

You can do it, you can do it, you can do it! It's an ambitious, challenging goal, but if you are willing to put in the time and the miles, it will be yours.

Eric said...

Julie is right on. Good stuff.

I'm from the 2012OTM website (http://2012otm.ning.com). Just stopped by to check out your blog and welcome you to the fray. Stop by and sign up when you get a chance.


Heather Levinson & Family said...

I'm so glad Dad stopped by to congrat you....he was really impressed by your Boston run, and Boston stinks. I'm glad to hear that you're still working to qualify for 2012 - while I'm taking a desperately needed break to focus on family, I do enjoy watching how well you are doing & miss running with you.