Friday, October 24, 2008

Inspiration and motivation for perspiration

When we were in Chicago last week, I had a number of things happen to inspire my running.
  • First, I met Kelley, one of the Benson's friends from California. She runs marathons and helps train people getting ready to try one. She told me about how she qualified for the Boston Marathon and what an incredible experience it was. 500,000 cheering spectators. 25,000 runners. Damn! How cool would that be? The bad news is that I would have to run a 3 hour 20 minute marathon to qualify.
  • Then I saw a bunch of people with race numbers on. They had been competing in the Men's Health Urbanathlon. It is a race (about 10 miles) mixed in with urban obstacles: crawl through culvert pipe, climb over jersey barriers, ... It sounds like a blast. Check out
  • Getting more psyched, I checked out the Boston Marathon web page. Turns out that by getting older, I bought an extra 10 minutes. I can now qualify in 3:30. That extra 10 minutes means a lot.
  • Then I read the small print and found *An additional 59 seconds will be accepted for each age group time standard. For example, a net time of 3:50:59 will be accepted for a 42-year-old woman. This buys me another 59 seconds!
So now what? Running Boston is a bit of a sick dream, especially with my knees. Then again, I am probably more likely to accomplish this than my 100 push up plan. So I'll try and use this for inspiration.

Motivation for me may be a bit different than it is for most people. I actually like to run. I think I like the runner's high you get from longer runs. My issue is motivating my skinny little legs to push the rest of me at something more than a crawl. Endurance, sure. Speed, not so much. A 3:30 marathon is 8 minute miles for 26 miles. My normal concern as I run down the highway is that someone will call the DOT and ask that they come remove the dead animal from the roadside. Run fast enough and they don't mistake you for a dead animal.

My first step in this insanity is to run Raleigh's Old Reliable Run on November 16th. It's a 10k (6.21 miles), which isn't too much of a worry. The hard part is to run it at the 8 minute mile pace. I figure if I can do it for a 10k, all I need to do for a marathon is keep running for another 20 miles. Sounds reasonable.

I've read a bit about training programs and they say that for a 10k, you want to be doing 20-25 miles per week, with a 2 long days, 3 short days, one cross training, and one rest. I've gotten 38 miles in the last five weeks, so I think I'm good, but I didn't actually work through all the math.

Wish me luck.
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