Thursday, April 16, 2009

10 Minute Miles & The Sillines of Setting Goals

The Bayshore 1/2 Marathon is coming up for me in another month or so. It'll be the first run on my own, balls to the wall (tennis on an indoor court, what did you think I was talking about?) that I've attempted since the birth of darling daughter number two 6 1/2 months ago. Well no wait, let me rephrase that. First full effort race since before I was pregnant with darling daughter number two. I mean can you just imagine me, some crazy lady, big as a house, pregnant, ponytail flapping in the wind with my racing bib bouncing up and down on my giant babyfilled belly with sheer determination on my face running in some 5K or something? No, I wasn't running any races pregnant, nor was I running at all actually while I was pregnant. A good brisk walk was about all the exercise I could handle, although some might accuse my running style of being just about the same...a good brisk walk.

So I have formulated a goal (because that is what us runners do). One that I've devised in a sort of peculiar manner. First and foremost, I wanted it to be challenging. I mean what's a goal if it's not challenging? Something, I've got to push myself to hit. Then I remembered I once heard a fairly fit priest comment that we're all so lazy these days that most grown adult men can't even run a 1o minute mile which got me thinking about back in highschool when my cousin and I went out for a run. The one and only run we ever ran together. You see, I being the runner of the family and he being the soccer star of the family, he deffered to me when it came to picking the pace. I (sprinter at the time with absolutely no knowledge about times and distances not measured in meters or at least meters over say...400 meters) happily replied that I could run a ten minute mile. Long story short, we returned walking, me with my hat handed to me (although I don't actually recall wearing a hat ;-).

Ten minute miles are my nemesis. It's almost as if my very running life depends on it. Now I am a firm believer that as long as you are moving those two feet in a semi-quick sort of fashion and it's faster than your walk to get to the hostess at Applebees on a Friday night before the people in that car that pulled in next to you at about the same time (so you can get a table first without the other people noticing of course), and your doing so on a somewhat semi-regular basis, then yes, my friend you are a runner, no matter what the speed. But for some reason, I am driven like a wild woman with a chocolate craving, to improve upon my times. Maybe the old sprinter in me? I don't know. But I think it started with that little ten-minute mile spark implanted in me many years ago by my cousin and later re-lit by a man of the cloth who happens to at times sport running shoes with his collar.

So I'm announcing my 1/2 goal here and now and I EXPECT all of you to hold me to it (especially important since I have been punking out of runs all week in favor of Cadbury eggs on the couch in front of the tv) Here it is:

Yep that would be 10 minute miles for the whole 13.1. (Why do I flinch a little when I type that? ) I think it's doable. My long runs have been 11:30minutes, speedwork at about 7 1/2 minute miles, and tempo runs right on 10 and I'm ready to pick it up just a touch now I do believe.
Secretly, I have another goal. You know the goal you REALLY want to hit, being that all conditions are right, weather, wind, legs, joints, feet, pre-race pasta dinner, sleep, breakfast, outfit, potty lines and just your general all around running disposition. But this is the somewhat unrealistic save yourself some embarrassment and tell no one goal, so I'm keeping it to myself.

And of course I also have a backup goal, which would be the goal that you really start to focus on about half way through the race when things are just not working out as planned and your shoe has somehow managed to rub off your band aid (or mole skin for you pros out there) and you know that blister can't take much more, or you discover that there's a stray stitch in you running shirt which is now causing chaffing in a location you didn't expect, or that pot hole just jumped right up out of nowhere and bit you somewhere that's now making it very hard for you to continue running. One of those races. That back up goal would be kind of like this "please God. just anything faster than the last time." That goal.
So those are my goals. In summary:
Bayshore 1/2 Marathon
Goal: 2:11
Backup: Please Lord anything under 2:31
Ideal: Na na na na na na ...I'm not telling. But feel free to guess :-)
So tomorrow will be some more speedwork, but tonight....where are those darn eggs?
'Til next time...


Kelly's runner said...


My memories of running in Junior High, not able to to complete one lap around the track. Finished dead last, walking with no hat in hand. If I had I hat I am sure someone would have handed one to me.

Fast forward 25 years or so as I started to run. There was only about 1 minute difference between my walking pace(brisk) and my slogging pace.

One magical day after months of training I ran my first sub 10 minute mile. I felt like I had won an Olympic gold medal. That was a huge accomplishment for me from where I started.

It is always good to have a goal to challenge yourself with and publishing one builds accountability. Hope you shatter your published goal.

Keep writing, keep running and stay away from the Cadburry eggs. I have no idea what those are, but I am guessing they might not be the optimal fuel for training :)

Anonymous said...

Isn't that the truth...everything has to be perfect to hit those perfect goals...I am so happy that you're finally running this race for YOU! You can do it! When you finish, run back to the car and get me a Cadbury Egg..maybe by the time you get back, I'll be done!Love, runnanna Go for it!

RunMom said...

Good Lord Man! What kind of life are you living with no Cadburry eggs at Easter? Maybe they are just a MI thing? I had no idea. But if they are, I don't understand why the MI economy is struggling so. THAT IS THE ANSWER WE HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR. Cadburry eggs could lead us straight out of the recession, for surely we would have to employee thousands of our residents to make the eggs if they would just go national. The demand would be so high we would have no choice.

Just imagine an egg created out of milk chocolate and filled in the center with a delightful oozy white sugary creme with a touch of yellow in middle to represent the yolk wrapped in a pleasant foil of primary colors. AAHHHH...yum. So good and sadly, only available once a year.

Stick with me, I'll introduce you to the finer things in life.

WAIT! This means you also don't get to see the commercials on tv with the bunny making chicken noises. Oh how much you are missing!

Mimi Escobar said...

I love it! These days all my races are the Backup goal...please Lord let me finish! You go girl!