Crazy Running Goals

When I first started this blog I had a tagline which read “can a man who can barely run a minute complete a marathon?”  It took a while but eventually the answer was yes and Yes times 3 since I completed full marathons in the months of June, July and August this year.  But a subsequent tagline I had in my head for after completing my 3rd, 4th and 5th marathons was – “Can a man who can barely complete a marathon qualify for Boston?”

Qualifying for Boston – 

I guess that would be Crazy Goal #1.  Of course, one rational reason I had for changing the tagline to the qualifying for Boston reference is unlike the first tag line goal which was achieved within a year, the Boston tagline could keep me going for the rest of my life or, at least a significant portion of it.  I think on blogspot I actually had a blog I’d started specifically for qualifying for Boston and there is a Word document I found a few months back from 2010 which has the pace I needed broken down to the 10th of a mile – 1/10th, 2/10th …all the way up to 26.2 miles and recently, I made up a slightly more rational breakdown of the slightly faster 2016 qualifying times in a recent spreadsheet.

2016 BQ Paces

Maybe such thoughts are in my nature.  Maybe they are in everyone’s nature.  Hasn’t everyone at least thought once about climbing Mount Everest?  Maybe it’s just a reflection of how I see the world or how I’d like to live it.

Why is this goal crazy?  Well, I did a 6 mile training run earlier tonight and had a 13:20 pace.  That particular pace, according to SmashRun.com was my fastest 6 mile run in the past 2 years.  To qualify for Boston, say at age 50, I would need to maintain an 8 minute per mile pace for 26.2 miles and that’s just to technically qualify and not necessarily be accepted.  Heck, my best mile for this year is 8 min 50 seconds.  Perhaps the craziness or absurdity of the goal is a bit temporal based meaning it’s kind of stupid to be thinking of such a vast minute per mile increase at this stage of the game.

Why is it not crazy?  Well, it gives direction.  It gives meaning to Interval training and speedwork.  It’s a mountain that’s maybe 5 or 10 years in the future and maybe it’s something I’ll never attain but even so it still gives a direction and a heading.  Something I read back in 1994 and recently came up in one of my facebook running group replies and also came up tonight in an article I read was that runners can maintain their marathon pace for about 3x their average daily mileage.  If I run 50 miles per week then I average about 7 miles per day which means I’ll run out of gas around mile 21 but, if I run 63 miles per week then my daily average is 9 and should be able to sustain a marathon pace for 27 miles.  For me, this helps give credence and justification for another crazy goal I currently have about increasing my monthly mileage 10 miles per month for 6 straight months… I’ll get into that one down below…

Running 7 Half Marathons in 7 States in 7 Days –

Crazy Goal #2 – This is one I’m looking at for May of 2016.  One thing I’ve learned with my training is that many goals and aspirations don’t always happen as fast as I originally think they well.  I’m not always crazy about this aspect of reality.  I have a half marathon coming up on the 20th of this month – about 5 days away and I thought I would be much leaner than I am now.  I thought I would be faster sooner.  I didn’t think I could do all the training I did last year and not be able to pull off the marathon I was registered for but, I didn’t.  well – whatever – I am improving and I am grateful that I still have enough physical acumen to be able to improve.  The question is, how much can I improve?  I suppose that’s another thing that helps make these goals ….crazy is one word but challenging might be another adjective we could use to describe them.  The Mainly Marathons New England Series from May 15th to May 20th plus a 7th half marathon in Indiana is what’s been in my head.

Advantages to this Crazy goal? – It may be do-able.  I seem to like the fact that there are no training programs out for such an endeavor so I have to use my own brain to come up with ideas and I like that.  It’s another reason to keep pushing up my monthly mileage.  May 2017 might be much more reasonable but …the darn challenge of it seems to have an appeal also in which case it will be much more challenging in 2016 then in 2017.  I really like to travel and see new places and this goal would allow me to visit every state east of New York.  I’ve read great reviews about the Mainly Marathons running series so that could be another big plus as well.  I don’t know – 8 months isn’t the longest time in the world to elicit an overwhelming number of physical adaptations but – therein may be one of the biggest advantages – if I can keep this goal in my head then maybe it can help me be more serious and disciplined with my training.  You know, reach for the moon and even if you miss you’ll end up among the stars sort of thing.

A Sub 6 Minute Mile

This goal exist because of a run we did for my high school football team.  If we ran a mile in 6 minutes or less then we got an extra sticker on our helmets – a freakin’ sticker – maybe a star sticker or something.  I think I got 6:05 but lately my mind has been telling me it was 6:04 – either way, it was just shy of 6 minutes.  This goal is crazy because I’m basically wanting to outdo my performance from when I was a teenager.  Ludicrous, right?

Why do I even think this is remotely possible?  I think partly because I was never a track athlete.  I was a lineman, a weightlifter/bodybuilder type person.  I threw a shot-put and discus during the few seasons I was in track.  I wonder now, if I’m actually training as a runner – even as an “adult onset” runner that maybe I can train to that level.  I don’t know, but this also gives me direction.

Perhaps a tangent here but …I realize there will come a day when I can no longer improve, when my times will slow and then my goals will need to change.  However, in my head, I think the better, stronger, faster I can get now – … Citius, Altius, Fortius – the Latin motto of the Olympics meaning Faster, Higher, Stronger – the better I can get over the ensuing years, the greater the mountain of decline will be.  I’d rather be coming down from a 20,000 ft mountain than a 400 foot hill.  I’d like to have mobility and be able to enjoy life for as long as possible ….hence …these crazy goals.

A Sub 60 Second Quarter Mile

While I was training for my first full marathon in 1994, I wanted to see what it was like to run at a 4 minute per mile pace.  The pace Roger Bannister ran when he broke the 4 minute per mile barrier.  That comes out to running 15 mph for 4 straight minutes.  Obviously, I knew I wasn’t going to run an entire mile at this Olympic pace but I figured I could sprint it for a tenth or two and I did.  I had a sub sprint speed that I kept up for 2/10ths of a mile and pretty much crushed that pace.

idk – this goal is a bit crazy because my current endeavors revolve more about getting back to a 10 or sub 10 minute per mile training pace and that pace would need to be more than cut in half for this goal.  I kind of hate to admit this because it reflects on my age but, I have looked into the local senior olympics and it appears I  could maybe even set a record if I could pull off a sub 60 quarter mile.

Add 10 Miles Per Month for 6 Months

I kinda hate this goal at times and it’s something I’m currently pursuing.  The dumb thing on my part is that I went from around 70ish miles in a month to 107 miles when I started this goal.  That 107 mile month was only the 2nd time I have recorded for going over 100 miles in a month but, the following month I did manage 117 miles (116.75) so now September’s goal is 126.8 miles.  I’m off pace by a fair amount with less than 50 miles in the first 14 days.  I have two half marathons this month which will help but really need to do more.  At my level, the best way I have of pulling off this goal is to get in some double run days with maybe a 5K in the morning and a 5K at night.

On the plus side …If I am to pull off 7 halfs in 7 days in 7 states then bumping up my mileage is probably essential.  Rationally & logically, I know that 10 mile increases when one is already beyond 100 miles constitutes less than a 10% increase per month.  I know that rule is debatable but when you’re already pushing max capacity then it’s one I like to point at to help me say my training isn’t completely nuts.  I’ve already thought about October’s training – should I actually manage to pull off 126.8 this month.  I figured I would intentionally slow my pace down on my long runs and was also looking at another trip to the Ozarks, maybe for 4 days since I remember when I started my run streak on July 1st in the Ozarks and had several double run days.  I also know it’s going to get colder outside and have conceded that I may have to put in some treadmill time at the gym.   But, the gym and weight training is another thing on my list that I’d like to add into my life and maybe that brings up something else that …..well – maybe isn’t crazy but I’ve had a heck of a time incorporating it into my life….

Karate, Running & Weightlifting

Three different venues of aspirations.  I’ve always done pretty well sticking to one at a time and making progress singularly but putting all three together has been a bit of a challenge for me my entire life.  Perhaps cycling could be thrown in there as well although that has not always been in the mix like the other three.

Completing a triathlon or an Ironman could also be nutty goals but those haven’t always been in my life like the other things I’ve mentioned.

I know my lung capacity has always been very close to 6 liters – from high school up through the last time it was checked in chiro school a couple years ago.  I know I’ve had my resting pulse rate in the 30s from being in good physical condition – again, this was back in my teens and 20s but I figure there is some potential there, maybe a fortunate genetic constitution that I’d like to exploit while I’m still alive.

Strength wise – that’s been my forte, if I have one at all but I did hold 7 different state bench press records and have been mentioned in Powerlifting USA magazine a few times and maybe I could give better advice and talk more authoritatively if I were to blog about something I was actually good at – or was at one time but, running is the challenge now …at least one of them.

Reasonable Goals

I know in 2016 I want to get a sub 8 minute mile in the Macklind Mile race.  I did 8:50 this year and I think with the additional year of training and subsequent improvement that a sub 8 minute goal is reasonable.  I don’t really have any other running goals for this current year.  I hit the ones I set already and have only been looking for repeatability in those goals.  My initial mile goal was simply under 10 minutes.  I did that in a race but would still like to hit it in training and I’m probably not too far from away from that goal.  I have looked at things like a sub 2:45:00 half time which should beat my best time from 2007.

hmmmm – other crazy goals????

Beat my 4:30(ish) marathon time – Beat Oprah’s time (4:29) – Sub 4:22:00 time – Sub 4 hour time

These are all marathon times that stick in my head and have been there a while.  4:22:00 is a ten minute per mile pace and sub 4 hours – say, 3:55:00 or so is a 9 minute per mile pace.

When I start talking about time, I recall my previous best performances and a desire to beat those performances.  A sub 4:30:00 would beat 1994 and a sub 5:42:00 would beat 2004.

This is almost the kind of blog that you don’t want to post because on one hand you’re kind of putting it out there – these crazy goals but, on the other hand, I’ve already acknowledged the craziness in the title – Crazy Running Goals.

I suppose dropping excess weight as I have been doing for some 20+ months now is the best thing I’ve been doing to come closer to crazy goals.  I also fully realize the fun that is to be had along the way.  In a recent 5K I averaged something like 11:17/mile so I have a lot of fun and sense of satisfaction to come from any average pace in the 10 minute/mile range.  New distances …which reminds me of an Ultra goal I’ve thought of also – that one would be the Midnight Marathon in Springfield where we would do 5 laps around the Oak Ridge Cemetery (~32 miles) instead of the 4 laps needed for a marathon.

If nothing else – all this tells me that I need to keep training and where possible, improve my training.  There’s a lot of good stuff out there and I’m looking to take the biggest bites out of this banquet of life that I can while I’m still around to consume it.

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