Falling Short

I’ve talked with many ex-smokers who have said that even though they quit, that craving never goes away.  I think of this because most of my marathon thoughts have to do with the first one I ever ran which was back in 1994.  I didn’t train and basically walked my 2nd marathon in 2004 so there wasn’t much in the way of opportunities to form many indelible memories.

1994 is entirely different …memories of the training, memories of the run.  Maybe it was back in ’94 when I became addicted and even though I’ve been an ex-runner more of a runner over the last 20 years, just like the ex-smoker – that craving from running never goes away.  There is a local park with a 1.5 mile track and markers every 0.1 miles.  I remember the first time being able to run completely around that track without stopping.  It was also at that track, after deviating off the path for a while then coming back that I ran my first hour non-stop.  I remember wanting to know what it was like to run at a 4 min/mile pace like Roger Banister so, I figured that was 15mph and was actually able to bury that speed …for 0.2 miles anyway.  For me, that pace was just shy of an all out sprint and took place about two weeks before my first marathon.  I remember one of my last long runs.  I went out the night before with a can of white spray paint and a car full of water bottles.  The run started at the water tower of a local mall and ended at a VFW post & campsite with a lake about 15 miles away.  I drove that course and stopped my car every mile, then got out and spray painted the mile number on the road and left a couple of bottles of water next to the number.  I remember at mile 13 one of the water bottles had tipped over and emptied out.  It was rough looking forward to water only to find none.  My car was waiting at the parking lot of the VFW post and a kind elderly couple who lived at the site gave us some water and a bite to eat.  

The run itself was great up until the 20 mile marker, up to that point it was pure running.  Whatever family lived around the 20 mile marker had tables set up out front with food, it was the first time I stopped running and grabbed some food to eat – I think I stopped, not positive about that part, I am positive I ate food and very shortly thereafter my legs stopped working.  It’s like they seized up and wouldn’t function properly.  I was afraid I might be out of the race but, I found if I squatted down then stood back up that was enough to get my legs moving again, at least for a block or two then I would have to squat down, stand up and continue jogging.  That went on for most of the remaining 10k of the race.

I’m guessing my pace was somewhere between 10 and 11 minutes per mile.  

I’d like to beat all that.  It’s what I think about.  I know I mentioned things I need to do for karate, masons, getting my chiropractic license but, the one thing that seems to dominate my mind more than anything is being able to run longer and faster. I want to be able to hit those milestones I did 20 years ago.  I want to run around that track at the park non-stop.  I want to run for an hour non-stop again.  I want to best that 4 minute per mile pace, even if it is just for 0.2 miles.  Ever since high school, I’ve wanted to run a quarter mile in under a minute.  I think, if I was on a regular track then I may have been capable of doing it that day I toyed with that 4min/mile pace.  My best mile time in high school was 6:04 so I would love to break that 6 minute mark.  I was a lineman on the football team back then so, it was the fastest time of the linemen but beating that 6 minute mark was something that was needed to get an extra star on our helmet.  

Some thoughts in my head are positive about the training and my ability to be able to complete the upcoming marathon while other thoughts lend themselves to doubt.  I like that I still have over 6 months to train for the event but, when I look at the numbers – only 186 days away – 185 days away in about 15 minutes and realize how much farther I have to go then I wonder….

I like that my pace at Nashville was 14:41 because it looks like it’s within striking distance of that 10 min/mile pace.  I know when I’m actually running that my pace is better than 6 mph but, I can’t keep it up that long – that time is still being measured in minutes…. 

There is a race in three weeks, May 17th I’m looking into.  They have a half marathon with a 3 hour time limit but, I’m not really cut out for accomplishing anything overly noble in those half marathon runs and was thinking of tackling a 10k while still adhering to my 5 minute interval program but, maybe pushing it a little bit and maybe doubling the amount of time i was running in Nashville.  Maybe 1.5 or 2 minutes of running every 5 minutes.  I have times of 1:29:33 and 1:30:19 for the 10k splits in the Lincoln Presidential and Nashville CMM runs respectively.  Maybe I could take 8 minutes off those times?  

It’s almost funny or, perhaps ironic, that I mentioned needing to do more and be better with Karate and the Masons in my last post because, I never made it to my weekly Masonic meeting last night and didn’t make it to karate tonight.  It reminds me a bit of what we learned in school about nerves dying.  Just before a nerve finally dies it sends out one last burst of impulse, kind of a last ditch effort type thing.  If a person’s optic nerve was dying about the same time as the rest of the body then that last burst might account for the white light that people have reported seeing before they died.   (then somehow being brought back to life so they could recount the story)

I’ve noticed this phenomenon before though.  When I’m doing well, I want to do better.  But then upon trying or wanting to do more and specifically after writing it down, it seems …more often than not, that’s when I’ll fall apart a little bit on those very things I said I wanted.  

Idk – (that’s “I don’t know” for you non-texting type people out there)  Today, I was just exhausted.  I added a few more lawns to be cut today than I originally had on my schedule so, from 9:02 this morning until 4:10 this afternoon I was cutting grass and except for one quick stop at a local gas station to use the restroom and my drive time from one job to another, that’s pretty much what I did all day – cut lawns.  According to my fitbit that I wear on my wrist I covered over 12 miles today and today was an OFF day for training.  I’m just currently exhausted and at 7:30, instead of being at karate, I found myself in bed only to wake 3 hours later dying of thirst.  Since waking I’ve had 1/2 dozen strawberries, 1 orange and 3 bottles of water in addition to writing a few pages here.  

Falling Short – this was an initial thought I had and maybe stems a little bit from that saying about “shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”

I’m thinking the moon would be what I’m shooting for, that marathon run on November 1st down in Wynne, Arkansas but, the stars would be things like running that 1.5 mile path non-stop – being able to run fast – running for an hour non-stop and I do have a half marathon I’ll be doing with my brother about two weeks prior to my marathon attempt.  He mainly runs for fitness and doesn’t do too many organized events but we keep each other abreast of our training and I know he’ll knock out 3 or 4 miles at around a 9:17 pace and he’s already picked out a training program so he should do *very* well in his third ever half marathon.  It’s the St Louis Rock n Roll Half Marathon, I think on Sunday, Oct 19th – two weeks before my marathon run.  But, if I can run that half in 2:25 or less then I will also qualify for the Pikes Peak Ascent (wave 2, i think) in 2015.  Gotta finish that Ascent in 6 hours or it’s like you never existed.  And, finishing that event in 6 hours or less is the only way to get a finishers jacket.  I want one of those jackets.  It’s kind of like getting one of those Boston Athletic Association jackets that you might see one or two people wearing at any big event.  

I guess the moral of this story is that I can’t be afraid of failing or falling short of my goal because there is so much sweet fruit to be had along the way.  I can not use the possibility of failing be any type of excuse for not trying.  I didn’t even like writing that last sentence.

If I take my training seriously then I may be entitled to serious results.  I spent a great deal of time during my drive down to Tennessee thinking about the whole concept of being serious and thereby taking responsibility for the results we obtain in life.  That’s a whole other blog I was thinking about writing.  

Anyway, so far so good with the current training.  I remember back in the Summer of ’94 I took a running class offered at a local university which met 3 days per week, Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6 a.m.  I ended up entering my first 10k that Summer and a few months later completed that first marathon of mine.  So, I know it’s possible to complete a marathon with less than 26 weeks of training but that was 20 years ago also and I have a more vintage body to do this with.  

Currently, I am in week 4 of the 26 week program which means 30 minutes of walking/running tomorrow.  AND – that training program officially starts next Monday 🙂

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