Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Weeks 6-8 of Seoul International Marathon training

I haven't abandoned training for this marathon the way I did the last two Januaries. Week 6 was a good week without a lot of mileage but two good workouts, week 7 and 8 had one good workout and not many runs due to a lot of travel, for work and for fun. I did get a nice run around the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo where I felt great.

After eight weeks, I would say that at most I'm in 1:31 half shape, which is basically the 1:32 I ran a month ago with better pacing. With the race ten weeks away as of yesterday, a sub-3 looks more or less impossible. On the other hand, I think there's a chance I could pull it out by getting in great half marathon shape (1:24 or faster), but it would take a lot of miles between now and then. The good news is that I'm more or less on vacation until then.

The bad news is that big gains, for me, often take time to show themselves, so even if I got in eight weeks of training and then spend another three weeks doing nothing, I feel like I would stand a better chance. On the other hand, I would be happy to walk away from this race with a PB (currently 3:10:24), which would mean running overall is going in the right direction.

I've been happy enough to compete the last few months more than I've been happy with times. Sports are, of course, about success and failure, victory and defeat, but even defeat is better than not playing at all. That's not to say, of course, that I'm a winner for trying, or for being the third-fastest male between the ages of 20-29 who also wasn't one of the top three finishers.

Racing, at my level, comes down to whether you're the hammer or the nail. I don't run to complete races, but I also don't run to be 17th versus 16th. Really, it comes down to the last third of a race, when either you have the strength to leave the others behind, or you sputter and get left standing still. This fall, I tended to be on the nail side of things, but even being humbled has its fun.

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