High, High Hopes….
While it felt a bit weird to make a grand pronouncement in the opening blog post, it also sort of solidified everything in a very binding way. I didn’t come up with this goal recently, and I have been putting work into it for a while, but putting it out there absolutely focused me. Below will most likely be a bit more of the same. This is the nitty gritty of the goal. This is hopefully the schedule of how we will get from point A to point B. Looking at it now, on paper it seems far fetched and almost out of reach. It will absolutely take everything I have. I am going to pepper in some training, or non-race goals throughout the year to keep me motivated and on track. The goals below are just the ones that will take me through the first Quarter of next year. Note that the OQT period ends on December 4th, and the first quarter is just the first go at getting the standard.
Race #1: Churchill’s Half Marathon – Perrysburg, OH – November 12th. (Race report coming soon) This race obviously already happened, but the first blog post was written, and the initial goals were set before I raced this. I was just struggling for over a month deciding whether of not to write this. This race actually was deciding on a whim. I had a weekend off, and we (Coach and I) had no idea where my fitness actually stood. My training for the better part of 3 months was sporadic at best with some sickness, some small injury tweaks and a ton of work and driving. This one was supposed to be a true measuring stick of where I currently stand, and what we need to do to get me from here, to the big goal.
- Stay comfortable throughout. While this is a race, this is more of a time trial/test for me. I need to stay within myself
- No injuries. Since we don’t really know where we stand fitness wise don’t push to the point of injury. I am going into this one with a sore back from driving, and an hip flexor that has a propensity to get injured when pushed hard around a lot of lifting (work) and driving.
- 5:30 pace throughout – goal of 1:12:00. This is again, mostly a guess. We might not be at 5:30 pace yet, or we could be a bit faster. Either way the two goals above are more important than the actual time.
Race #2: Frosty 25K – Winston Salem, NC. This is a good one. It’s familiar and with familiar faces. Salem Lake is a place I have run hundreds of miles, and 90% of the runners are my NC running family. This also will allow me to get out of MI during the darkest and coldest part of the year, and hopefully run something without ice and snow (hopefully, its humorous ( I would have used ironic here, but I am pretty sure myself and Alanis keep misusing that word. Any help English majors?) to head to a race called “Frosty” to avoid the cold)
I did Frosty in 2020 a few weeks before Houston as a final tune up race. I went pretty hard that day but still under control, keeping in mind that I needed to stay healthy, and that it was a training race. This will be a great barometer to see where I am at in 2023 vs. 2020. I think in the past few years the low 5s have become less scary, so I might be slightly faster just because I know my body can do it. 15.5 miles is a fun distance, and Brandon Hudgins and Donnie Cowart will be there so hopefully we can push the pace a bit together. When I ran it solo in 2020 I ran a 5:38 pace
- Get comfortable with “race pain” being able to stay in that near “red” area for a long time.
- Test out all race gear. Everything from clothes to make sure they sit well, race shoes (as they are completely different than trainers now a day), to nutrition. With under 2 months to go its time to really make sure everything is field tested.
- 5:20 – 5:25 pace That means a 1:22.40 – 1:24.00. With this race being just under 2 months out from needing to be significantly faster over the course of 26.2 miles. This run will also be untapered and most likely unrested
Race #3: Mesa Half Marathon – February 4th, 2023 – Mesa Arizona: Hopefully I will have the time, and funds to travel to this one as a 1 month out tune up. This race is fast and always has a fast field (like if I PR I am still not guaranteed to be on the same MILE as the winner when they cross the finish line. This would be good. A chance to get a feel for how close we are 1 month out, and hopefully a chance to get pulled along to a half marathon PR. I went 1:06.21 at the Marquette Half Marathon in 2021. It was a solo effort with no one within several minutes, but the weather conditions were perfect and it is a downhill half. That being said, I felt very comfortable that I could have hit a OQT time a month later at Detroit had I not gotten myself hurt. Mesa, 1 month out from Woodlands, is another great opportunity to try and set myself up perfectly for the marathon.
- Only a time goal for this one. 1:05:59.00. Conditions will dictate some of this, but if I can’t be within spitting distance of this, the OQT in March may be out of the question.
Race #4: A Race: Woodlands Marathon – Houston(ish) Texas – March 4th, 2023: This one will creep up fast, but it is the spring goal race. I assume there will be a few other 2:18 goal racers as it is the final year for OQT in this cycle. This race regularly has fast runners, but mostly right at 2:20. Hopefully there are a few more going for the standard on the same day and we can work together. Finisher place doesn’t matter, just time. Since it is taking me longer to get into shape, and life happens there will be an A goal and a B goal, knowing we have several more training cycles into the fall to give the OQT another shop.
- A Goal: 2:17:59.99 or faster. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. The A goal has to be the standard.
- B Goal: 2:22:.00. If we aren’t in a position to hit the standard, a 3 minute PR would be good. I hit 2:25 and change at Houston with a break to ask an aid station for a phone, called Libby ad hobbled into the finish. All that is to say I still haven’t had a complete marathon. I have run four marathons in my life. The first was Detroit almost 2 decades ago, and I barely survived that. The second was Boston. I did that on a sprained ankle, and died like a rube in the last 8 miles. I did Bayshore a few years back and set the record for most port o john stops in a marathon a hot and humid day. Houston was number four. So having a good, hard complete race still eludes me. Short of hitting the standard, having the confidence that I can run 26.2 miles hard would be a good cancellation prize
Non – Race Goals:
- Be consistent and unyielding with stretching, strength and core work
- Quit Caffeine (explained more in upcoming post)
“Had to have high, high hopes for living. Didn’t know how, but I always had a feeling. I was gonna be that one in a million. Be something greater, go make a legacy”