Is More Than One Goal a Good Thing?

Today’s Run

Time – 33:54
Distance – 2.76 miles
Pace – 12:17 min/mi
Elevation – 120 ft.

Quite literally, an “easy run.” It was the 2nd slowest pace that I’ve run for less than 4 miles, including the ultra slow runs at the beginning. I went out after yesterday’s long run and just didn’t really feel like the legs were going to do it. With only 3 days left to go this week, I figured easy miles were better than a burnout for the time remaining. Other than a little knee tenderness, it did feel alright.

What About More Goals, ’Cause One Just Isn’t Enough

I’ve been thinking about THE GOAL. There’s a few things that I want to do with my running, but they are not all in the same vein, which makes it hard to consider how to accomplish all of them, or whether I should even pursue them all. Rather than post something to the “world famous” LetsRun.com Message Boards and get flamed to ashes, I figured out throw this out into the ether here. Let’s do a run-down and figure this out.

Potential Goal List
Run Western States in under 24 hours. – No potential here…this one is THE GOAL. It’s what I’m doing the blog for and why I’m putting in the miles. Nothing is going to change this. This is bucket list, #dreamitem, and the “top of the mountain” all rolled into one. It’s gone and replaced Ironman for goodness sake!

Run a mile in under 5:20 – This is a crazy goal. I’ve got my own personal reasons to hit this number. I want to see what fast feels like, I’ve got an mental/social challenge to get this done, and I need to prove to myself that I can have speed. I have no idea if I am cursed by genetics and/or physiology on this one. I like the idea of trying to get there as well, as this is one of those “curiosity” goals: i.e. Can I run this fast before I get too old to run this fast?

Run a Boston qualifying time – For a man who is 38, this is 3:10:00. I don’t want to go to Boston. This may elicit shock from some, outright apathy from others. The truth is, it’s not, nor has it really ever been, a thing for me, I don’t like the idea of that insanity of crowds, and, again, this is about personal goals and speed. If I can run 3:10 in a marathon, I can get fast just about anywhere, and I don’t have to go to where the Patriots and Red Sox play to prove it (sorry, I’m a St. Louis fan…still a little bitter…). God bless those who choose to run Heartbreak Hill, though.

Run a FAST 5k – This is one of those things that seems like it would be fun to do. “Yeah, my PR is…” I don’t have a time set for this. Something in line with the mile and marathon times, which would put a 5k in the 18:00 to 20:00 range. That’s fast…

So, the question is, can this even be done? Is it possible to build a plan to get there, especially in a reasonable amount of time (because I know that the mile time will eventually be unlikely)? I see a few of these things working together (mile speed turns into 5k speed is necessary for Boston times can be helpful for Western States quickness, and endurance for marathons is obviously needed for 100-milers), and I know that they don’t require the same training. I’m going to have to give myself a time limit for some of these things as well. I’m thinking 5–6 years of time, maybe a little more.

What do you think? Have you ever tried anything like this? Can a nearly middle-aged guy build that much fitness? Are you a coach who would be willing to create this plan? Put your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

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