Big Questions

Today’s Run

Time – 45:04
Distance – 4.6 miles
Pace – 9:45 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%


More treadmill, but two days of running in a row. I’m feeling good about this so far. Getting back into it isn’t hurting, I’m finding the paces that I wanted to see, and my own recovery from illness isn’t holding me back too much. My right ankle was sore about mile three, but I think that was because of the repetition of the same motion on the treadmill. I’ll have to get adjusted to that. Also, there’s no slowdowns or stops on a treadmill, as opposed to road crossings, turns, and other obstacles during outside runs. Did core work again after the run.

14 weeks till GO! St. Louis

I’m scheduled to run the GO! St. Louis Marathon in 14 weeks, on April 8th. I’m not nervous about the distance. I know that even if I blow up, I can still walk it in and finish, which would be disappointing to be sure. My concern is more that I won’t be ready to run at the paces I want to when the time comes. There’s a piece of me that is thinking about switching to the Half Marathon and doing more work on speed. I can do 13 miles without any issue. A shortening of distance, however, will not help me towards THE GOAL. I need to be putting in the miles.

The struggle is timing. As I turn 39 this year, speed potential is diminishing. I will reach a point where I will not only stop getting faster, but I will start to slow down. Endurance, however, is something that sticks around a lot longer. I’ll be able to go distances for a while beyond when I get slower. That means that 100 milers can be in my future a lot longer than 5:xx/miles (if that pace is even POSSIBLE).

I started this blog with the intention of running Western States. This has not changed. But it’s the end of the year, and a time for much reflection. I’m considering that one or two more years of putting off Western States, while pushing out THE GOAL, may be the only way to make my other goals happen.

If I was 15, and I was thinking about all of this, I’d be running 5K cross country races and 1600m or 3200m track races. Mileage during sophomore or junior high school summers is 35–45 miles a week (at least), and speed work would be the order of the day in-season. Long runs would be 9–13 miles, and I’d be working on building aerobic capacity. This sounds a lot like the kinds of running I’m doing now. Effectively, I’m a high school sophomore when it comes to running (except not quite as fast). Most kids that age don’t look for big mileage races for another 2–3 years, if not until after college. As I don’t have 6 years to give to this, I think that it’s not unreasonable to work on getting faster now, and doing ultra races a little further down the road.

This means, of course, that I’ll need to run more races this year. Lots of 5k’s and 10k’s to work on speed.

I need to think…


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