Thursday, April 2, 2009

Training times ten

There's just no way.

I got my new Runner's World Magazine and there is a story on the Boston Marathon, which is about as prestigious of an event as there is in the world of running. Unlike Saturday's Seal Beach 10K and most of the other races I plan on participating in, you can't just roll up on race day morning and sign up to run. You have to qualify for Boston.

For the 18- to 34-year-old males (of which I barely qualify these days), I'd have to run a marathon in 3 hours, 10 minutes.

There's just no way I could run that. Ain't gonna happen.

For women in the same age group, it's 3 hours, 40 minutes. Now, if I were to train for a marathon, and to be honest I'm strongly considering trying for one here in the next year or two, I might be 35 by the time I get to running in one (me, 35? shudder) so my time would have to be 3 hours 15 minutes or better.

There's just no... well, you get the idea.

There is a story on an athlete, Kara Goucher, who is apparently a big star in the running world - Olympian, NCAA champ, an elite runner. Her training regimen is intense and insane.

Mon: 20-23 miles w/weight vest during last 4-5 miles; 15-20 minutes aquajogging
Tue: 10 easy miles; 30 minutes weightlifting
Wed: Track workout: 4x800 meters, 8x200 meters uphill, 4x800 meters, hurdle drills
Thu: 10 easy miles, 30 minutes weightlifting
Fri: 8-10 easy miles
Sat: Track: 8x1600 meters; OR 19-mile tempo run; OR 12-mile tempo run, 5:10 - 5:30 pace.
Sun: 8-10 easy miles.

Yikes! Unreal. Oh yeah, that's just in the am. In the pm, she typically runs at least five miles. Every day.

That's just insane. Now, of course she's a professional athlete and has the time and ability and dedication. But holy crap, that's just a different universe altogether from where I am now. Maybe not that dedicated but that's the kind of training regimen I worry about having to train for a marathon. I did bad in keeping up with my own half-marathon training and while I think I will still do fine during the half (fingers crossed) I still have to re-assess my plan and see how it really worked for me (it didn't) and what I can do to improve that (lots) when I run my next half-marathon (September, fingers crossed again, might do something stupid and run two in September).

But things like Ms. Goucher's training make me, well, they make me feel like a 2-year-old child trying to keep up with a pro. It gives me a bit of perspective, when I struggle through a short run, you know, a short eight-mile run, the distances that Ms. Goucher eats for breakfast. And a 5:10 pace... I don't even run that fast in my dreams.

Still, that really only drives me. I really only get excited about my own races and my own runs and my own training routine, however haphazard it really is. So I'm never going to qualify for Boston. That's not what drives me. I'd like to run a marathon, would like to go through the experience, maybe more than once. I'd like to run half-marathons and 10Ks and Mud Runs and be able to do them often and build up for them and train for them the way I like to train, the way that suits me best.

Yeah, it's intimidating, but will seeing the amount of work it takes an elite runner puts in scare off a novice runner like myself?

No way.

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