The Gansett Goal Post

I’ve been avoiding thinking about this for the last few weeks.

Thirteen weeks ago, I laid out my Gansett training plan – to use the term loosely:

I don’t really have a training plan; I’m basically going to do what I did when I trained for CIM, just a little farther and a little faster. Because 3:29 is fantastic, but I think I might be able to do a little better.

Well, I ran neither further nor faster in the weeks that followed. And I do think that I might be able to do better someday, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this Saturday.

The thing is, I’ve just been rather disinterested in marathoning this spring. I wouldn’t say burned out, exactly – just ho-hum. Like, I don’t really feel like I’ve been tapering these last couple of weeks, although my mileage has definitely dropped…

…but I don’t feel antsy about it. No taper tantrums, no annoying Taperworm nagging at me. I’m just running less, and that suits me just fine because I feel like I have a million things I’d rather be doing.

That may sound like a good thing, but I also feel out of shape. And I never had that build-up where I felt like I was really putting the work in. The whole training cycle has just been…meh. Forgettable, mediocre, et cetera.

I remember last fall, when I hit 70 MPW for the first time…it felt awesome. I really did want to get back there this spring, because as backwards as it sounds, I think that I actually start feeling better when I hit a certain training volume. I’m not sure whether that number is 60 or 70 weekly miles, but I do know that I definitely did not get there this time around.

Like just about anything else, higher volume running can be broken down in to a series of small decisions. To get there, you have to get your butt out the door that many more times each week.

And I guess that’s what it comes down to, for me, this training cycle: I didn’t. I ran almost every day, I logged forty-mile weeks, and I put my requisite long runs in…but when it came time to sack up for a mid-week long run or a double, I shrugged and declined.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure I’ll get across the finish line. But I don’t think the 3:25 mark that I had in my head last January is a realistic possibility.

So about that goal. Let’s call it 3:35. Over the years, I’ve run many marathons in the 3:40s and 3:50s on worse training than what I’ve done here this spring, so I should at least be able to do a little better than that. Assuming I don’t f*&k up.

Sounds reasonable, right?

13 responses to “The Gansett Goal Post

  1. Your amazingly rational and level-headed approach will serve you well. That’s what I predict, and I’m a running expert. So take my word for it. Obviously.

    But again, like with your last marathon, it’s been fun to watch you train leading up to this goal and I think it’s going to be a great race for you, whether a 3:25 aligns or not. Enjoy the taper!

  2. Shelby,
    I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling “meh” about this weekend’s marathon! What’s more, I have just decided on NO FALL MARATHON this year. See you at the track in 3 or 4 weeks, I hope. And good luck!

    • AMEN to that. No fall marathons! 5Ks and 10Ks and halfs FTMWF.
      Good luck at Boston! Do you know what color top you’ll be wearing? I’ll be spectating, I’ll try to spot you!

  3. I have a post like this coming up later this week. I’m thinking Gansett will either be epic or tough, and I really do not know which way it will go yet. Maybe we’ll end up working together?

    • We should definitely try! Do you have a goal pace in mind? I’m sure we’ll have no trouble finding each other at the start since our Q times are so close and I think they seed by time!

      • That could work! Ideally, 3:30, but more realistically, 3:35. Or not. It is going to depend on whether I can mentally keep it together. And it should be super easy to find each other. Unless the weather changes, I am wearing a purple tank, gray or black bottoms, and black Bondi Band with pink writing. Safe travels!

  4. Sounds like a good plan! Who knows you may surprise yourself…Is it bad that I am still undecided on which marathon I am running? Hah.

  5. You’ll do great! You’ve gotten in some great runs.

  6. I think you’ll end up surprising yourself, too. Is there an office pool going on?

    Considering you just moved to a new city, I think your training has gone really well! I don’t know many people who would train for a race while packing and relocating.

  7. I think you have a good attitude going into this race. I find I don’t ever have 2 consecutive marathons that are both GREAT. Usually after a great race, the next one is “meh”…then I have a great one again.
    I look forward to hearing about this race–the course, organization, etc. It is a race I have considered doing.

    • I honestly don’t know how people do multiple marathons a month or whatever. These two are 4.5 months apart and it feels tight!

      I’ve heard great things about Gansett, I’ll definitely do a report on it!

  8. I am the QUEEN of low-balling race goals, so I understand that you don’t want to overshoot. HOWEVER, you have been logging 40-50 mile weeks and we’ve done a lot of similar workouts (you are a beast on the track!), so honestly – I think you have the potential to run in the 3:20’s. But keep in mind, I may be delusional. I am flirting with the idea of a sub-3:20 myself and can’t decide if that’s reasonable or crazy.

    In any event, beer at the finish line. <3