Wednesday, October 3, 2007

2 Days 15 Hours

That is the amount of time before I begin a very defining 26.2 miles. My most defining. In a little more than two days, I will toe the line at my third St. George Marathon. For me, running is always about improving my time. This marathon is no different in that regard. What's different with this year's goal is that achieving it gets me more than a PR.


That is the time I must achieve to qualify for the US Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City's Central Park on November 3rd.

It's a crazy, silly fast time. It's a pace of 5:25 per mile for 26.2 miles. When I started training more than two years ago, I couldn't run one mile at 5:25 let alone 26 of them. My goal then was to qualify for Boston in a time of 3:10:59 or better.

A lot has changed in those 30 months. I've dropped my time to 2:29, I have a coach, I've increased weekly mileage to the point I exceeded 100 miles in preparation for this marathon. I'm in the best condition of my life and perhaps the best condition my aging body is capable of.

All that's left is to run the race. I've run 1,640 miles since May 3rd prepping for this moment. Add the five more I will run Friday morning and that is 11 miles longer than the distance from my house in Snoqualmie, WA to where my parents live in Minneapolis. Crazy to think about.

The interesting thing is that I don't feel that much pressure. If I don't make it, it surely wasn't for a lack of effort. It's OK to not be good enough, fast enough, smart enough, good-looking enough to accomplish certain benchmarks in life. All that matters is that you challenge yourself and work your hardest. That's what I've done for the last year or so and that's what I will do on Saturday. Don't get me wrong. There will be plenty of disappointment if I don't make it, but no regrets. Disappointment is not being happy with the result. Regret is knowing there was something you could have done to change that disappointing result.

An interesting sidenote. One of the reasons I love running is that it's all so relative. Just this past weekend, the world record was set at the Berlin marathon by Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia. His time? 2:04:26. Any idea what mile pace that is? Just a hair faster than 4:45 per mile. Remarkable from no matter where you sit. I look at that with awe. I can probably run two consecutive miles at that pace, but 26? Are you kidding? Everything is so relative.

Unless you are Haile Gebrselassie, someone out there is faster.

I don't really know what my plan is for this blog. I will post pretty regularly highlighting training efforts, things I've heard, seen and learned. Hopefully it will help someone. If nothing else, it's therapeutic to me and my kids will think it's cool I have a blog.

1 comment:

ArmyRunner said...


I was very impressed with your race at St. George and after reading your blog even more so on how you set out and accomplished such a great improvement from last year. Paul, who you ran with on Saturday pointed out your blog from our blog site I enjoyed your post race story. You should stop in and check out Paul and some of the others bloggers at FastRunningBlog we have a great bunch of runners that really support each other. I too am very determined to take a stab at making some big improvements over the next year and see what I can push myself to accomplish. In that regard I would be very interested and greatful in seeing how you trained this last year to get to where you are at. Obviously you have done something right and it would be great to be able to see what worked for you. Well, if you get a chance my site on is ArmyRunner and my email is ted.leblow at Thanks, and I hope to see you next year at St. George although I hope to be much closer to you at the finish. Enjoy your trip to New York!