Monday, November 5, 2007

The 2:59 Project

Watching marathons leads people to make rash vows. Next year, that'll be me. Maybe it was yesterday's race, or more likely the incredible racing and human drama from Saturday's trials, but it got me thinking about what's next for me and running. (Actually, it came up in a very loud, awful bar on the Upper East Side, but it was after a marathon party.) I've now run 10 regular marathons and two 50Ks. I'd like to move up to a 50-miler, eventually run Comrades. But there's something I need to try: running under 3:00. Two years ago, I had my shot. I ran a 1:28 in the first half of the race, and stayed strong. I did a 6:47 mile 22. In my head, I was there. The last few miles are always hard mentally, and I relaxed. There was a twinge in my calf, so why push it and risk a cramp. In the end, it wasn't until after mile 25 that I realized my math was off: the marathon is 26.2, not 26. I finished in 3:01:04 and pissed. My mom actually remarked that I didn't look that exhausted, and she was right. I had more, and I blew it. It's time to fix that, I think. My goal for 2008 is to do 2:59. It's going to be super hard. I'm about 10 pounds heavier than when I ran Philly in 2005. I'll need to lose a couple of those, add more strength to stay strong, and run a lot. This will also give the Pigdog a mission: documenting what could be a yearlong quest to run sub 6:50 miles for 26.2 straight miles. Right now, I'm not even close, but I know I can get there.

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