Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Eugene Marathon Race Preview

"Celebration" after scoring
a goal.
I’m a goal  person. Growing up, my mom made my siblings and I create and track to “goal charts”. While some of her teachings didn’t take (I run all the time with scissors! Take that, MOM!) the goals one certainly did.  Whether it is to run 2500 miles in a year, a race every month, or Boston Qualify by the time I’m 70, I love to set running goals.  The Eugene marathon is no different.

Setting goals and a race plan is highly dependent on race training and your expectations of race experience.  I’ve wrote about it before, but your pacing will vary if you want to have a great race and high five all of the spectators vs if you want to run a world record.  For both, you still have to put one foot in front of the other, but you can guarantee that the last 4 miles are going to be hell in a personal best setting attempt.

Fortunately for me, there is only one “major” hill at Eugene around mile 4.5 and the weather is supposed to be nearly ideal – 45 at the start and no wind.  So, course or environment shouldn’t slow me down too much.  I’ll run easy 7:30s for the first few miles (my long run pace) and then drop the hammer to 7:00 after the hill. Piece of cake!  I’ve started to wear my heart rate monitor and I’ll actually try to keep an eye on it.  I’ve found that “normal” running is around 170 and hard running is around 190.  I can only hold it that high for 10 or so miles (TWSS), so I’ll try to stay lower than that until mile 20.

So, here are my goals for this race.  Just like ALWAYS I like to have multiple levels of “success”.  My philosophy is that true goals should not be easy to obtain. You should fail 50% of the time – otherwise you’re not stretching yourself or pushing yourself hard enough.  My A goal is the Unicorn orgasming rainbows, the C goal is the last possible time that I’d get and still be happy, and the B goal is somewhere in-between.

Jamoosh over at Last Mile Lounge gave me a bit of grief for setting the goals too aggressive last time at Rock and Roll Arizona and not giving myself a fall back option once nearly all hope was lost. He made very valid points about the day-of conditions swinging race times by 10s of minutes. I took his advice under very careful consideration but realized that I would be lying to myself if I didn’t set them how I feel.  If I don’t hit my C goal below, I will be VERY disappointed.  I could throw a gimmie goal up there, but even if I hit that I’d still be what is the point of sandbagging?

A Goal: Sub 3:09:59 (7:15 pace)
B Goal: Sub 3:14:59 (7:27 pace)
C Goal: Sub 3:19:40 (PR)
Bonus goal: Have NO 8:00+ miles

The surprising thing about the last bonus goal is that I have yet to run a marathon, including my 3:19, that was all 7:59 pace or below.  Inevitably I’ll have to pee or I’ll have to walk and one of the miles will be 8:45 or 9:00....or 11:00 or 12:00.  This has actually been a goal of mine for the last handful of races but for some reason I haven’t been able to pull it out. (That’s what she said.)

Did you notice something? No BQ goal??  Based on my age (old enough to date your mom but young enough that she’d still be a cougar) I still need a 3:04:59 to qualify for Boston.  I honestly think that on the right day I might be able to pull it out.  But, I’m not QUITE there yet to actually say that I’m going for it.  Not yet anyway.  Soon.

Wish me luck!  Not running luck, but pooping luck. The running is all due to training.  The pooping? Yeah, I’ll take anything I can get there.


Luis Fernando Oliveira said...

Hey, man, 3:09 is NYC automatic qualify. Pretty awesome as far as goals go, if you ask me.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I believe you will have an awesome race tomorrow! Have fun!

Jeff Irvin said...

Good luck man!

Looks like a course built for speed and a 45* temp is heavenly!

Screw that 7:30 pace shit. On this course just even split - 7:15 the entire way. The net downhill from the half way point will put some time in the bank before you start the small climb towards the end. Go crush it and DO NOT WALK, no matter what!!

SupermomE12 said...

Good luck Adam! This looks like a GREAT course and perfect weather (with Boston less than two weeks ago I may be just a tad bit bitter... or a lot). :)

You are in great shape and so ready to hit your goals. Have a GREAT race and have fun. Don't pants your poop. :)

Meghan said...

You would qualify for NYC with your A goal I believe!

When do you think/where do you think you will BQ for Boston?

Good luck! Sounds like a smart plan to get to that hill and over it!

pensive pumpkin said...

you know i've got no advice that would be worth a poop, right? LOL


Missy said...

Good luck!
I hope everything comes out all right for you. ;-)

Jen said...

I can't wait to hear all about your race.

It's astounding to me how fast you run and you're still not 'fast' enough to BQ… you will get there tho. I know you will.

That rainbow pissing unicorn pic never gets old btw.

Kathy said...

have a great race, Adam. I'm not even going to convert 45F to the real temperature because it is unfathomable. i can't believe you LIKE that weather. :)

I'll be thinking about you tomorrow!

Spike said...

Good luck and have a great race!!!

Erin said...

Wishing you the best tomorrow! Go Unicorns!