Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Miles and Miles

Today I received an email from the Boston Athletic Association that registration for next year's marathon begins next week.  However, given my upcoming running goals and overall travel schedule, it is not even on my radar screen this time around.  I remember the first time I qualified for Boston how overjoyed I was to qualify and how much I was excited when registration came.

In contrast, this year, I have already registered for an ultra-marathon that will be about six weeks later next spring.  For that, I have already registered.  And that was exciting when I did.

That race will be 56 miles.  That is a crazy long distance.

Over the past five days, I have accumulated 56 miles.  I can imagine running it all in one day, but I am a long way from that.

What is most amazing is that on Saturday I ran the 9.8 miles in the low 8's.  On Sunday, I ran the 18 miles at a 7:50 pace.  On Monday, I ran 10 at an 8:50 pace.  On Tuesday I ran 10 more at an 8:00 pace.  And today I ran 9.1 at an 8:40ish pace.  For anyone doing the math, that adds up to a little over 56 miles.  But during that entire span, none of the average paces are as slow as I plan to run.  I figure a 9:30 pace overall would get me to the goal I want--the medal for finishing in under 9 hours.  And only a very small number of the miles were even that slow.

A friend gave one piece of advice--she reminded me that I will focus on the quantity of the miles between now and then rather than the quality of those miles.

That will be a real change for me.  In the meantime, I have one marathon on October 10 and possibly a second on the weekend of Thanksgiving in which I plan to run 3:30 and then better than 3:20.

As I move ahead, I will have to pace myself.  Stay healthy.  Consume LOTS of calories.  And say the serenity prayer many times: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (like the distance of the race or the number of miles I must train to finish a 56 mile race safely), the course to change the things that I can (like my own training style), and the wisdom to know the difference.  God's will, not ours, be done.  

I will face the challenge of taking my own advice and following my own prayer.   Helped by my sons and my running family along the way.  

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