Oct 25, 2010

Running for Running Sake

With all the marathons for this year behind me -- cancelled Tucson due to a conference travel conflict -- I'm now back to running for running sake. No planned workout, no speed drills, no intervals, no nothing. Just lace up and run. That's what I've been doing all of last week. Although the effects of Chicago still linger, I've put that behind me and started enjoying running like I did before becoming competitive.

I still use a GPS watch to track my time and distance for every run because I'm a nerd and I like numbers. I did a 20 mile run yesterday and realized how much more enjoyable it was when I did not look at my watch every few minutes to check my splits like I did while training for the spring and fall seasons.

The rest of the year will continue these mellow enjoyable runs. The only race now on my list is the Knickerbocker 60K. This is a low-key ultra organized by the New York Road Runners annually before Thanksgiving. The course itself is 9 loops around Central Park adding up to 37.2 miles with a fair bit of rolling hills. I will be running this as a end-of-the-year celebratory run as opposed to racing it.

Oct 18, 2010

Looking Forward

So yes, I'm one year closer to my grave today and Boston registration opened at 9am and closed at 5pm like a government clerk. It's time to move on with new goals, new expectations and new thrills in running. I spent last week evaluating my running goals and what it meant to me after the  dismal  encouraging performance at Chicago. I think I'm now closer to BQ than ever but BQ is merely a milestone (an important one) than a goal. So if you run, spend sometime thinking what your running "goal" is/should be?

I did and finally it stuck with me as "achieve a lifetime of running". I want to keep running till I look like this and probably even worse.

I'm grateful that I've been able to run as much as I have this year and hope godess Nike will continue to bless me. Have a safe and injury free running experience everyone!

Oct 12, 2010

Chasing the elusive 3:10

A few days before the Chicago marathon I woke up dreaming that I was wearing the famed blue singlet with "Boston Athletic Association" on it. I was on Heartbreak Hill pounding my way to the finish line. Last Sunday, I was at the start line of another great marathon in downtown Chicago feeling a bit nervous but confident of all those grueling training sessions I had put in. The long runs in freezing cold winter and the tempo runs and track workouts even in 100+ degree Baltimore heat should pay off, right? Nada. Doesn't matter. All that matters is what you do after the starter gun goes off. Dreams don't count, passion is only for the movies, and certainly no extra points for sucking up the IT band pain in Chinatown (mile 21) and continuing to run. You either make it or end up 10 minutes late -- 3:20:54.

*Wisconsin was a training run
As a runner the best you can hope for is continuous improvement. Goals change but training never ends. Looking back on all the marathons I've done in a year, all I have is to look forward to the next marathon knowing that my qualifying time might just be a marathon away. Or two.

Why do I want to qualify? 3:10 seems like an arbitrary goal. Why not 3:00 or even 2:50? Preparing and running for a BQ to me has been much more than that. It is knowing what I'm made of. It was the same thing that made me run a 50 miler in June.