4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Some final thoughts

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New York City Marathon kicks off in 15 hours.  Getting nervous about the race now.  Not nervous about the distance, or my ability to finish it.  This is my 9th marathon, and I know I can cover the distance.  I’m nervous about my ability to finish in 4:30.  It will not be easy.  The stars are aligning though.  Weather is going to be perfect.  Managed to get sick early enough in the week so that I’m just about all better now.

As a sidebar, after a sickness I tend to start getting bad hives on my feet.  When they hit, it is painful to walk, and of course, run.  Luckily this happened to me yesterday (Friday), so I was able to pop an Allegra, which always brings the swelling down.  When this first started happening to me 7 or 8 years ago, it took awhile to figure out what was happening.  The hives would start on my feet, and quickly spread to my face, hands, or other areas.  They would last for a few days before going away.  After seeing an allergist, I was diagnosed with angioedema.  Allegra makes the hives go away quickly, but I don’t know what causes them.  They occur from time to time, but almost always when I’m recovering from an illness.  Anyway, as I said, the hives have come and gone, so are not a concern at all.  Physically, I’m ready to go!

I am still really nervous about the time though.  I’ve made the mistake of telling people that if I don’t finish in better than 4:30, I’ll be really disappointed.  Most people just don’t understand this.  They think that finishing the race is enough.  For the first 2 marathons, that was true.  Since then, it has been all about doing it faster, smoother, with fewer injuries.  But the truth is, I will not be happy if I finish slower than 4:30.  I put so much more time into my training this year, and covered so many more miles than typical, that I feel like I’m ready to do it.  I want to put 4:30 behind me in this race, so I can tackle 4:15 in my next marathon, Austin in Feb.

I think I have a good chance, but at the end of the day it is a numbers game, and the numbers don’t always add up.  Realistically, I cannot run any faster than 9:45 in the early miles for fear of hitting the wall late (this is what happened to me last year).  Also, realistically, I’ll probably be running 11 or 11:30 per mile in the last few miles.  I did some quick calculations.  Most realistic is 9:45 for the first 6 miles, followed by 10:00 the next 6, followed by 10:30 the next 6, followed by 11 the next 6, followed by 11:30 the final 2 miles, and 2 mins for the last .2.  That adds up to 4:32:30.  So, I need to keep to that general pace, but cut 3 minutes out somewhere.

I’m up for the challenge.  4:30, here I come!!!


Written by SCL

November 1, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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