4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

4 Days to the Chicago Marathon

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4 days to the Chicago Marathon!  And I’m thinking about time predictions…

I’m very proud of my marathon history.  I’ve run 12 marathons over the last 14 years.  I have many that were disappointing for one reason or another, and many that were kick-ass awesome.  It is fun to periodically look through the results and just remember the races, the courses, the weather conditions on race day (I’ve seen it all), the trips to get to them, the hard work that went into certain ones.  There is a certain satisfaction in seeing the list ‘on paper’ as if it is a permanent record.  I’m really looking forward to adding Chicago to the record, and see where it falls.  My marathon history:

  1. 1996-11-03 – New York City Marathon – 5:27:31 (PR)
  2. 1998-11-01 – New York City Marathon – 5:35:33
  3. 2000-05-28 – Vermont City Marathon – 4:48:01 (PR)
  4. 2000-11-05 – New York City Marathon – 4:52:03
  5. 2002-04-28 – New Jersey Shore Marathon – 5:02:34
  6. 2002-11-03 – New York City Marathon – 5:06:22
  7. 2005-04-24 – Big Sur Marathon – 4:37:37 (PR)
  8. 2007-11-04 – New York City Marathon – 4:51:43
  9. 2008-11-02 – New York City Marathon – 4:31:25 (PR)
  10. 2009-02-15 – Austin Marathon – 4:22:16 (PR)
  11. 2009-11-01 – New York City Marathon – 4:44:05
  12. 2010-05-02 – Providence Rhode Races – 4:46:29

Historically, my proudest, and best, races have *always* been in the spring.  This includes Austin Marathon, which was February, technically winter, but it was in spring-like conditions (in Texas).  This is because I actually get a good, full, hard, cycle of training done in the months leading to the race.  My summer training never goes well, and that includes this year.  I know my training is not where it needs to be, or should be, for me to reach a 4:30 marathon, let alone a 4:22 PR.  With that expectation set, I’m ready for whatever I am able to do, and I look forward to my race in January (First Light Marathon), and my race in the spring (undetermined at this time) to properly ramp up my training and go for that PR.

My prediction has a lot to do with the weather, which is still a little bit of an unknown.  We know the temperatures will be in the 50’s to start, and rise to the 70’s.  Much of the race should be in the 60’s, which is a little on the warm side for me.  If the dewpoint creeps up to the upper 50’s, that will add complication and multiple minutes to my time.  That all said, if conditions are really good (low dewpoint, not a lot of running in the sun), I predict a time between 4:35 and 4:40.  If the humidity creeps up, or the temps are too high, or the sun is a factor, then I predict a time between 4:45 and 4:50.  Looking forward to seeing how it goes, and analyzing the results!

While in Chicago, I’ll be missing one of my favorite races, the Staten Island Half Marathon.  This is perhaps my 2nd favorite non-marathon NYRR race, behind the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  I love the ferry ride to SI, the great staging area they have at the baseball stadium, the usually great weather, and the relatively flat course, etc.  It was also my very first half marathon, back in 1996.  Here is my SI Half race history:

  1. 1996-09-15 – Staten Island Half Marathon – 2:17:54 (PR)
  2. 1997-09-21 – Staten Island Half Marathon – 2:24:45
  3. 1998-09-20 – Staten Island Half Marathon – 2:18:11
  4. 2000-10-15 – Staten Island Half Marathon – 2:15:37
  5. 2007-10-14 – Staten Island Half Marathon – 2:06:41
  6. 2008-10-12 – Staten Island Half Marathon – 2:00:20
  7. 2009-10-11 – Staten Island Half Marathon – 2:01:14

Interestingly enough, this is not a PR course for me.  Only time I PR’d it was my very first one.  I’m sure this is because it is a fall race, and I am *never* in my tip-top racing form in the fall.

Good luck to everyone racing in SI, I’m gonna miss it!

For reference, my full race history is here.

Previous Entries:  5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28


Written by SCL

October 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm

One Response

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  1. Very cool to see all of your marathons and the times you ran them.

    If you ask me to predict Chi-Town, I can’t only because your such a “smart” runner that you never know what will happen on race day. I really hope the weather is not a factor.

    I really wanted to run SI Half this year. Guess, that won’t happen. Next year. :O)

    GOOD LUCK!!!!


    October 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm

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