I Need A Change In Perspective

So I just wrapped up an 11-miler and, to be honest, I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps.

A week or so ago I registered for the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Las Vegas. I registered for the full marathon knowing well that there was a 4:30 time limit and as much as I want to make that cut-off, I probably won’t be able to.

I’m not being a naysayer, but after today’s 11-miler and doing a quick review of all of my lifetime long runs (greater than 10 miles), I’d have to say that I’m completely underprepared to keep a 10:30 min/mile pace. For some runners that’s slow. For me, I’m afraid, that’s a bit out of my league. Especially if I have to keep up that pace for all 26 miles.

My fastest pace was during the Rock ‘n Roll LA Half Marathon last year — a whopping 10:37 pace. Even that would be too slow for me to complete the Vegas Marathon with the cutoff.

Some people are born with the biomechanics to run fast. Others, like me, have to work at it. I find myself at the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to physical/brute ability. What I have going for me is mental strength, willpower, and stubbornness.

I guess with the more running you do, you get faster. It’s only natural. I’ve only been running for a little over a year and I can’t really expect to be as fast as the people who have dedicated most of their lives to the sport. We all have to put in our time. Same goes with swimming and biking. I haven’t logged nearly enough double-digit runs to be able to demand such a pace for my body.

In addition to the faux pressure of the RnRLV, there’s also the looming 140.6. You know, that someday goal that my blog is titled after.

An Ironman also has time cutoffs – the swim, bike, and run have to be completed within certain timeframes in order for you to finish by the 17th hour. If I maxed out on my swim and bike time, that’d only leave me with 4 hours or so to finish the last portion of it (the marathon). A 4-hour marathon?! I can’t even begin to think of how I could achieve that. A 4-hour marathon also pales in comparison to a 17-hour Ironman. I don’t want to say it’s impossible, but let’s be honest here…From a realistic standpoint, I should probably downgrade to the RnR Las Vegas half marathon (the same race I ran last year), find another marathon to run in 2013, and either work really hard next year to put the appropriate time in to training for an Ironman/ultra-distance triathlon before deciding which race — if any — to run.

Come to think of it, I might be better suited to just doing the 140.6 miles on my own (well, with friends/family support) rather than doing an actual paid race. That’d be kind of fun. Recruit a swimmer friend to do 2.4 miles with me in the pool. Find someone (or a couple of someones) who want to go on a 112 mile bike ride. Then find a few runners who want to split a 26.2. It’ll be like a friends and family relay, except they will be relaying and I will be doing the whole distance.

The distance alone feels insurmountable, but the time cutoff makes it feel impossible. (I’m still talking about the 140.6 here) So yes, maybe I’m thinking way too far ahead and setting my expectations so high has caused me to feel some disappointment.

Anyways, as for my long run today, I spent it exploring the Burke Gilman trail nearby. It’s quite a lengthy trail that is well paved and maintained. Pedestrians and bikers share it so I try to keep as far right as possible so I don’t get in the way. I started the run with a lot of pain in my right leg — my right calf had a knot, my hip flexors were in quite a bit of pain, and I have some lingering soreness about halfway down my mid/inner thigh. I think it might’ve been from my recent bike training session…maybe the bike is not as good as a fit (something I’ve long suspected) or maybe poor posture but it hurts a lot. It was hurting a bit on the run and I stopped to stretch and massage it a little. I tried not to look at my pace too much and tried to just focus on the experience but for some reason, a lot of negativity just kept flowing through my head. I couldn’t get into a rhythm or focus on anything and felt like I was all over the place. I came back home glad that I had finished but in a pretty dumpy mood nonetheless. To top it off I had no food at home, so after I showered and soaked I was starving and cranky. I ended up driving to the market to pick up some ready-made goodies and chowed down when I got home. Right now I’m just blogging and icing…icing with some frozen salmon. I wish I had an ice pack or at least a bag of frozen veggies but I guess frozen salmon will do.

Any tips on rejiggering my perspective would be greatly appreciated.

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