Thursday, October 18, 2007

What now?

Jeez, I'm a slacker....well at least as far as posting on this blog is concerned. I'll blame it on the fact that I don't really have anything to obsess about right now. At least not running-wise, there's always the Seahawks, but I don't want to get into that right now....naughty words are likely to appear frequently if I do.

So, the big question for me is: What now? Over the past 5 months, I've run 3 marathons, 1 50K, 1 half marathon, and at least 5 shorter races. That comes out to an average of 3 races per month (I'm a math whiz!!). Now, I face a 7 month period with 5 races that I know I will probably run. That comes out to less than 1 race per month (I figured that out without a calculator!!). Well, hell....what am I going to do with myself?

I do have a plan, believe it or not. Basically, I'm gonna run. To be more precise, I'm gonna run a lot. It took me a long time to come up with that plan, so don't go mockin it. Okay, really, I do have a more intricate plan in the works. It goes something like this: For the next 2.5 months or so, I'm going to do some basebuilding, putting in 60-70 miles per week at mostly slow and easy paces to get my body used to higher mileage (again). Then, on New Year's Eve, I'm going to launch into my most aggressive training plan yet, a Pfitz 18 week plan that tops out at 93 miles in a week. My target is the Colorado Marathon in Ft. Collins on May 4. My goal is 3:10:59 or less, which will qualify me for Boston in 2009.

My reasoning for this strategy goes something like this: I used the Pfitz 18/55 plan for my second marathon and took 16 minutes off my time. Last spring, for Fargo, I used the Pfitz 18/70 plan and took another 11 minutes off my time. Therefore, more mileage = faster marathon so 93 miles will = BQ. Sounds logical, right? If you don't think so, then keep it to yourself and let me live in my own blissfully ignorant little world :).

There is a second aspect to my reasoning (I know, this is getting really complicated...I told you it took me a long time to come up with this). You see, a funny thing happened to me when I started running marathons. I had already been running for a few years before I went off the deep end and started training for my first mary. And, for a few years, my weight had always hovered between 180 and 185. All of a sudden (well, not all of a sudden, but fairly rapidly) my weight started going up as my weekly mileage did, and before I knew it I was at 220. What the hell? One would think that more mileage would equal fewer pounds, but one would be wrong. Apparently, for me at least, more mileage equals more calories burned but also equals more food in. Of course, a lot of that is my's easy to justify more food with the "I ran 20 miles today, I can eat whatever the hell I want" excuse. There's a point in here somewhere....oh yeah, so I read this article in Runner's World that said by losing so much extra weight you can gain so many minutes for a marathon (I don't remember the exact numbers, but I do remember that it was enough minutes for me to BQ if I lost 15-20 pounds). So, I figure if I can run a 3:18 weighing around 215 pounds, then I should be able to run a 3:10 weighing under 200. And if not, then Runner's World is full of shit and I'm cancelling my subscription. So, this adds another variable to my equation: less weight + more miles = faster marathon = BQ. Hell, if I gain time from more miles and from losing weight, I might just run an Olympic Trials qualifying time (that's 2:22, folks). Well, maybe just a BQ time.

Okay, as if this wasn't getting complicated enough, there's yet another factor. The Colorado Marathon course is touted (by the organizers) as being the #1 Boston qualifier in the country. This is because it's almost all a relatively gentle downgrade and the weather is usually good (i.e. cool, but not too cool). So, that makes it: fast course + less weight + more miles = faster marathon = BQ. Maybe I will get that 2:22.

So, there ya go. I made up for over a week of no posts by rambling on incessantly about a bunch of nonsense. Don't get mad at me about it, you're the one who actually read it...


Willis said...

I love it, Chrissto! You'd be the first I've heard of (and you know I've checked around a LOT) that's actually going to go for Pfitz 18/93max. For some reason, everyone seems to "chicken out" at the last moment, even after doing 18/70. I seriously considered 18/93max as well, but even I thought better and said "hell no!" (Not yet, at least.)

I also love your pick on the Colorado marathon. That seems like a real winner to me. Fast, downhill, and a great destination marathon. I'm definitely going to do that one one day.

Looking forward to following along your huge improvements when you get moving on the crazy plan.

shanstores said...

So, does this mean you have to get up at 2am instead of 4am to do yours runs?! Maybe you should just quit your job and run full-time? :) Wait, you might actually take that advice so I take it off the table! Love you!

CharlieM said...

Hate to be the token Galloway person in a sea of Pfitz's, but lots of research shows that lower mileage can produce fast marathons, too. Obviously if you're body/schedule can take it, then 93 max will get you in a groove to BQ, but I just wanted to chime in that you shouldn't stress if the mileages work out to be much lower - with your 5K speed and a reasonable base you will BQ soon for sure. Best of luck!