Friday, September 3, 2010

Marathon Race Pace

aka - MRP.

Last year when I was "training" for my marathon, I took a very lazy attitude on preparing for "pace".  I trained at the pace I felt like running at, as many miles as I could squeeze in each week.  I thought I was doing well.  Yea, about that.  I somehow doubt that the 28 - 33 miles I was running each week was quite enough.  You know when I noticed it?  On my long runs every weekend.  I didn't know what I was noticing though.  I did 90% of my miles at a 10ish minute or so pace, and the other 10% were at an 11... or 1130... pace because I was falling apart at mile 17.  I thought since I was training at a 10 minute pace that I would just race a ten minute pace for my marathon.

This year I'm training 90% of my miles at a 10:30ish (well, I tend to average a lot of miles at a 10:26)... and the other 10% at MRP.

But.  What is my MRP?  I can't seem to figure it out.  On some days, I look at my "dream goal"and think, I am smoking crack if I think I can hold that for 26.2 miles.  On other days, I look at the dream goal and think, sure, why the heck not?  I can do that.   


Today though, I really questioned what it is that holds me back from embracing my crazy goal and believing it's possible.  I'm pretty fit.  Who am I kidding?  I'm probably in some of the better shape I've been in in my life.  Which pace should I train at for my MRP?  My crazy dream goal pace, or the pace I KNOW I can hold?


And here's what I've got to come to:  Either I need to move the mental block aside and use it as a stepping stone, or I need to reconsider my dream goal.  Being on the short side of scale, and being a former horseback rider, I'm used to stepping on a block to get on a horse.... to borrow a phrase from a coach I know - it's time to "cowboy up".

10 comments:

Silly Girl Running said...

Just go for your goal pace! Why take the safe pace? It's a race! I've been battling the same dilemma (posted about it last week on my blog), and figured I will just go for it! Might as well end that marathon and feel like I just finished a marathon, instead of 'ahhhh...that was a nice and easy long run', right? ;)

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

I agree, get over that block! You can do anything you set your mind to.

After about my 3rd or 4th marathon I realized that I saw a lot of people really hurting as they crossed the finish line. That is not what running is about for ME. While I want the challenge of a difficult race/distance I do not want to be dying when I complete it. After both of the ultras I felt amazing and wanted to do another the next day! After my last road marathon I felt like I never wanted to do one again. (Of course I will do another) It is a lot about what you want out of racing/running. I'd love to take first in my "local" marathon having thaken 2nd, 3rd and 4th already BUT I just feel like I might be over caring about "speed." I guess we'll see in October (if I run the marathon) whether my running was enough.
Good luck hitting your goals no matter what they are.

P said...

In the book "Run Like a Mother" there was a mantra by a mom that has really stuck with me: "What am I saving it for??" Don't hold back, girl, go get that dream marathon!!!

Anne said...

The minute you decide to go for it is when you'll "go for it" :) You can do this!!

Julie said...

GO FOR IT!! i just wrote a post about this for me...
http://marathonmoments.blogspot.com/2010/08/shooting-for-stars.html

YOU CAN DO IT!!!

longlegsontheloose.com said...

awesome post G! Can;t wait to watch you kill it in Richmond!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

You know what i learned training for Eugene to BQ? It is not the mileage that counts it is the focus when you are out there. Every run I was focussed on training my legs to go MRP or faster. And the speedwork and hills days, I hit those paces. Even on the LR days I refused to just relax, my body had to know what was coming..

Teach your body to run the pace. Teach your brain to believe that you can hold that pace or faster for 26.2. Dream it, think it, believe it and DO IT!!

momof3 said...

Ladies, thank you. I think I will definitely spend the next few weeks trying out my dream 2010 MRP and see what it feels like to hold the pace. I think the idea of PRing by 40 minutes sounds... like WOW, did I just write that? OK, I think the idea of PRing by that much was stopping me from believing.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Like Nike says, 'just do it'.......

MCM Mama said...

Get over the block. Run the race at the pace you want. Just don't get too greedy - running the middle miles too fast to "bank time" really hurt me in the end. I may not have made my goal if I'd stayed steady, but I think I would have been closer to it.

Good luck!!!