\me. di. oc. ri. ty\
Noun 1. The quality or state of being mediocre
2. Moderate ability or value
3. Jim's marathon pacing relative to the rest of his running and racing
Ho hum, another Saturday, another long run big expectation ... but another, "Eh, shoulda been better!" Today, in preparation for a pancake flat marathon in Chicago in 8 weeks, I ran along the Little Blue Trace Trail in Independence, MO. It's a very nice, well maintained dirt/gravel trail along the Little Blue River that literally has ZERO elevation change. I should have torn it up. There should still be a dust cloud because of the tornado my churning legs caused. But there was nothing. Nothing except for another rum-drum, a little above average workout.
Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful for some of the things that being blessed with slightly above average speed has allowed me to do, namely running the Boston Marathon. But like everyone else, I have speed goals that I want to accomplish at the marathon level that I'm not even close to. Not even close!
This 21 mile workout today should have been easy at these speeds, but I had to work my but off to keep pace. I intended to run 6 miles below a 7:00 pace at the end of the workout, but could only hold 4 miles at that speed. Freaking 4 miles!!!
The good news is that I ran 18 last week with the last 9 miles at a 7:10 pace, so I'm probably just gonna chalk this up to a bad week. I've learned that you're never quite as good as your best run, but not as bad as a bad run. Plus, in full disclosure, this was one of the toughest training weeks I've had for this marathon cycle. I completed my hardest leg strengthening workout in a while on Monday, followed by a good Speed Workout on Tuesday, and then a Tempo Run on hills on Thursday. Speaking of the hills, to date, all of my runs have been on rolling hills, which I think is a little easier than a flat course. The Little Blue Trace Trail doesn't have a single hill, which is a different type of running than I'm used to right now. But that was really the point of the run today. I try not to make excuses about workouts or races - but my legs were still pretty tight this morning when I started. My conditioning felt great, so I know the Speed Work is paying off - but my stride just never felt fluent or smooth. I fought it from the first step, just really tight.
The thing that is so frustrating is that I run fairly fast (for my age anyway) shorter races. I can go to a lot of small to medium 5 or 10K's and win or place near the top of my age group on a fairly regular basis. But I've only place 3rd once in my age group in a marathon. And it was a super small marathon in Wyoming. Most other times, I've just been mixed in. I don't know 26.2 is a mental thing for me or what - but I just never seem to run as fast as I feel like I'm capable of.
I keep telling myself that with all of the Speed and Tempo work I do, I'm magically gonna cash in a 2:50 marathon some day ... but I just don't think it's in the cards friends. That's okay, even if I never PR again in a marathon, I have a blast doing them. Awe ... crap ... save that BS for someone else! YES - I desperately wanna PR again ... and I promise you I will!!! But for now I gotta get these legs some rest before my next long run is another huge disappointment wrapped in my typical mediocrity! (Sorry for the downer post ... just a little disappointed with my run) Oh, and ...
... be great today!