Former 2:24 marathoner, now in my late 40s and hoping to maximally flatten the curve of my slide into senescence and mediocrity • Magazine writer, book editor and author, and commentator on the sport of distance running since 1999 • Adviser and confidant of other perambulators • Paradoxical hater of exercise fanatics • Chihuahua whisperer Sentence-fragment impresario

Monday, September 24, 2018

Another runner's paradox: Seeking to demolish "impenetrable" barriers

In preparing for a race a few weeks or months ahead and formulating a specific goal, have you ever concluded that you could not only better your previous best time at that distance, but blow it cleanly out of the water? And then gone on to do just that?

On the other hand, are you in the habit of treating a personal best, even if it's clearly ripe for demolition, as defining your absolute physical limit, implying that a nearly miraculous effort will be required to erase it?

Most of us are guilty of managing to do both of these conflicting things at the same time -- one of them consciously, the other without realizing it...

(Read the rest at Lowell Running.)


I ran 15 miles yesterday around and near (but not in) the Boulder Reservoir at a shade under 7:00 pace, with the last five fairly close to 6:30s. There is nothing remarkable about this except that it comes one week after a 17-miler and the days in between included a couple of long, solid efforts, including 8 x 1,000 on the roads in 3:31. More than anything, I find myself bouncing back from harder days with increasing vigor. Although my workout times are not very impressive, those will come if my resilience keeps trending in a direction that lets me train like a bona fide runner. I got close to 70 miles last week even with my usual planned Monday off, but this needs to approach 80 or 90 before I can call myself serious again. If my knee allows it, I think the willingness is there. I certainly have no shortage of flexibility in my schedule.


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