Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Day Older, A Year Wiser, A Step Slower

But not for long I say.

Today is the 29th anniversary of my birth (I actually had to count because it doesn’t seem possible.) Most people consider 30 the big one, but in my eyes all thirty represents is a celebration of your 20s, so 29 looms large as one of the ultimate years of life. At least that’s what I’m seeing it as. Twenty-nine is big. Like hella big. And I’m starting it off with NYC Marathon weekend, which in my line of work is one of the most intense weekend’s of work of the year. Hooray not being able to celebrate because of work!

Anyway, In the month leading up to today there’s been a lot of introspective thought about what I’m accomplished, where I’ve failed, what I’ve gained, and what I’ve squandered. Unfortunately the “squandered” subsection of this quandary had tipped the scales, and nowhere as much as with my running.

Once upon a time I had the potential to be a very good runner. Not quite elite, but in high school I was a three time district champ, all county, a state all-star, and all without really trying. My big weeks mileage weeks topped out at 25, I rarely trained on the weekends, rarely went over 6 miles on long runs, didn’t eat right or train smart – I just ran. And I was good at it so I liked it. But baseball was what I loved so I skipped track season every year to play ball, summer leagues kept me from putting in a good XC base, and I basically accomplished what I did on sheer will.

I’d go on to run in college and my mileage increased too much too fast. I went from 30 miles a week leading into school, to 80, 90, and 100 mile weeks almost immediately. I burned out just as quickly, and never really was able to recover. I was no longer as good and running was no longer as fun. After a year of mediocre running I was done before I ever really gave myself a chance to get stronger, faster and better. I may never have been great at the college level, but I’ll really never know.

In my adult life I’ve gone through waves where I’ve been on the verge of getting into fairly decent shape – and just as much time neglecting my training all-together and going back to square one. I’ve never given myself the opportunity to get better because right before I turn the corner I drop off.

So now that I’m toeing the line with just 365 short days away from 30 I’m realizing that if I don’t make the move now, when will I make it? I don’t recover like I did when I was 18 anymore – the cracks and pops I hear when I’m getting out of bed in the morning sounds like I’m stepping on a balsa wood plane. I’ll never have the same speed. My job will never let me have the time to run like I did in college when I’d wake up at 6am to do eight then be back on the track for a workout by 4pm. My PRs are probably set in stone at this point. But I still have a lot of goals that I can aim for that will satiate that feeling of regret that I’m having.

So starting today I’m gunning for some goals in the coming year:

Sub 4:30 mile or sub 2:00 half. My HS PRs were 4:27 and 1:58 respectively - but both of those were set after not training for six months and just showing up at meets because my baseball season had just ended.

Sub 16:00 5K. I love the 5K because it’s a race you can will yourself through. That’s my style.

Sub 1:23 Half – MYC Qualifying time. I think I can go faster but this is probably the most important of my goals because my final one is…

My first marathon in New York on November 1st 2009. I will only do it if I qualify. I will only do it if it’s NYC. It will be two days after my 30th birthday and it will be the culmination of my year of run.

So that’s it. It is written therefore it shall be done. It’s now something I have to hold myself to. It’s my 30th Birthday president to myself.

Check back to see how long this resolve lasts. I’m thinking I’ll make it through the weekend but who knows. I mean for anyone who’s seen the ridiculous inconsistency of my posting kinda knows how I roll.

Good luck to everyone running this weekend and welcome to the most intense weekend for runner sin the City. NYC Marathon weekend. Woohoo!

1 comment:

Laura said...

Happy birthday!!! Here's to your pre-30 goals being achieved :)