Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Heading to South Bend

ORN: Wednesday; zero; Tuesday, 3 miles, all run

One of the surprising things to me about Jeff Galloway’s approach to running is how much deeper it goes than merely the oft’ quoted run/walk deal.

A key point is in annual race planning, whereby he urges only shooting for one or two target races each year, races in which one wants to get near to maximum effort over a specific distance. All other training then points to that race and even other races are merely training with friends and having a T shirt to prove it.

This resonated with me when I realized I was coming back from the winter’s ITB injury. The timing made this Saturday’s
Sunburst half marathon my first target race of 2007. It has really been fun to ramp up to this event. Since this is my third year in a row for this race, it has both familiarity and a strong emotional appeal.

My aim is to get back under 2 hours for the half marathon, something I haven’t done since last year’s Sunburst. My “A” goal for the race is to beat 1:57. My “B” goal is under 2 hours and my “C” goal is under 2:06. The plan for the race is to use a 5 minute run, 30 second walk routine, hitting splits for 1:59 through the first 10 miles. Then, depending on how I feel, I’ll either run it in or continue the same R/W routine. I tested this pace at this ratio in a 10K race in late March; now I’ll see if I can carry it for double the distance.

I’ll have company as well. Tony, one of the veteran marathoners of our local running club, is riding up with me on Friday night. He’s running the marathon in this event. Going boldly where only
Darrell has dared go before, he’s also sharing a motel room with me. Gas prices being what they are, it’ll be nice to split the costs of driving. Wish him well…I hope I don’t snore. I hope he doesn’t snore.

The race has emotional appeal for me due to its location. The real draw for this race is finishing at the 50 yard line of Notre Dame Stadium. My dad played football for Notre Dame back in the 30s, so this is a real link to him, for me to participate in a sporting event on the very turf he played on. Dad died in 1993; we were close and I still miss him a lot. When I first ran this race two years ago, my sister scanned some old family photos and put a picture of Dad playing football on the back of a white technical shirt, which I wear now in several races a year and will again on Saturday. In a symbolic way, he’s with me, in his youth and prime, charging down the tunnel and onto that most famous of college football surfaces. It’s a rush and a cool way to honor Dad.

Stay tuned for the race report. And persevere.


Backofpack said...

I like your A/B/C goals. Those goals prove that the run/walk doesn't really slow you down.

The thought of your Dad running on the same field is such a sweet one. I think it's great that you are honoring him with this race. But you know, you are honoring him just by being the man you are, just as your sons honor you everyday.

Darrell said...

Very cool that we will both be running halfs on the same day and both for the third time. Thanks to time zones, you'll be done before I even get started.

Very moving too that you get to pull that shirt out of the drawer and take it for a run onto the playing field.

Wes said...

I'm excited for your race, and I'm excited to hear how your strategy works out for you!! Sounds like your Dad was very cool guy (besides the fact he played for ND). I can see why....

Sarah said...

The finish at ND stadium sounds amazing. What a cool way for you to honor your father and connect with some of his glory days. : ) Best of luck!

Will said...

Right on Joe! I'm excited for your run and confident in your success. I love the tie in to your Dad. He sounds like he was a super influence in your life!. Make it happen under 2.

WADDLER26.2 said...

Have a great day Joe!! Enjoy