Monday, March 26, 2007

A Good Girl

I was a good girl this weekend - I stuck to my taper plan and only ran a total of 9.5 miles. I almost slipped - I was so tempted to go farther on Sunday. I told Eric I was thinking about having him drop me off early and running three extra miles to Orting for the start of the regular run, but he reeled me back in by reminding me of my vow to go into this marathon with less miles in my week. I am hoping to arrive at the start on Saturday morning with only 20 miles on my legs.

I ended up having a great run that morning - with a 10:59 average pace - breaking an 11 minute mile! One of these days I'm going to remember to look at my Garmin at the end of one walk break and the start of the next, manage to remember the distances and calculate the actual running pace - with out the walk break figured in. It's one of those things that makes no difference at all, since I'll always be taking the walk breaks, but something I'd like to know. Let me remind you that the Orting Trail is a very, very slight upward incline on the way out, and a nice run on the way back in. My first 2.5 miles were in the 11+ range and the 2.5 on the way back were in the 10+ range. (I'd check the actual figures, but a certain teenage boy is on the computer that has the Garmin stats and I am on the old clunker).

I'm starting to feel a little anxiety about my full running schedule. "You can do this" has become my mantra. I am shooting for marathons in the 5:45 to 6 hour range, and for the 50K in the 7 hour to 7:15 range. The series of races will either make me stronger, or make me heavy-legged and tired. I'm voting for stronger.

I must admit, there are moments when I wonder what possessed me to sign up for so many marathons... and then I remember. The lure of becoming a three star, gold level Maniac. I have no idea why this is important to me. But it is. Maybe because I remember Rob and Eric moving up the star ladder, and thinking that I would never, ever be a Maniac, much less climb the star ladder. Just to think I can...(this is where Frank Sinatra bursts into song... To Dream the Impossible Dream)... And for all you young'ns out there here are the lyrics:

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go.

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star.

This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far.

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause.

And I know if I'll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
when I'm laid to my rest.

And the world will be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star.
lyrics by Joe Darion

Sappy and silly? Maybe, but it certainly does seem to apply - both to running a marathon, and to my six-race quest.

MM#402, signing off from the land of impossible dreams, where the golden oldies play softly, the days fly by in a rainy haze, and the runners gaze dreamily into the distance.


Sarah said...

I'll vote for stronger too. : )

I hadn't really thought much about it so I just checked what I needed to do to bump up my star ranking. Hmmm...I think I might be able to move up at least one star this year. Thanks for the motivation! : )

robtherunner said...

You're cracking me up with the sign off routine. Please don't play any of those songs for me. You can play them to Jenny since she is the one who forced you to listen to the Grateful Dead.

Journey to a Centum said...

I've got four stars! I've got four stars! neener neener neener

Damn this taper is driving me nuts!

Jack said...

Why do I find myself humming that song the whole morning long...very fitting anyway. But I think your running goals are far from an impossible dream because I'm convinced you are going to fulfill all of them! It's going to be a fantastic journey!

Thomas said...

You're a marathon runner, and you're a maniac, so you'll keep climbing up that ladder. No doubt about it.

Wes said...

In my book you were a maniac after you ran two back to back :-) Now you tell me there's a ladder of maniacs? OMG! If you use the workout feature and set up your run/walk times, the Garmin will calculate your pace for you and store it. Unfortunately, it won't record your mile splits, and if you hit lap on your watch it kind of messes it up. The idea is to do more intervals than you will actually need to run your miles. You can always hit the stop button.

JustRun said...

You are totally and completely right. I feel right now, maybe more than ever, that if you're healthy then why not?! I think it's awesome!

Anonymous said...

You CAN do it! I have faith in you. You've already amazed me with all the marathons you've done so far. Some days you may have the heavy leg feeling, but overall, you will be stronger. You're already kicking most of our butts on a daily basis. Don't stop now. :)

Try said...

Michelle, you have "stars" in your eyes!

olga said...

This was the song Alex's school people played at the end of each seminar...dang, I had no idea whos song is that and thought they actually wrote it! Sorry, culture hole. It brings rather bring memories though the words are inspiring.

E-Speed said...

I vote for strnger too, especially if you are smart about the mileage in between all the races.

You have sucha great group in your area, I am sure they won't let you stray!

Joe said...

Ah, "The Man of LaMancha"...what a swell musical!!! I think Robert Goulet did a great version of that song, too. Go charge some windmills!!!

Good for you on the taper, Michelle, it will be fascinating to evaluate how that affects (or not) your experience in Yakima.

Gee...worms....Broadway musicals...marathon ladder climging. You're the ultimate!!

Sarah Elaine said...

I stop blogging for a bit only to come back and discover that you've broken the 11-minute mile mark. Hell, woman, you're going to have to change your blogger handle if this keeps up, 'cause you ain't gonna be a the backofthepack much longer.

Hhhmmm...."Dona Quixote" has a nice ring to it...

Meghan said...

This is a lovely entry. Thank you!

(Good luck this weekend!)


Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Totally sappy, but hey, it's okay. I grew up with that song, so there's no need to play it again. I even had a music box with it!!! just have fun and remember to walk when you need to those last few miles even if it's NOT a scheduled walk break!!!!!
Maybe see ya Thursday.

Darrell said...

Do good girls achieve impossible dreams? ;-)

Resting on your laurels is not allowed. Keep on going BOP!

Banking Miles said...

Impossible dream???? No, not impossible. Clearly you have turned it into a possibility. From running a marathon, to becoming a maniac, to climbing the star ladder - these are all realities for you. Keep on dreaming.

runliarun said...

Oh, and I think I am good when run just a bit more than I planned. Not sure I will ever qualify for your kind of good.