Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Mental Nightmares Just Wont Stop.

Okay, so things aren't as scary as the title suggests.

However.....This is the time of the year in which all I ever do is wonder about how much I am going to suckass, just as much as I think about how much I am going to kickass. Depends on when you ask me, you will probably get a different answer.

My girlfriend is convinced that I can break 4 hours, and she really made me believe it when she spent the weekend with me and the kids, but now I feel as if though I am slipping back again. My left calf is much better, but it is still a little tight. I skipped going to the gym this morning, because above that I was exhausted, but also because of the calf. The knee is a helluva lot better though. Thank God, right?

I am (as usual) a bit obsessed with this whole sub-4 hour thing. So, I started to analyze my times at last year's event:

2007 New York City Marathon
distance h:mm:ss pace
5k 3.1 0:28:43 0:09:16
10k 3.1 0:28:25 0:09:10
15k 3.1 0:28:43 0:09:16
20k 3.1 0:29:01 0:09:22
25k 3.1 0:30:39 0:09:53
30k 3.1 0:29:51 0:09:38
35k 3.1 0:31:48 0:10:15
40k 3.1 0:37:16 0:12:01
41.92k 1.4 0:14:45 0:10:32

My finish here was 4:20:11 which was my 2nd best effort ever at a Marathon.
Of course, what I am looking to do, at 1 year older, is not only best that, not only best my PR of 4:09:47, but I have the balls to think that I can actually break 4 hours.

Then I took a look at the course map, and elevation maps:

I even called Darth up to give me advice on what approach I should best utilize
1) Go faster in the front half, bank up the seconds under the 4-hour pace, and use for later.
2) Stay as even paced as possible througout the entire run. Did this last year.
3) Mix it up.
4) Take the subways. (Just Kidding of course).

He asked me what I thought I could do in each mile. Taking elevations (above), location (above) and overall mental and physical states, this is what I came up with as the "best" of the possibilities of me to break 4 hours:

2008 Proposed Times
Mile Marker - Distance - Time
1 1.0 0:09:30
2 1.0 0:08:30
3 1.0 0:08:30
4 1.0 0:08:30
5 1.0 0:08:30
6 1.0 0:08:30
7 1.0 0:08:30
8 1.0 0:08:45
9 1.0 0:09:00
10 1.0 0:08:45
11 1.0 0:09:10
12 1.0 0:08:45
13 1.0 0:09:10
14 1.0 0:09:20
15 1.0 0:09:10
16 1.0 0:09:40
17 1.0 0:08:40
18 1.0 0:08:40
19 1.0 0:09:00
20 1.0 0:09:20
21 1.0 0:11:00
22 1.0 0:11:00
23 1.0 0:09:30
24 1.0 0:10:20
25 1.0 0:09:00
26 1.0 0:09:15
26.2 0.2 0:01:40
26.2 3:59:40

If I could stick to this plan, I would be completing the race in less than 4 hours.
Either way, I am faced with the burden of previous failures at the 4 hour mark. Perhaps, I am making too big a sitch, and should just take my own advice I give to people, which is to just let all of this fly over my head, and not get so wrapped up about it.


Anonymous said...

Ok're such an engineer with your bar graphs and pie charts. It's endearing. Really. *smooch*

But you need to get out of your own head and just run the damn thing. But what do I know right? I'm just your imaginary girlfriend.

p.s. You CAN do it under 4. Just sayin'.

DGA said...

I have been doing a lot of practical thinking and here is my conclusion about this dilemma of yours:

You have entered and finish many NY Marathons already, so what if you don't finish this one because you are going for a new challenge? A challenge which if accomplished will make you feel like the winner of the 2008 NY Marathon!
Go for it! Make breaking the 4 hour barrier your only goal this time no matter what happens, even if you have to finish with your own worst personal record or quit altogether. Who cares about that? You don't have to prove anything anymore as you have already done that in past years. Breaking 4 hours is your new and unique challenge now. GO FOR IT!

Alex Gonzalez said...

I did not want to say this, but you have been the 3rd person to have tell me this in as many

While the execution of this is dangerous, the logic is flawless. Finishing is no longer the objective. Winning is the objective. Breaking 4 hours is winning.

Thank you for helping me down this path.