The hay is in the barn: Eugene 2016

The last couple weeks before a big race is when the mental prep really kicks in. ‘the hay is in the barn’ so now it’s about being mentally strong.

This weekend we watched the Steve Prefontaine movies “Prefontaine” and “Without Limits” and one of the big themes was that you had to have faith and be willing to give your all. In “Prefontaine” there was a scene when Pre said that you have to not let the losers mentality creep in at all.. you have to be optimistic and not expect to be disappointed.

In my own back pocket I have my experience from Houston 2012, when I decided a week before the race (with some encouragement from my coach) to go after a pretty aggressive goal pace. As in.. a 19min PR target pace. I did, and I pulled it off! I still think back to how I could have gone out aiming for a 10min PR and done it easily, and that’d be cool.. but it was really amazing to actually test my limits.

So.. that’s what I’m going to do this upcoming weekend in Eugene. Maybe I’ll hit it, but if I don’t, at least I’ll know I tried.


Since breaking my leg in 2013, I’ve notched off a 3:38:41 in New York (Nov 2014), a 3:44:44 at RnRAZ (Jan 2015) and a 3:48:54 at the Deadwood-Michelson Trail Marathon (June 2015). A far cry from that blessed 3:09:52 in Houston in 2012… and the race times seem to be going in the wrong direction! But since starting running with Rev Running just before the end of the year, I can feel I’m getting to be a lot stronger, and I’m hungry.

I ran 1:39:58 at the RnRAZ half this past Jan (with a goal between 1:40-1:45). If you use the rough prediction of “double your half time, plus 5 min”, you end up with 3:25.

Eugene has pacers for 3:15, 3:25, 3:35… This was a factor in deciding what I wanted to shoot for. I had had in my mind all winter that my goal was 3:30, but as the time draws near, I’m going to go out with the 3:25ers and see how it feels.

Since warming up to this plan a few weeks ago, I’ve tried playing with the 7:49 pace needed to run 3:25 as opposed to the 8:01 that would put me at 3:30. Honestly, most of the time when I’m aiming for 8mm I drift a bit faster, so 7:49 doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.

Now, I’m definitely not as young as I used to be, but I have experience on my side, right?? I know that I CAN run this fast. I ran NYCM with no speedwork and a single 20-miler 5 weeks before the race and still qualified for Boston! And that’s a tough course, and 2014 was an extra tough year.

So let’s go do this thing! Eugene is known to be a great, fast course and I’d like to see what all this training has done for me!

Goal 1: 3:24:59
Goal 2: 3:29:59
Goal 3: 3:39:59
Goal 4: 3:59:59
Goal 5: Finish my 40th marathon and 16th state with a smile on my face!

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