21 days is a habit, right?

Augustathon continues, with the 21st day (22nd, actually – I ran on 31 July). Ali said that this ought to be a habit by now. Not sure that I’m buying that, but, in the idea’s defense, I haven’t exactly been in a routine. Catch as catch can isn’t conducive to forming habits.

I almost blew it last night, ‘cept Melissa, my lovely and talented wife, “encouraged” me to hit the road. So I did, and legged it out for 4 miles! Yeah, baby. Felt fine this morning.

Busy, busy, busy at work today. This evening it’s 56 and raining, so I did 5K on the dreadmill. AND, even though it doesn’t count, I came within one second of my Nike+ personal record – 26:06. Not fast, by any means, but something to shoot for.

I’ve been thinking about goals for the next year. Dave, over at Eager Feet (Another engineer/runner) used his 34th birthday to set goals. My 35th (AHHH!) is just around the corner; New Haven, my recurring race, is just around the corner; and I’m about to gear up for another Marathon campaign. So, here goes:

  1. Two hours at New Haven. Not ambitious – it’s on par with what I did last year, 15 minutes slower than my 2005 PR, and a minute/mile slower than I’ve been averaging. It’s also slower than I ran the Blessing of the Fleet (9:30 miles). But, I don’t think I’m going to get a longer run than 5 miles before the race, and I think the second half of New Haven is going to kill me. In a good way
  2. 20 miles per week base Assuming that I survive Augustathon, I like the idea of maintaining a 20 mile/week base. It’s three five milers during the week, and a 5 miler on the weekend. Or three four milers and an 8 miler on the weekend. Add two days of cross-training, and a day of rest, and it should be good. Again, the assumption here is that I can finish Augustathon healthy, unlike the last time I sustained 20 miles/week
  3. Stick to a training plan. Yeah, this is going to be a tough goal. My achilles heel, so to speak, in the past
  4. Diet. Yep, I think that it’s time to accept that running alone isn’t going to get me where I want to be. So, 1 September, I go back to counting calories. My goal is 160 by 1 December. After that, I’ll have 5 months to train for Oklahoma City
  5. 4 hours at Oklahoma City This is a long, long stretch. I plugged my recent 5K times into a race time calculator, and 26 minutes predicts a 4:30 marathon. Hmmm – checks with chart (4:34 at Mystic Places in 2005, and 5 hours at NYC two weeks later). Both of those races were at 165 lbs, give or take. Maybe if I can take off another 15 lbs and hit 155?

WOW – kick butt. Mystic Cycle is running commercials on local cable. Good spots, too.

So, I think that’s about it. Check out Chris Lydon’s interview with William Gibson. I’ve just started reading Spook Country, and it’s good. Re-read The Difference Engine while I was waiting to get Spook Country from the Groton Public Library, and really enjoyed it. The new one’s taking a little bit to get going, but that’s one of the things I’ve found from Neuromancer on.

2 thoughts on “21 days is a habit, right?

  1. Some very specific and measurable goals — it’s all that engineering rubbing off on your running :).

    I was a little surprised to hear you say that you’re worried about maintaining a 20-mile per week training regimen, while also talking about training for a marathon. I guess in my mind all marathon runners have insane base mileage and regularly bang out 12-15 mile long runs each weekend. I should probably re-address my assumptions ;).

  2. I’m not worried about maintaining 20 miles/week during marathon training. That’ll be cake.

    What happened with me is that after doing marathons in 2005, I had kind of an off 2006, and didn’t maintain any kind of consistient base. In January of this year, I ramped straight up from about 10 miles/week in a good week to 20 miles a week. At the same time, I had a new pair of shoes. The combination of new shoes (a redesigned model that didn’t work for me biomechanically) and a step change in mileage gave me plantar fascitis, and I had to sit out February.

    So, I’ve been concerned this month – I’d worked my weekly mileage back up into the mid-teens by July, but didn’t know if I could sustain 20 again. Now I know I can.

    So, your assumptions are correct – it’s just that I’ve been getting back up to the base.

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