Friday, October 19, 2007
Is this possible?
So all of my running this summer and fall, and all of my plans for running in the winter and spring will culminate in July when I try to run the Crow Pass Crossing. This is a race of 24 miles over a mountain pass in the backcountry of Alaska, complete with a river crossing and bears. There are no Gatorade stations, not many people along the way cheering you on, and no help if you get hurt. It's the get yourself in, get yourself out mentality.
There are a few obstacles I will need to surpass before I can run this race. Right now it almost seems impossible, but I'm going to try anyway. First of all in order to qualify for Crow Pass you need to have run a half-marathon sub 1:45 or a full marathon sub 4 hours. I've thought about doing the Mayor's Marathon in June, but training for my first marathon in the winter in Alaska would be tough. I know I could finish sub 4 hours though if I trained, but would I be able to recover in time to run Crow pass in July? Probably not. Then I looked into Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. You raise money for the society and they coach you through it. They aren't offering any marathons in the winter, but they are offering a half marathon in Vancouver in May.
That would give me seven months to train. Sub 1:45 will be a huge challenge though. You see, I'm a slow runner. The fastest I run for any sustained distance is a 9 minute mile. But I had an epiphany this week. I haven't really been pushing myself to run fast. I like running at a comfortable pace, but that doesn't mean that I can't run faster. I just choose not too, because it's more enjoyable that way. But if I push myself to run faster in training, that faster pace will also become comfortable eventually. See how this works?
So the test will be this. I did some calculations and I figured out if I can run a 5K in 22 minutes, I should be able to train to run a half sub 1:45. Easy, right? Hmmm for me, not so much. Right now I can only hold a 7 minute mile pace for about a mile. So the test will come on Thanksgiving day when I run the Turkey Trot at Bartlett High. If I can get close to 22 minutes, there is still hope. If not, I will still run the half in May as fast as I can in hopes of qualifying for Crow Pass. So is this possible? We shall see.