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Dry Martini: Goals and Donuts

Let’s just pretend that whole timed mile thing a few weeks ago never actually happened. Or, better yet, let’s do what all of the coaches/positive thinking gurus tell us to do: The timed mile was an experience that was worth having even if the result wasn't what I wanted.

(Short version: because I’ve been feeling zippy lately, I ran a timed mile a couple of weeks ago. Given that I ran it after a solid six-weeks of non-stop travel and tend to freak out about running fast, it was a lot less zippy than I knew I could do. Which made me sad and frustrated and a bunch of other frown-y face emoji.)

The humidity fairy visited Upstate New York. We don’t like the humidity fairy.

For the record, getting faster is not a golden glitter unicorn that I’ve been chasing. I’ve embraced my back-of-the-pack-ness. I’m generally happy to just be out for a run no matter the pace simply because I enjoy it. (Mostly. (Especially after that first mile. (Even more when the scenery is interesting. (And when I get a medal at the end.))))

Still, I do like to set a goal, simply to keep things interesting. Usually, that goal is distance-related — but I’ve run out of distances to strive for. That may change if I give into the 1% of me that wants to run another marathon. Right now, the other 99% of me has done a pretty good job of slapping some tape over that 1%’s mouth and shoving it into a steamer trunk in a dark attic.

…. I’m realizing that my sub-conscious might be full of thugs. Huh.

Anyway.

Because I’m out of distances, I’m ready to see if I can run the standard ones a little faster than I have in the past. My fast is not your fast, of course. But it matters to me.

Which is why I’m gunning for a 10K PR on August 4 at Beach-to-Beacon in the OG Portland. Normally, I wouldn’t even consider trying to run fast in any Northeastern race in August — it gets wicked humid here and I am a delicate flower — but the mostly flat course skirts Maine’s coastline and there should be some nice breezes that early in the day.

Worst that happens is that I go for a nice scamper on a summer morning; then go to the Holy Donut. If I can stay uninjured and relatively well rested, I believe I can beat my current 10K PR of 1:08, which I set in Newport, Rhode Island, about 18 months ago. And then go to the Holy Donut.

My dog has the same feelings about baths that I have about the humidity fairy.

What fuels this faith is a tempo run last week. Coach Christine and I were waffling about setting ideal tempo paces based on what was likely an inaccurate timed mile. Rather than go with a number, I went with keeping my effort at 80%. Which is exactly what I did until I was three-quarters through the first tempo mile and saw a number I’d never before seen on my watch. By the time Herr Garmin tweedled out the mile’s end, I’d run a 9:53.

I KNOW. I wasn’t really even a huge push, frankly — and 45 seconds faster than my time trial.

The second tempo mile wasn't quite as energetic, mind. I think my brain was still getting over the shock of not seeing a double-digit at the start of a time.

So I have reason to hope as well as a concrete goal to focus my energy on. Who knows if that motivation will survive the next six weeks of summer heat, travel, and my teenagers? My emoji are cautiously optimistic, though.

Question of the week: do you always have a running goal? Or do you just kind of run for running’s sake?

23 responses to “Dry Martini: Goals and Donuts

  1. Congrats on the mile PR!!!
    Nothing cuter than a wet dog <3
    Right now, I am just running to run, and loving it. I will be starting a marathon training plan soon.

  2. Holy Donut is ok. If you have gluten-free needs, the fab Bam Bam Bakery (ALL GF and soooo good) would be my pick. If not – gotta give it to the pain au chocolat at Standard Baking. Swoon. Don’t forget MDI ice cream (banana blackstrap molasses) and Gelato Fiasco (pb noir sorbetto). And Nosh – get the bacon dusted fries and salt and vinegar fries – to share, unless you’re making them your post-race meal, as I did. (oooh now they have poutine too) They’re crazy busy.
    Sigh. Did B2B 2015 (humid but 60s), 2016 (hotter) – loved it, loved Portland. So want to go back. I agree – B2B is not flat. As you’re used to hills you’ll likely be ok – even a relative flatlander like me managed. 2015 is my 10k PR.

  3. Hope you have a wonderful race!! And if you’re looking for another place to eat in Portland, you’ve got to try my favorite, “Duckfat”. It is amaaaaaazing!

  4. Daily goals vary dramatically for me from a realxed “glad to be just out the door” to a “#mymile” run where I attempt to best my mile pace from the previous month. Some days are a promise kept..to myself..to my health or maybe even just to my BRDog. For races the primary goal is ALWAYS to enjoy the experience and hopefully push a little harder than the last time.

  5. The Holy Donut and ‘keeping the faith’. Not sure if you did it on purpose but I sure enjoyed every crumb!

  6. My goal is ALWAYS the same: to finish and to finish on my own 2 feet. If I can walk later that same day it is a bonus!

  7. Elevation

    Start altitude is 50 feet above sea level
    Finish altitude is 25 feet above sea level
    Highest point on the course is 100 feet above sea level
    Lowest point on the course is 20 feet above sea level

  8. So jealous!! I’m from Maine and have heard the Beach to Beacon is a lot of fun! Enjoy and really, really enjoy a donut (or two) from Holy Donut!!!

  9. Long ago just Running was enough for me, but then it became all about the pace. It sounds like I was in a similar mental space as you are you when this switch occurred: no more distance goals, just make them faster.
    The Garmin can play evil mind tricks. I am trying now to not look at pace on the watch and just go by effort.

  10. I am running Beach to Beacon and had it marked down for a different date so thanks for that reminder. That said I always try and have fun and work on pace, depending. I will be in HR mode during this race so no PR for me. Best wishes and see you there!

  11. My number one goal is always to finish uninjured. That being said, I almost always try to PRtoo, and obviously no one PRs every race! So I do have a coach, and she makes me a plan for the goal races, which I try to follow but rarely do (even though I really try!).

    She gives me the plan in paces, nit finish time. Which works for me — I don’t really put pressure on myself to finish in a certain time, I just *try* to follow the plan.

    Good luck!

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