The definition of insanity is NOT, in fact, waking up in the still-dark pre-dawn 2 weekend days in a row to train for the Goofy. Although that would describe my weekend so far.
Saturday started early with a 3.63 mile walk. I needed to be home by 8am so I needed an early start. This was my 2nd attempt at the back-to-back weekend. The first “long walk” was slow due to my ankle injury so I followed Jeff Galloway’s suggestion and did a walk 2 min/run 15 sec ratio. I may not need quite as much running as my pace was 14:28 min/mile – well within the 16 min/mile time limit at Disney. My pace today translates to a 3:09:30 half marathon which is fine for the first day of the Goofy. I’ve heard from more experienced Goofy veterans that the Half Marathon is a delicate balance between going slow enough that your legs are fresh for Sunday’s 26.2 and fast enough that you’re not out on the course forever – which is tiring in its own way. I’m guessing that my “ideal” pace for the half will be around 14 min/mile but I’m sure I’ll get instructions as the race gets closer.
This morning began with a 5:45am alarm. I had 14 miles on the schedule and instructions to try to be home around 9-ish so we could get to the apple farm for the 10am opening. This morning was ideal running weather. 52F at the start with the sun just starting its ascent so it was still a bit dark. The temperature rose to 59F by the end with a perfect blue sky and cottony white clouds overhead. The Bronx River Pathway was peaceful and the Kensico Dam turn-around was stunningly beautiful. My pace was too fast – 13:12 per mile – but who wouldn’t revel in such a glorious day! Jeff Galloway has increased my run/walk to run 30 sec/walk 30 sec and allowed me a max pace of 13:30 min/mile. So I was close. As I approached the Kensico Dam park, I briefly chose the “road less traveled” until I realized it was unrelentingly uphill and brutal. I turned around and settled for a few laps around the park to add the extra mileage before taking the 6 mile trek back home.
A few thoughts from this morning. First, it’s only a matter of time before one of the rude bicyclists runs me over on the pathway. To be clear many of the bicyclist are thoughtful and let you know they’re passing. But many seem perfectly content to run you down, sometimes while trying to ride the narrow path 3 across. I keep my music low and pay attention but they come so fast! Second, the number of path users increases as the morning ticks on but I saw 2 men running together from my early miles. They passed me and then I saw them again after they had made the turn-around at Kensico. I was around mile 5 at the time and clearly much slower but one of them took the time to comment on a job well-done. That was very nice and made me smile. Third, I can’t believe I made it through last year’s marathon training with 5 mile loops around my house when I have access to this fabulous path. Then again I didn’t have my Garmin until right before the race…
Which leads me to the question of sanity. Or insanity. Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I think this very much applies to my running. Running every training run at the same speed and under similar conditions doesn’t drastically change the results. If you want to get faster, you need to commit to training. Not just when it’s convenient. And not always at whatever time you’d like. It’s why I’ve been a mediocre runner and now I’m becoming a better runner. When I started I swore I’d never wake up at 4am for a run. Now I’m guessing it’ll be necessary in the upcoming months. By changing my approach and my commitment, I’m changing the results.