New Year’s Resolutions

I listened to a Science Friday podcast on New Year’s Resolutions yesterday. It turns out almost half of them are achieved (if I got that right). A couple of things that help are making realistic goals and sharing them with others to get support.

So, here goes: I’ve made an account (johnynek) on 43things to track some goals for the year and for life in general. Please bug me about these, encourage me, and hold me to them. Also, tell me about your goals and I’ll do the same for you.

Happy New Year!

Marathon (26.2 Miles) in 2:57:18 (6:46/mile)

Finishing the Memphis Marathon

About six months ago, my friend Jake Logan asked me if I was interested in training for a marathon together. I was reluctant because I had been injured on and off for a while at that time, but I agreed. I’m so glad Jake and I started our training together. Having a friend doing the same training program (The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training, FIRST, program), was a huge motivator for both of us. I think I speak for us both when I say that the FIRST program is excellent and a great way to prepare for a first marathon.

On December 6, 2008, I ran the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in 2:57:18 missing my goal time of 2:55 by slightly more than 2 minutes. It was a cold day. The race started at about 30 degrees. I was 51st overall and 10th in my age group out of more than 2200 finishers. The official results are here, and here are my approximate splits taken from my watch:

Mile Lap Pace Split Overall Pace
3 19:12.94 6:24.3 19:12 6:24.3
6 19:56.78 6:38.9 39:09 6:31.5
9 18:57.23 6:19.0 58:06 6:27.3
12 20:19.78 6:46.5 1:18:26 6:32.1
15 20:04.41 6:41.4 1:38:31 6:34.0
18 20:29.08 6:49.6 1:59:00 6:36.6
21 20:14.12 6:44.7 2:19:14 6:37.8
24 21:38.23 7:12.7 2:40:52 6:42.1
25 7:20.44 7:20.44 2:48:13 6:43.7
26.2 9:05:40 7:34.5 2:57:18 6:46.0

There are a few pictures from the race with my Flickr marathon tag. There are also some professional pictures you can see accessing my bib number (259).

I was pleased with my performance, but I think I went out too fast, which is one of my common problems. One problem was that I really didn’t know what I was capable of, but I should have stuck better with my game plan of shooting for 2:55. Instead, at the halfway mark, I was on pace for 2:50. To qualify for the NYC marathon, I needed to run 2:55. I can also qualify for NY by running a half-marathon in 1:23. My current PR for the half is 1:25 (which I ran on the way to my 2:57 marathon). My plan for the future is to first rest and make sure I’m really strong and injury free before starting any hard training. Secondly, I plan to train for a half-marathon with a goal of doing 1:21 sometime this spring. With that qualifying time, I would then train to do the NY marathon in the fall.