Sunday, December 02, 2007

The trial of the Trials

8:50 AM - 13 miles, 1:34:00 - Hudson.
Sunday morning stroll through the woods with Ryan and Christy Mae. 6 x 15-second strides on the road afterward.

So the qualifying standards for the 2012 men's Olympic Marathon Trials have been changed to 2:19 for the whole enchilada, 1:05 for the half or 28:30 for 10,000 meters on the track. Forget running under 2:20 and the all-expenses trip to the Trials that goes with it, and never mind just settling for a sub-2:22 pay-your-own way "B" mark, if you aren't running 5:18 per mile or faster for 26.2 miles you better hope to hell that you've a damn good half marathon or fast 10K somewhere in your legs or you'll be watching the 2012 race from the same place I did the 2008 edition four weeks ago - the side of the road.

That was a good time and all but I'd really rather not have to do it again four years from now, so what it comes down to for me is this. Instead of chopping 6 minutes and 25 seconds off my debut time from Vermont last May, I've now got roughly three years to shave off that amount of time plus another 3 minutes, or an average of about 3:10 per year at minimum.

My long division may be off but at two marathons per year I think that leaves me about six chances or a 1:35 improvement from one marathon to the next in order to hit my goal.

Forget about the 10K - I won't even go there - and unless I catch one hell of a tailwind some cold March morning in New Bedford, I'm not banking on hitting the half marathon mark either. Fact of the matter is - and I've already accepted it - is that I'm going to have to suffer for no more than 2 hours and 19 minutes on a certified course with a start-finish separation of no more than 30% of the race distance and an elevation loss of no more than 1 meter per kilometer of race distance or I can forget about running in the Olympic Trials.

I've got to have the race of my life sometime in the next four years. Anything less than that isn't going to get me anywhere, anywhere I want to be anyway.

Quote of the Day

"Qualifying for the Trials has long been a point of pride amongst USA distance runners, and with the bar raised for 2012, qualifying will become an even greater badge of honor."
- David Monti


runningheritage said...

the ante has been upped. Vermont City this year will have 2 sub 2:20 guys running. Don't be afraid to get out thre and see what you can do. Breakthroughs don't happen 1 sec. at a time. They happen in chunks.

mpdriscoll said...

That improvement definitely looks daunting for someone who hasn't had more than 8 months in a row (or is it 6?) of consistent training since graduating college. However, we haven't seen what a "healthy Mario" can do since his senior XC season (that went pretty well, I'd say). Who knows what 3 full years of UNINTERRUPTED, HEALTHY, and CONSISTENT training will do for you?

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing you drop the necessary minutes off over the next few years!

K.Gwyth said...

you of course know i second the above.