The IBM Uptown Classic is now just 6 weeks away.  A little bit less than that actually.  40 Days if you want to get technical about it, not that I’m counting or anything.

2010 has absolutely been a year of racing so far.  Over the first 8 months we’ve pinned on a race bib and toed the line 11 times.  Some races were “small” like the Holland TX 5k back in June; others were “big” like the Boston Marathon in April. 

It doesn’t really get much “bigger” than Boston.

We’ve set a few PR’s this year, won a couple of age group titles, a male masters title and even finished first overall in the Honor our Heroes 10K back in July.

But the IBM is a race that I have had circled on the race calendar since just after the Pittsburgh Marathon.  It is run the day before Austin Marathon Training begins, and will be my last real opportunity to post a sub 40:00 minute 10K time before the spring.

Marathon training is tough, it breaks you down over the course of the first 15 weeks of training, only to build you back up over the three week taper period before race day.  Over the 18 weeks leading up to this year’s Austin Marathon I will be running more miles every week than I ever have before.

We will probably race once or twice during marathon training, but it is really just a way to make a scheduled training run a little more interesting.  Your body and legs are in a state of relative fatigue for close to two months straight.  That is not the time for me to be chasing a sub 40:00 minute 10K time.

We are taking our traditional training plan and “taking it up a notch” this year.  We will be running more than 700 miles preparing for race day – all in the hope to post another “Boston Time” and earn our way back to the start of the greatest marathon in the world in April 2012. 

3:19:59 or bust come February 20, 2011.

No excuses, no regrets.  I feel like I have one great marathon effort left in me.  With Dom and now Landry in my corner, I feel like I have all of the support and motivation I need to get the job done.  It is just about staying the course, being committed to my training plan and giving my best effort every day for 126 days.

But before we start that journey, we have one more race to run with a lot at stake.  We will be running another Run for Dom double this April, racing both the Cooper River Bridge Run and the Capital of TX 10K on consecutive weekends.  These races will be 10 kilometers or 6.2 miles, not marathons like we did one year ago – but these are “big” races for sure.

Cooper River Bridge Run Start

The Cooper River Bridge Run is one of the five largest 10K races in the country.  It is also in my Parents’ hometown of Charleston, SC, who have never seen me race.  A race with more than 40,000 participants, we are shooting for that 39:59 or better at the IBM to earn a spot in the “elite amateur” runner starting corral, just behind the elite men.

That should put us among the first 1,000 runners at the CRBR – that will be a “Go Big or Go Home” race if there ever was one.

One week later we will make our way back home to Austin and run our first Capital of Texas 10K.  This year will be the 35th running of the event, with more than 30,000 runners descending on downtown Austin.

I’ve come to realize as I have been racing a lot of different distances this year that perhaps yes, the Marathon has a certain “mystique” to it.  It is an extraordinary race that tests you in ways that all the training in the world cannot fully prepare you for.  Those final 6.2 miles are really hard to describe if you have not experienced it yourself.

But preparing to run well at a 5K, 10K or half-marathon has proven to be just as challenging for me this year.  There is an art and a science to “racing” and I am hoping that all of the speed work, hill repeats and tempo work will show up big on October 17th at the IBM.

We’ve got one more big race day before we set our sights on Lady Marathon for the third time in less than a year.  I’d like to turn the page on this summer race season here in TX going out with a bang.

40 days from now we’ll know if we worked hard enough to get there.

39:59 – 6:26/mile pace.  No excuses.

  1. Jodi Higgins says:

    In your words, you are going to kick assphalt out there!! Great job with your training!

  2. Andy B. says:

    Joe, if you’re running low 18 5ks in this heat, I don’t think sub 40 will be too big an obstacle if the weather is decent. It’s a good course for it—I got my sub 40 there last year.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Andy – thanks for the visit and the vote of confidence! Hoping it all comes together on race day. Will really be our best/last chance to try to post that time before we get deep in Marathon Training. Best to you – keep crushing out there!

  3. onelittlejill says:

    6 minute pace is not kicking asphalt…it downright detroys it! 🙂

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jill! We’re going all in for this one – I have that mixture of excitement and nervousness leading up to the IBM – should make for a good combination on race day! Best to you out East!

  4. I know you’re going to rock it…but that doesn’t matter as much as *you* knowing you’re going to rock it! Every step of training is a step in that sub-40 10K.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Thanks AJ – I’m determined to leave it all out there on the course at IBM. If that means we crash and burn on the final mile and can’t hold the pace – so be it. But I plan on failing “spectacularly” if we don’t quite make it.

      Go big or go home they say ….

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