Dress rehearsal leads to hasty rewrite of script

August 12, 2007

Four weeks ’til the World Cup 100K in Winschoten (the Netherlands). Today was my “dress rehearsal,” i.e., a long run (13 laps around Green Lake, or 36.4 miles) at something resembling race pace.

Most of my recent workouts have indicated that I’m in worse shape than I was during the winter and early spring. Today was the definitive test of this. The answer I got was: yes, I truly am out of shape.

A few months ago, I probably could have averaged 6:10 per mile for 35-40 solo miles over flat roads. Today, short of running myself into the ground, all I could manage were 6:20s.

What this means for Winschoten is that I must purge all grandiose ambitions from my mind. At the start of the year, I had thought that Tom Johnson’s American record of 6:30:11 (set in Winschoten in 1995) might be within my reach on a perfect day. Nope. My new plan is to run the first 50K at 6:25/mile pace, then hang onto 6:35/mile pace during the second 50K. That will bring me to the finish in just under 6 hours and 45 minutes, and that will have to suffice.


  1. Some time ago when you posted about adjusting your goal pace after a dress rehearsal run I mentioned something about how the benefits of a taper could get you back to your original goal. I was wrong. Through your writing since then it's become very apparent that you know your body, so I like the plan of starting slower and tapering off. Hmmm, that sounds familiar.

  2. I believe 6:45 would have been good for 4th place at last year's World Cup. If that's out-of-shape, you've got some amazing talent!Not sure what your fall race schedule looks like, but have you considered the 24-hour National Championship in November? It would be interesting to see what you're capable of in that event. Mark Godale's American Record is a little over 162 miles – around 8:50/mi. pace.Anyway, I hope things go well for you in the Netherlands!

  3. Rob:The times in Korea last year were relatively slow due to such factors as cobblestones and wind. Winschoten, on the other hand, has perhaps the fastest 100K course in the world, so a time of 6:45 probably won't place in the top five. At the 2004 World Cup, the last one hosted by Winschoten, American Howard Nippert was 7th with a 6:43.Regarding the 24-hour championships, I appreciate the thought, but running for 24 hours straight does not seem that appealing right now. I'd like to try an "easy" (flat) 100-miler sometime but have no immediate plans to go longer than that.

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