Introducing The Performinator

Have you been frustrated by your inability to accurately predict how you’ll do in your next marathon? Or even know if you’ll finish the damn thing?

Well, wonder no more! Now there’s The Performinator, the first online calculator that can answer that tough question: “Will I be like Happy Paula or Sad Paula next Sunday?”

Click on the image above to see a larger version.

Pretty exciting stuff, huh? If it actually worked, you’d see something like this. The reality, however, is more like this.

And that’s what makes the marathon so exciting and mysterious.

Happy feet

I’ll say it again: cortisone is a fucking miracle drug. 48 hours after the shot into my tendon and the problem is all but gone.

I did my penultimate marathon-y run on the track yesterday: 12 miles with 9 at a few heatbeats below marathon effort. My heart rate during the warmup miles was just way too high — low 70%s for 10:00+ minute miles. Something was off. I suspect it was a combination of lousy night’s sleep, monthly hormonal shenanigans and possibly the effect of being on heavy duty NSAIDs for the past week. Not surprisingly, my speed for the higher effort miles wasn’t anything to write home about either.

I’m not allowing that performance to rattle me. I do know that it’s been very easy for me to run at 85-86% effort for long periods of time (up to 2 hours) and finish up with plenty of energy left over. So I’m confident in my endurance and feel that if I hit things on the right day, my speed will be respectable. I’ve been off the NSAIDs for 24 hours and this morning’s recovery run seem to indicate that things are getting sorted out with regard to energy output vs. speed. I’ve got a little bit of speedwork on Friday, so that should be another checkpoint.

I have a goal time for the race, but I’m not going to share it this time around. There are so many variables and my goals for this race aren’t so much about seeing a particular time on the clock as they are about running at the appropriate effort and managing my energy output. A negative split would be a bonus.

I’ve raced five marathons and four of them have been mediocre to disastrous. What I want most next week is to run a solid, consistent pace — without spending the last 30-45 minutes of the race feeling like I want to die.

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