Monday, June 13, 2016

Home Runs and Critical Success Factors

There was a dearth of major league home runs back in the eighties. It had been several decades since Babe Ruth had hit sixty in one year, and even twenty-plus years since Roger Maris had hit his sixty-one in nineteen sixty-one. The question arose, why can’t any of the players approach those totals anymore.

The answer came back this way. No one can hit sixty home runs anymore because no one can hit fifty.

Yes, the home run kings in those years would hit in the neighborhood of forty-five to forty-eight. Only very occasionally would anyone even get close to fifty.

And then came goosed up balls, smaller parks and, most of all, better chemicals. But that’s another story.

What does this have to do with running, you ask? These questions and their answers come to mind:

Q: Why can’t you run sub 3:20 marathons anymore?
A: Because I can’t run 3:40 marathons.

Q: Why can’t you run 100 miles anymore (I only did once, by the way)?

A: Because I can’t run 100 kilometers anymore.

Q: Why can’t you run 30-mile training runs anymore?

A: Because I can’t run 20-mile training runs.

This gets into the area of Critical Success Factors. A Critical Success Factor for completion of the Buckeye Trail 50K (BT50K) is to be able to run twenty miles. Since RTR, I haven’t been doing long runs. In fact, I’ve hardly been running at all. Part of this is due to vacation, part to the illness. And then there’s always the Achilles Tendonitis. We’ll always have AT.

Yesterday, with BT50K looming less than a month away, I decided that it was now or never for a long run. Long is, as always, a relative term. I’ve always considered 18 miles, or roughly 30K to be the minimum to be considered a run long. I didn’t have a great deal of time; I’d have to hoof it just a bit. Did I manage to get at least 18?

Yes. The run was not half bad. It could otherwise be called a success.

Of course the AT is worse than ever. But that’s another story.

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