Rhode Scholar: Week 13 – Magic Mile says my marathon time will be…

Things went according to plan in week 13, where my schedule included speed intervals (6x 1.5 minutes), cross-training (step & weights), a hill workout (4x 3.5 minute sprints uphill), a rest day, 3 shake-out miles, and a 10-oops-forgot-my-route-so-it’s-almost-11 miler. I made one minor diversion from the plan, however, to try a Magic Mile during Friday’s 3 shake-out miles.

I read about Jeff Galloway’s Magic Mile on No Meat Athlete, in Matt’s post about ways to predict your pace and/or time in a marathon (or other distances). So after a brief warm-up, I ran a mile flat-out, middle-school style, trying not to barf in the process. I did this twice, running 7:13 and 7:36 minute miles to come up with two estimates:

For the time being, I’m going to split the difference between these two and say I will probably run a 9:30 min/mile pace and finish somewhere around 4 hours & 10 minutes. That sounds pretty doable (right? Right).

Something that sounds a little less doable at the moment is my recent hare-brained idea to run a race (any distance; probably 5ks and halfathons mostly) in each of the 50 U.S. states. I ran my first 5k on Thanksgiving in 2010 (Massachusetts), and since then have run a handful of 5ks (all Massachusetts) and two halfathons (both Rhode Island).

After finishing the North Reading Turkey Trot 2010

The marathon will also be in Rhode Island, so that leaves me 48 states to go (yes, I’m aiming for Alaska and Hawaii). This project should be a cool opportunity to drag my exasperated family plan family trips all over the country, and a way to keep running dynamic, interesting, etc.

But before I can think about a 10K in Tennesee or whathaveyou, I’ve got to conquer 20 miles in Massachusetts – the long run coming up at the end of week 14. Yeesh.


  1. Tim Woodbury says:

    A race in every state sounds like a fine idea to me. But, as a runner, my opinion may be slightly biased. From having driven across much of it (twice), I can tell you there’s a lot of gorgeous country out there to see.

    But definitely focus on the 20-miler first. Once you kick butt in RI, then you can figure out which state deserves to be stomped all over next. 😉

    • eatingtheweek says:

      My long-distance-driving-averse and nonrunner husband is going to LOVE a racing road trip! I also think it’s funny that all three of my long-distance races will have been in the smallest US state.

  2. Katie says:

    Good luck with the 20! Running long does get easier, I swear! 9:30 pace sounds good. You can also try the McMillan running calculator. (Just google it.) You can plug in your half marathon race time (or other distance) and it calculates your paces for every race (including the marathon). Using your half time may be more accurate than the miracle mile.

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