“It was a really fun experiment because I don’t think anyone thought that I could have done it...In the beginning, I couldn’t maintain under 5:20 pace for four miles so I’m so far away from this thing. But, the training became reckless in a sort of fun way. When you have a goal that’s unrealistic, you sort of just have to throw yourself at it. There’s no time to think or build up slowly. One of my biggest strengths as a runner is that I’ve been fairly durable – knock on every piece of wood around me – so I knew I could probably click off some 100-mile weeks. I could probably double as often as I had time to. It progressed pretty well. The workouts started going a little bit better. I ran a half marathon in October just under 5:20 pace. So I went from not being able to maintain seven-minute pace in March to running a 5K in June at 5:25 pace to a half marathon in October at 5:20 pace. So I was getting closer. I was getting to this point where no one would really think someone who runs a 60:50 half marathon would ever have a chance to double that but the progression was really exciting for me. I knew that wherever I landed at the end of that journey, that it would have been a hell of a ride either way."
Pat Jeffers captivated me on Instagram in his pursuit of an Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier last year. He used #OTQorHospital to document his training. But what made the whole journey special is that in March 2019, he could barely hold a sub-7 minute per mile pace while he was running with a team in the Speed Project. Once he got re-motivated with running, he started making some major leaps in training. This goal was a longshot and his training was all geared for that type of marathon pace even though he’d suffer through it.
Spoiler Alert: He didn’t achieve the goal but did end up running 2:26, which is very impressive. What you’ll hear in our conversation is more about the lessons learned in the process and why it’s OK to take those shots and set those goals. He’s running a marathon in November and raising money for SisterSong: The National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.
Enter Pat's prediction contest by donating any dollar amount to his GoFundMe campaign here: https://gf.me/u/y35icx (Sister Song is an organization fighting to eradicate reproductive oppression for Indigenous, African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Arab and Middle Eastern, Latinx, and queer women and trans people) If you predict Pat's time and come the closest to his result, he will send you a one of one of piece of running memorabilia - the only one that exists. Worth it.
Support for this episode comes from Bakline Running. We're excited to partner with this Brooklyn-based company that's making active lifestyle and streetwear-inspired apparel. I'm racing a mile in their performance singlet soon but their hits are their shirts, graphic tees and designs with inspiring mantras like "Me vs Me"; "Nothing But Miles"; "The Future Is Female Runners" and more. Check them out at https://www.bakline.nyc/ and use code CITIUS for 15% off at checkout.
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