Motivated by General Geekery

Pikermi Training Day 8 and 9

Written By: der5er - Sep• 05•10

Yesterday the training plan called for a 1:15 medium intensity run.  I decided, since that’s already going to be about 8 miles, to just go ahead and run a full 13.1.  I’m happy with my 1:57 time, and I’m sure I can shave 5 minutes off that by November to make my PR.  I’d really love to shave 7 minutes and make it under 1:50.  I still think that’s a workable goal at this point.  Here’s hoping the training plan is working!

Some of you may have been wondering exactly what a Pikermi is.  Pikermi is a small town about half way between Marathon and Athens.  This town would likely have been on the route of the legendary first marathoner, Pheidippides.  There are many in the running community who have suggested that half-marathon is a poor name for the 13.1 mile distance.  I’ve heard several suggestions for new names, but I think Pikermi is the most appropriate.  Pheidippides had to pass through Pikermi to get to Athens from Marathon, and many of us run a 13.1 mile race before we run a marathon.  I think it’s only fitting that that race be named Pikermi.

Here’s the original introduction of the name, and his reasons behind it, from Pochero’s blog at the Loop:

The problem is that it is half of something else. It is a half-marathon. People (non-runners and even some runners) always have a weird reaction to it. Oh, you “only” ran “half” of a marathon? That’s nice. Hey, that’s good of you to run a “half”. That’s a nice “half”. Maybe you’ll soon get a better “half”. It’s good of you to go on a “half training program”. And so on.

Are we half of a runner when we run a half? Do we run half a$$ when we run a half? Are we “half runners” forever doomed to be in the shadow of big brother marathon? Do we go through all the pain and agony of training to run “just a half”?

I say that the half marathon is due its proper place of eminence in the running world. It is 13.1 miles, 21 kilometers, a very respectable distance. It is a full-bore, balls-to-the-wall footrace. This distance needs its own name. It is not half of anything.

The marathon originated from the mythical 26-mile run by Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens to bring news of the Greek’s victory over the Persian Army at the Battle of Marathon. An annual race is presently organized over the supposed original route and is called the Athens Marathon. I wonder why they didn’t call it the Marathon Marathon. The race in October 2010 will be the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon.

Anyhoo, around the 13-mile mark, right smack dab in the middle of the original Marathon route is the town of Pikermi. So why not name the half-marathon as the Pikermi? I know change can be scary but go ahead and try it. It won’t hurt. I promise:

Congratulations on your first Pikermi!

Hey, you rocked that Pikermi!

Good job on that Pikermi!

EDIT: [Pochero] called up Hotel Pikermi on Marathonos Avenue, Attica, Greece. It is pronounced: pee-KER-mee.

Here’s my Pikermi for Saturday, September 4, 2010:

And today’s 1 hour recovery run:

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