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Gilman hopes miles and miles pay off

Gilman hopes miles and miles pay off

Help me with the math on this one, please.

Pete Gilman has been doing some serious training. Four weeks ago he ran 120 miles. Three weeks ago he, again, ran 120 miles. Two weeks ago it was 130 and last week 125.

My math says that's 495 miles, or right around 16.5 miles per day.

Try that some time. Even driving a car, that's tiring.

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Gilman, this area's premier long-distance runner, is putting in all these miles in preparation for the Oct. 3 Twin Cities Marathon. Who knows if all these miles will eventually pay dividends by Gilman is willing to give it a shot.

"I'm going to need to do some speed workouts pretty soon,'' he said, "but right now I want to run as many miles as possible.

"My goal at Twin Cities is a 2:24 (two hours, 24 minutes). That's what I ran two years ago and maybe, just maybe, I can go a little faster.''

Why? Gilman, 29, a former Byron High School standout who now calls Rochester home, still has Olympic aspirations, and not just because it's the thing to do these days with all the attention focused on Athens.

Its been a long-time goal.

"I'm in my prime right now,'' he said, "and am willing to give it one more shot. Four years from now I'm sure I will slow down because I'm married and have a family and all this training takes a lot of time.

"My wife has been more than understanding. She said to go for it.''

Gilman won Saturday's Holiday Inn Half-Marathon for the third straight year, finishing in a relatively "slow'' time of 1:09.59.

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At least it was slow for Gilman, not for the rest of us.

"To be honest, I felt sluggish at the start and for most of the race,'' he said. "Too many miles the past month will do that to you. Icertainly wasn't sharp enough to run a race.

"But that's OK. Before the marathon I'll do all the tapering and things I need to do.''

Last year at this time Gilman had his eye on the Chicago Marathon, where he needed to run a 2:22 or better in order to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

He didn't come close.

"If I told you I wasn't frustrated I would be lying,'' he said. "I was extremely disappointed. It was a perfect day to race, the course was flat and I felt I was in great shape. I was pretty confident.

"But sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't, and that day I didn't, for whatever reason.

"Now I'm experimenting by running all these miles. I'll see where that gets me. When you start running marathons in the lower 2:20s, the minutes don't come off as quickly as they used to.

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"I have to find ways of how I can get better.''

Even if Gilman were to run the Olympic qualifying standard in Chicago, it wouldn't help for his desired goal of running in the 2008 Olympic Trials, a prelude to the Summer Games in Beijing. He needs to run that time starting next year in order to qualify.

But confident-wise, it would do wonders.

"I know I can do it,'' he said, "it's just a matter of everything clicking on that particular day.

"There'll be some real good competition at Twin Cities and who knows, they're paying prize money for the top United States finishers.

"That could happen. I have to have that goal.''

Paul Christian is a Post-Bulletin sports writer. He can be reached a pchristian@postbulletin.com

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