What does the fact that I’m running a marathon tomorrow and the latest Panda have to do with each other? Pretty much nothing. The only connection is that I’m going to talk about them both today.
Its Friday today, so this is just kinda a quick free for all post.
First, I have talked at length about the recent Google EMD update here. However, as a couple of readers noted, it turns out that Google also rolled out an update to the Panda formula at about the same time. Matt Cutts wasn’t as timely with this announcement, but has confirmed that this Panda update did indeed take place around the same time as the EMD update. You can read more about these changes here and here.
So, if your site was a non-EMD but still appears to have been penalized, it was possibly due to the new Panda update.
What this means? This doesn’t really change anything that I’ve already said about my new strategy for building niche sites here. Essentially the focus is on building higher quality sites that I can spend more time on. By spending more time on each site, I will truly have the chance to acquire the quality links that I’ll need. Link building will not involve as much automation tools (if any), but will rather focus on other high value link building processes. I’ve already written about quality link building tactics here and here and here.
That’s all I’ll say about niche sites for now, more to come in the future. Now, onto my marathon…stop reading now if you don’t care!
Tomorrow I am running the Leavenworth Marathon. This will be my 3rd marathon and hopefully will go well! I actually thought I would only run 1 marathon ever in my life just to say I did it, but apparently I was lying to myself.
I’ve always been competitive when it comes to sports, and I just can’t stand not getting the marathon times that I know I can! So, my number one goal tomorrow is to beat myself. This really shouldn’t be too hard.
My first marathon was 2 years ago and I came in at around 3 hrs. 58 minutes. This was slower than I expected, but I was happy to break 4 hours.
Then last year I ran the Seattle Rock n’ Roll marathon in a time of 4 hrs. and 8 minutes. Ouch! I really thought I was going to be in the 3:30′s for that one. But it turns out I was not prepared well, didn’t fuel well, and it was a tough course (hilly). It was also a hot day. See? I have lots of excuses! The reality is that I just probably thought I was faster than I really was and came out to fast, and was ill prepared.
So, will the 3rd time be the charm? We’ll see.
My goal is to complete the marathon in 3 hours 35 minutes. (I hate to reveal that, because I might not hit my goal!). Here’s why I think I can get that time:
I’ve trained harder this year than ever before. I’ve had multiple long runs over 20 miles. I’ve run more intervals to work on my speed as well. My overall weekly mileage is more than my previous 2 marathons.
They also say the best way to predict a marathon time is to run a half-marathon (or other long race) to extrapolate your potential time. Well, I ran a half-marathon about 1 month ago and got a time of 1:40:54. When you punch this half marathon time into the McMillan race calculator; it predicts that I could finish a marathon in 3:32:21.
So, I think 3:35:00 is doable. What do you think?
In addition, the first 10 miles of the course are downhill! The weather should also be very cool. It should be around 35 to 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) at the start of the race, with a high of around 68 for the day (I should be done long before it hits the high for the day).
Even though the first 10 miles are downhill, I’m going to try and run these slow. My goal is to run my last 6 miles faster than my first 6. Never done that before, we’ll see how it goes .
I don’t think I could stand running for over 3 hours without some music to listen to. Music helps me take my mind off of the monotony of putting one foot in front of the other. Certain songs can also be highly motivational that give me an extra boost to run a little faster than I thought possible.
Here are a couple of songs that I’ve been enjoying lately on my iPod. I’ll be listening to these and many more tomorrow morning during the marathon!
Anyway, I have lots of other songs as well, that’s just a sample.
That’s it for this Friday! Have a great weekend! If you care to share your thoughts below about the Panda update or the marathon, I’d love to hear them.
**Updated!** I finished the marathon in a time of 3:37:10! I’m very happy with this time. Yes, its 2 minutes slower than my goal, but its still 21 minutes faster than my previous best time. I can live with that. Also, I placed 3rd in my age group overall!
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