Monday, October 18, 2010

Rest and Recovery

After a week of not running and trying to relax, I've made a few evaluations. It was interesting to look back on my training and realize that I was not in top shape to run a great time in Chicago. My training was inconstant and the volume wasn't as high as it should have been. I had a week at 27 miles (yes, 27 miles) and then jumped back to 100 plus miles. Also, after I took a much needed break in July, I only had 13 weeks to get ready for Chicago and out of those 13 weeks, I had 6 over 100. Very poor training...

Now that it is all done, I have refocused on a possible Spring marathon. My base building should be huge and I will set a point about 12 weeks before the marathon to start marathon specific training. I'm looking forward to this next marathon cycle and all that it entails.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10-10-10 Chicago Marathon

This was an epic fail for marathon number 3. After the fact I felt like the race itself was horrible. Everything leading up to this race seemed to go wrong, but I didn't notice it until it was too late. I did way to much walking around before my race, the weather wasn't in our favor, and I wasn't eating as regularly or as often as I should have.

The temperature was warmer than expected, but I ignored that by not hydrating or staying relaxed on friday and saturday. And once race day came along, I knew I was in trouble when it was already in the upper 60's at 6:30 am. But, again, I didn't take notice and had high hopes for a sub 2:19 as everyone else was excited to run a fast one that day. Once the gun went off at 7:30 a pack of about 30 guys formed and we were on 2:19 pace from mile 1 till everyone fell apart. I missed my first bottle at the aid station, but just stayed focused and attempted to get in more water and gatorade from the side aid stations. At 10k someone took my bottle again, so I just grabbed whatever bottle I could get a hold of. It was better than nothing.

At that point in the race, the group of 30 was still intact and everyone looked comfortable. I was sitting on some Brooks Hanson guys and whoever else wanted to be in the lead. The crowds were going ballistic as we sailed away at 5:19 pace through downtown Chicago. I've never heard such a loud crowd before, so that was exciting and motivating. I kept looking for Laura on the course; as she said she was going to be at certain locations, but I never heard or saw her among the mayhem. At half-way we hit 1:09:37 and I felt pretty good. We started dropping a few seconds off out pace and I figured we were going to hold this till the end and I was going to hit the standard. As the group started to lose a few guys here and there, I still kept my composer and was keeping an even effort.

Everything felt great till about mile 17 when I hit a slow 5:27 mile. It didn't really bother me, and I figured I was going to hold 5:30's to the end and finish with a nice PR. But mile after mile I was adding one 10-20 seconds and feeling worse and worse. I kept thinking to myself that I'll just hold that pace and still get a PR, but I kept falling off the pervious pace. By mile 23, I knew I'd just have to finish and take whatever it is. Which was a 2:26:16. My worst time yet out of the three marathons.

As I look back on it and notice all the other American's that dropped out, I thought to myself that I should have dropped out. But I wanted a PR and by the time I knew it was over it wasn't worth it to drop out.

On the plus side, the course and crowds were amazing! I'd love to run this race again with cold temperatures, instead of 80 degree weather.

Right now and on the plane home, I figure I am going to stick with what I'm good at and attempt to qualify in the half marathon at Houston for the USA Half Marathon Championships in January. That way I'll have more chances in the half and can run USA Track & Field Championships if I get in.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Last Marathon Workout - 5 days left

This morning was my last workout before I head to Chicago to qualify for the Trials! We just did a nice and easy track workout, which was just some pace work for the marathon. 3x 1000m at marathon pace, which was 3:20ish for the k's. It seemed easy, as it should be and felt good. I wore my goofy looking arm warmers, so that I could get a feel for them if I need to wear them in Chicago, since it's going to be pretty cool out there. I still need to figure out my fueling situation when I get out there...

So at this point, things seem to be great leading up to the race. Everything is aligned, and I feel great, despite one horrible workout on saturday. Either way, I'm excited to get out there and race one of the most stacked marathon's of the year, and definitely, the fastest race in North America.