Glass City Marathon RR
Goal: Min – Qualify for Boston (3:55). Reach – 3:45
<Training> I followed the Hansons Marathon Method,starting from mid Nov. This is my 2ndtime doing so, after having a good success at 2011 Boston (my 3rd Boston). That was my last marathon. I got injured in early winter of 2012 during a spring marathon training. Running 70 miles was just too much for me. My psoas injury lingered for a long time (actually it hasn’t completely cleared yet) and I thought I would never run a marathon again. For some reasons, I got a Boston bug again in 2014 fall. I had a constant doubt in my head about this psoas issue coming back bad enough to make me stop running. But pre-plan ramp up for a few weeks went ok,so I jumped right in.
Training really went well. One workout (=run) per day wasn’t too stressful,x 6 days/wk. I paid a careful attention not to run too much faster than the prescribed paces for each run with a specific purpose. It was hard at the beginning as the volume ramped up to 50mpw. It wasn’t uncommon I could barely finish each run, dragging my feet. But repeatedly I was surprised how human body adapted to new level of stress. I could feel my body was getting to the next level, then to the next,just getting used to all the volumes and intensity demand. I had my share of discomforts, tightness, and soreness around my back, hip, etc., but two things kept those concerns at bay; weekly 30min massage/stretch session with a therapist and no crazy long run (in relation to the weekly volume). My longest run was 17, just once, during 60-mile wk. Only two 16miles. The long run didn’t break me as they did in the past (following different programs). The Hansons’ “cumulative fatigue” theory did enough to prepare me for running 26.2.
My race plan was derailed when I got a stomach bug 3 days before the Circular Logic Marathon I had signed up, at the end of March. Tapering for this marathon, recovering from the illness followed immediately by 9-day vacation made a big dent to my running volume. But I made the best out of the situation. Looking back, the reduced volume with the frequent MP intensity runs helped me to stay fresh and fit. I ran 5K a few days after recovering from the illness, at 22:49, which was a good confidence booster. Though my marathon times were always way short of predicted times based on the 5K times, I thought 3:55 was more than reasonable goal.
<Race morning> I was determined to drink more & take carbs more. I couldn’t believe the suggested carb intake for my weight was 160-200g. You know how many grams of carbs two packets of oatmeal contain? 60g. Oatmeal is my go-to race morning food, but no way am I consuming 6 packets of it! Also, a suggested water intake with this meal was 36oz of water, about 3hrs before the race start. Then another 24oz 2hrs before and 12oz 1hr before. I didn’t even finish the first 36oz water before the race. I was already feeling the familiar gassy sickness in my stomach. But I knew hydration/calorie intake would be the key to run well to the end, after realizing how little I was taking all these years. So I tried my best in spite of discomfort. While being in a corral, I even finished 12oz of Hammer sports drink. That was a good idea, I am sure. I felt I needed to go to bathroom then, and all the way to the end.
<Race> I lined just infront of 3:55 pace group. I was planning to run a few miles with them and slowly picking up the pace to my 8:45 target. The first mile was so congested that I just went with the flow, listening the pacer yapping. 9:03 – great, exactly what I needed. Here is what happened for the first 13miles;
8:25 (got too excited to run with more space!)
8:46 (1:52:01). Half way mark: 1:52:53
I tried to slow down to 8:45 pace but wasn’t successful. My HR was 159-160 consistently (which seemed too high) but I felt just right, so I stayed with it. To get to 13miles felt a bit long and never really felt light & springy. But I hada good rhythm going and nothing was hurting. Important thing to note – I took Gatorade every single station except the first one. And already took TWO GU’sby mile 13 followed with water! (Thanks Thor & MQ) as planned. I was sofocused on my plan. This was the only marathon in which I didn’t talk to anybody.
Onto the “no-man’s land” (13 to 20miles)
This is often a rough section. So I was focused to keep a good pace. And as the wind (not as strong as I thought it would be, luckily) hit, Isped up just to catch big runners to tuck behind.
To my surprise, this part of the marathon went quickly, kind a blur. I just put head down and ran. In the process I lost a few men I was following behind. For a while there wasa pace line of 4. I am sure the guy infront of me didn’t like me running & breathing right behind him.
Saw mile 20 and I was still feeling pretty good (considering having run20 miles!) and was ready to get to the real part of the race. Nothing hurt, which was rare for me,especially considering my back, and hip and hammy sometimes made noise during my much shorter runs. Still taking Gatorade and GU’s as planned. I focused my running forms and some spectators were calling ‘look how she is running so smoothly’ or something. That put a smile on me, and even 20 steps to run tall and graciously (or so tried) made a difference. Giving kids high-fives was always fun and give me an extra ounce of boost.
8:59 (I do recall I was zonedout, and lost focus here and there for the last several miles)
10:36 (8:50 pace)
I felt a twinge to my calf about 1mile away. Other than that, nothing was concerning and I tried to run faster but legs just couldn’t to any faster. It’s amazing people who can negative split. My second half was about 1min 40sec slower than the first, which is pretty good for me. I clearly remember around mile 22-23,thinking ‘this is very similar to the end of long runs during the training….Hansons really knows what they are talking about when they say their long runs simulate the last 16miles of the marathon, not the first 16mile (by having yougoing to 16mile run with very tired legs). I knew the finish line was in the Univ. of Toledo’s football field and I was able to see the stadium but it took forever to actually get to the inside. Once got inside, the finish line was right there – boy, I wish it had given me a bit more to run there to finish strong and soak up the attention. Great to see the final time of 3:47:26!
<Note to myself>
1. Hansons marathon method really works. One of the three key workouts is MP run every week.
2. Topping off hydration constantly to the point of‘want to go to bathroom’ feeling is just right.
3. Take more than you think you need as far as calories go. I think I took 5!
My 5K is slowing down but I think I can run a faster marathon than 3:47. The next marathon in Maui in Sept.is just for FUN. But I am looking forward to tackling the marathon training, all over again, next year!
Last edited by Yo Sake; 04-28-2015 at 06:37 AM.