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Blew up in Dallas. Help me determine the most likely culprit? (Read 895 times)

mab411


Proboscis Colossus

    Yeah, about mile 18, the wheels started to come off, and by 20 I gave up on my 3:30 goal.  Death march last three miles.  Looking back, there are a handful of things, most of them my fault, that could have caused it - most likely all of them, to some degree or another.  Hoping for some input on what the most serious iniquities were, maybe a ranking from most to least stupid?  I'll list them in the order that I think they'd go in:

     

    Exhibit A: Dumb pacing after a slow start

    Got there later than we should have due to traffic, and long story short, I was still in the port-o-let line with a dire need when the race started.  Thought to myself, "eh, it's chip timing.  Sure, I'll have to weave around some slower runners, but I'd rather do that than have to stop after my chip gets activated.

     

    Well, a LOT of slower runners had crossed the start by the time I did.  I spent a good seven, eight miles weaving around, alternating wildly between goal pace (8:00), much slower than goal pace, and about 15 secs. faster than goal pace.  Not enough of the first and last of those, though - by the time the halfers split off, I was at about 8:15 average, so my big plan was to hammer out however many faster miles it took to catch up, then run the rest of the race at my goal pace.

     

    Yeah, good plan, right?  The result was predictable.

     

    Exhibit B: Insufficient Fueling

    Now, I've been running my training runs drinking water to thirst, and for whatever reason, I've been running just fine without taking in any Gu, Gatorade, or any carbs, even on runs up to 22 miles.  Don't know why, but hey - if that's how I've been training, why do anything different during the race, right?  So, I didn't run with a hydration belt, took water (not Gatorade) at about...well, when I needed it from the aid stations...and I did decide to bring a Gu with me, just because it really seemed improbable that I wouldn't need some kind of fuel going 26.2 (and I have used Gu before, so I knew it wouldn't give me GI issues).

     

    Carb-loaded starting Thursday, and ate the same breakfast I usually do before my long runs, about three hours before race start (also like usual).  But the way I started feeling around mile 20...I've not hit anything like what people describe "The Wall" feeling like before, but I think I did today.  At around mile 20, right on schedule.

     

    Exhibit C: No strength training, hill repeats, or even core exercises during last half of training

    I did these during the training cycle for my first marathon, and it went great (though my only goal at the time was "just to finish," so I wasn't trying to run a particular pace).  Second marathon was about a month and a half after that one, and I just backed my plan up a month or so, added a few miles to the runs, and shaved 10 mins. off my time.  That was this past Spring, and I kept my base mileage up around 40-50 over the summer.  Went for Pfitz 18/70 for this cycle, and the higher mileage just pushed supplemental training out of my schedule.  By the time I got to this week, I was actually a tad worried that the mileage was too much - my knee was complaining every time I'd go out, and there was this strange pain in my ankle.  But after the race, no pain at all in either place.  My calf muscles, though--well, all of the muscles in my legs were screaming and cramping.  Spent a good bit of time in the med station, where they did indicate I was probably dehydrated (see above) due to the uncontrollable shaking, but I just wonder if the legs would have been better off if I'd done more strength training.

     

    Exhibit D: Not willing to adjust goal due to humidity

    I've trained in humidity, even during this cycle, so I didn't view today's humid weather as too big of a deal.  BUT, I haven't had that kind of weather in awhile, so I was probably not as acclimated as I used to be.

    "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

    xor


      Well, it was likely pacing and not adjusting to conditions.... but say more about the weather.

       

      mab411


      Proboscis Colossus

        Race start was...I think the report I looked at said neighborhood of 61, humidity was in the 90's.  Humidity dropped a little (I think) during the hours I was out there, but the temp didn't seem to go up too badly.  Windy, but not Oklahoma windy.  Cool wind, too, which was nice.

        "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people


        Feeling the growl again

          Hard to say from limited info, bUt as I  think you already realized it was not the best plan to try to catch back up to goal pace mid race and then cut back to goal pace.  Going faster than what you are in shape to average will take it out of you....exponentially faster as you get further below goal pace.  So you should have tried to get back to goal pace by the finish, unless you thought you were going to thrash your goal.

           

          Also, at race pace you will consume glycogen faster than at training pace and burn less fat.  So while you might be fine without fuel during a training run over a distance you may need it during a race.  You practice taking fuel in training once in awhile even if you don't need it, so that you know what to do if you need it in a race.

          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

           

            l was tracking another RA runner who fell short of his goal. I haven't spoken to him but I have to believe the temps had a lot to do with it. He had been training in the much cooler (cold at time) midwest and to jump to 60-65 temps will affect most people. I know it cripples my performance.

             

            When it's substantially warmer than your used to, all bets are off. 

            mab411


            Proboscis Colossus

              Going faster than what you are in shape to average will take it out of you....exponentially faster as you get further below goal pace.

               

              I knew this academically going in, but brother, I'm a believer right down to my soul now.

               

              Unfortunately for me on many occasions, I learn much better by experience.

               

              MTA: and thanks for the info on fueling.  Makes sense.

              "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people


              just a simple cat

                Heat and humidity

                 

                Running is stupid

                  I'd say it was mainly due to the humidity (80%) and the rest due to your inconsistent pacing at the start.


                  Smashy!!!

                    I would also consider the possibility that you were overtrained. 

                    PRs: 21:35 (5K); 1:46:46 (HM); 4:30:46 (FM)

                    mab411


                    Proboscis Colossus

                      I would also consider the possibility that you were overtrained. 

                       

                      I actually almost listed that as "Exhibit E."  That Pfitz taper was...not very taper-ey.

                      "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

                      Longboat


                      Letting off steam

                        D - Pretty tough weather out there to run your best marathon.  

                         

                        A - Didn't help at all, I'm sure, as spaniel observed.  

                        Which may have contributed to B.  26 at MP is not the same fueling-wise as a 20 @ long run pace.

                         

                        Can't really tell on C & the added E.  You may do better with a different mix of training which includes hill repeats, strength training.  Or maybe the cumulative effect of Pfitz 70 was more than your body wanted this time.  That program just comes at you, day after day; I felt that I never got rested, often felt that the next run could tip me over the edge.  I've done better on 70 mpw with other plans.

                         

                        Learn from it, reload for the next.  Depending on how you feel now and recover, you might want to consider another off the same training cycle and go in a little more rested.

                        Neil

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                        Nearly back to 100% 6 months after Achilles surgery. Now at 35 50 mpw.

                        Base building time!


                        Feeling the growl again

                          I knew this academically going in, but brother, I'm a believer right down to my soul now.

                           

                          Unfortunately for me on many occasions, I learn much better by experience.

                           

                          MTA: and thanks for the info on fueling.  Makes sense.

                           

                          Been here done that.

                           

                           

                          And also the humidity as others said.  Seemed you thought the weather was something you were prepared for but humidity can suck your soul,

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           

                            Been here done that.

                             

                             

                            And also the humidity as others said.  Seemed you thought the weather was something you were prepared for but humidity can suck your soul,

                             

                             

                              I think this was absolutely the #1 Reason personally.  Humidity can take alot more out of you than you realize at the time, even when the temps aren't particularly high.  I have "Been there, done that" with the humidity experience sapping me out as well.  But yes, humidity near 90% was likely the big factor.  

                             

                            Another way to help prove this theory is look at other folks' who ran the race you know, and see if their times were quite a bit slower as well.  If they were, that is a good indication.  Humidity doesn't affect every single person adversely, but I think it safe to say that a 90% humidity factor would affect most folks in a bad way. 

                            The Plan '15 (big parts)→  Feb:  Va Beach Distance Series 50K (Set a PR)     /// April:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer  (Goal: >80.1+Miles for a PR)  ///    "Run Hard, Live Easy."   ∞

                              I did the half. Feel free to look at my log and my comments. Yes, the humidity was tough. All of my friends that ran yesterday struggled and tanked.

                              2014 Goals:

                              #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                              #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

                               

                              mab411


                              Proboscis Colossus

                                 

                                You may do better with a different mix of training which includes hill repeats, strength training.  Or maybe the cumulative effect of Pfitz 70 was more than your body wanted this time.  That program just comes at you, day after day; I felt that I never got rested, often felt that the next run could tip me over the edge.  I've done better on 70 mpw with other plans.

                                 

                                Learn from it, reload for the next.  Depending on how you feel now and recover, you might want to consider another off the same training cycle and go in a little more rested.

                                 

                                That could be the case.  It is a pretty tough program, though I don't know that I ever felt in danger of going "over the edge."  But there were several times that I just didn't want to go out and do a ML run in the dark, I wanted to stay home with my wife.  And if/when I do it again, I think I will shave a bit off of the taper.  Seemed a little nuts even as I was going through it this time (speedwork two days before the marathon? Hmm...), but I wanted to get a baseline before I started using the immense knowledge I've gained over the course of a whole year of marathoning to modify it.

                                 

                                I am considering a "do-over" with another marathon after I get rested up, but I don't know.  While I am disappointed that 18 weeks of training with Pfitz didn't give me a better result, it's certainly not the end of the world.  I realized about the time of the NYCM debacle that I was really enjoying the journey of the training cycle, at least for now, and if something happened to spoil that day, be it horrible natural disaster or stupidity on my part, I'd still be stronger for the experience than I was before.

                                 

                                And as bad of a picture as I've painted of my race, it was by no means a total disaster.  I just realized I haven't mentioned, I ran it in 3:44, a PR by one minute.  Quite a bit slower than the sub-3:30 McMillan and I thought I could do, and a lot less of an improvement than 18 weeks should give me, but still pretty respectable, if I do say so myself.  Guess those 7:45 miles in the middle gave me some cushioning before the crash.

                                "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

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