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Bummin after LA marathon (Read 181 times)

    I had a very disappointing run on Sunday, after about 9 months of solid training.  It was my 5th marathon, and meant a lot to me for personal reasons.  My projected time was 3:16, but I fell apart, beginning in mile 11!  It started with GI issues, then my legs just felt dead by mile 16.  I threw in the towel around 19 when it was clear I wouldn't have a good time, and it quickly became clear that I was completely done.  Walking the rest of the way, I felt worse and worse even though I mentally just wanted to enjoy the sights and took in lots of fluids.  At mile 25, I had to make my third trip to the portapottie and then almost puked and headed to a medical tent.  Finished in 5:02 :-(

     

    Now that it's a couple days back, I still feel pretty lousy.  I'm way too fatigued for an 18 mile run.  I mean, I ran six 20s and a 22.5 long run during a 6 month training plan.  My legs are sore.  My digestion is still off.  And of course I'm struggling not to feel down about the disappointing time.  Originally I thought I'd save it and look ahead to another race, but after experiencing the Pasadena cancellation in 2008, IT Band injury when it was rescheduled in 2009, a miserable 28 degree marathon in Birch Bay, WA in 2012 and now this... I'm feeling very discouraged.

     

    Any thoughts welcome here as to what happened: did the taper mess me up (2.5 weeks), sudden warmer weather/dehydration, the daylight savings and ridiculous logistics of parking in Santa Monica to take shuttle to Dodger stadium (effectively waking up a 3 am for this race), or simply no reason at all--these-things-happen-just-get-over-it.....?

     

    How do you all cope with a discouraging race/many discouraging marathons?  I don't want to continue being difficult with my girlfriend!

     

    Thanks in advance...

    Jack K.


    I love sponge cake.

      I also ran LA and I have a race report if you care to read it. It was hot out there and it was tough. Don't be down on yourself, really it was tough for everyone.

       

      Two questions:

      1) why do you use a 6 month training plan? I think I would go nuts. I used the Pfitz 18/55 for my first and was going insane at the end.

      2) do you think you are getting enough miles per month? Again, using my Pfitz plan, I had three 20 mile runs total (nothing over 20), two tune up races, and was peaking at about 190-200 miles per month.

       

      Maybe your next plan should be shorter and more "concise?"  Just throwing it out there.

       

      Again, don't be down on yourself. It happens to everyone. Just get your rest, recover, and get it going again. Maybe train for a half marathon or 10k to mix it up a little?

        Yeah, maybe six months was too much, I felt ready in December.  I peaked around 50 miles/week.

         

        Thinking about running OC in the beginning of May.  Is that too soon?  Not soon enough?  Too soon to decide, but don't want to lose all that training.  Also not sure if I have the mojo for that, and have a dissertation to write by the end of May.

         

        Thanks for the encouragement and race report!

          Conditions in LA were ripe for blow-ups, I wouldn't feel too bad about it.  Especially for a runner who takes as many days off as you do.  In my experience, long runs are no substitute for consistent mileage.

           

          Personally, I don't ever put all my eggs in the one basket of a goal marathon.  I would hate to train for 9 months and then get conditions like Sunday for my goal race, run the race in a slower time than you thought and then take another 9 months to try again?  No F'ing way. I like to  race some 5 and 10K and 10milers and maybe a 1/2 or two along the way.  Then, when the big marathon day comes, you won't feel like you worked for 9 months (plus another month of recovery) with nothing to show for it except a lousy marathon time.  The more you run and Race the better you'll be able to handle the adverse conditions that inevitable pop up - and when you finally do get a lucky day you'll be able to take advantage..

            I ran 5 days/week solidly for 8 months or so.  Do you think every day or six is better?  I followed the training plan to a T, but the taper seemed too long--is this what you mean?

             

            Especially for a runner who takes as many days off as you do.  In my experience, long runs are no substitute for consistent mileage. 

              No expert esp with no experience at the marathon level, but on about 150 miles a month, I barely feel ready for a half marathon.

               

              Also looks like a 4 week taper rather than 2.5 weeks as you state, not sure if that makes a big difference. Seems your long run is faster than your weekly avg pace, probably OK to do that once in a while but not on most long runs, maybe you were racing them and left you fatigued for the race, just a thought.

                I'm with Happyfeet - your overall miles were skimpy for marathon training.  One more thing jumps out:  Your goal of 3:16 seems WAY ambitious, considering your PRs at other distances.  They point to a 3:30 - 3:45 marathon.  Anyway, hope you chalk it up to experience and have some great racing in your future.

                 

                FWIW, I'm less of a goal-oriented person.  I try to do lots of running, and then let the races be indicators of what I have accomplished with my daily running, if that makes sense.  In other words, I'm not running for the races, but I race as part of my running.

                Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                comfortably hard


                  Certainly not an expert here, but it seems to me a couple of things could have contributed to your bad day (aside from race day conditions):

                   

                  1) Your long runs were a huge portion of your total mileage. I usually have more success building mileage with regular training runs first and then slowly incorporating a long run that is generally not more than 30% of total mileage. For the marathon, on a low mileage schedule, I suppose you'd have to go over 30%, but it's certainly not optimal. Considering the length of these runs on that mileage, you could have burnt yourself out on these.

                   

                  2) I think your taper was too long/big. 3 weeks out you cut your mileage nearly in half. I think you might have lost some fitness at the time of the race by doing this. When you're training at fairly low mileage, I don't think you need to taper so much. I would have maybe kept about 85 - 100% of the mileage in the 3rd week. Maybe 65% in the second week out and then 40% the last week, or something like that. I think your drop was too sharp too early.

                   

                  Sorry to hear about your disappointing race. but you'll have more races, and hopefully much better experiences.

                  jimmyb


                     

                     

                    How do you all cope with a discouraging race/many discouraging marathons?  

                     

                    By realizing there's nothing to cope with. It was a race, and that is all. Your best friend didn't die, and the Spanish Inquisition didn't just do a sweep of your house or your beliefs. The only thing you're dealing with is a memory. See the memory for what is, let it go, and get to the business of being creative in your life, now. That's how you cope.

                     

                    Keep it in perspective. Racing is supposed to be a fun pastime. Accept the fact there will be bad races. It's part of the game, nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about,  and are all part of the fun of the pursuit. Just like playing baseball or basketball.

                     

                    There'll be more races, and you'll learn as you go.

                     

                    If the race was in hot weather, it can kick your butt. You have to adjust for hot weather races by slowing a certain % at the start, or using a heart rate monitor to make sure you're running the proper effort for that temperature. Whatever you do, don't over-drink. You don't need as much fluids as you think. Over-drinking can kill you.

                     

                    Keep going!

                     

                    --JImmy

                    Log    PRs

                    ilanarama


                    DREAMCRUSHER

                      From what I saw from friends' reports, it was really really hot!  That is a huge factor.

                       

                      But also, as pointed out, you had low mileage and perhaps an ambitious goal.  The PRs in your log are rather old and I don't see any recent races.  If you could run a 10K or half or similar distance between now and mid-April it would help give you a good goal for OC in May.

                      PRs: 10 1:12:59 (4/2014) 13.1 1:35:55 (10/2013) 26.2 3:23:31 (12/2013)

                      Last: Dead Horse 50K 10/18: 5:58 | Next: Turkey Trot?

                      bloggy stuff at http://ilanarama.dreamwidth.org

                        I ran 5 days/week solidly for 8 months or so.  Do you think every day or six is better?  I followed the training plan to a T, but the taper seemed too long--is this what you mean?

                         

                         

                        Of course every day or six is better than five ... if you can handle it.  If I were you and wanted to take the next step I'd start to run more and race more.  You'll have to figure out if you can invest the time/energy/commitment and then you'll have to determine how much more running and racing is optimum for you.  One of the most important things I've learned about running marathons, and any racing, is that the race itself is kind of anti-climatic - it's the journey of getting to the line FIT and healthy that is the challenge.

                          Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts.  I'm over-thinking this a lot still and will wait to come to any decisions about future races and training, but needed some perspective and reminders about attitude.  For whatever reason, this race became something different in my mind than other races I have done, and from the way I approach other areas of my life.

                           

                          But I'm definitely going to think about whether I want to run another marathon, raise weekly/monthly mileage if I do, learn more about the taper period, and adjust to weather more.

                            Sorry to hear about the crappy run. I'm not super experienced but I think with these kinds of things it helps to push reset in your mind. Try to be realistic with yourself about one or two ways the training could have been better. And then move forward and leave the bummer run behind you.

                             

                             I try to do lots of running, and then let the races be indicators of what I have accomplished with my daily running, if that makes sense.  In other words, I'm not running for the races, but I race as part of my running.

                             

                            I like this approach and sort have been thinking about this myself the last couple of weeks. Like, let the race come to me rather than stretch and try to reach the race (in my case, marathon training when I'm not really there yet).

                            kevindlv


                              I also ran it. It was my first. I was expecting to do 3:40 based on an October 2013 half (1:46). The weather was absolutely brutal. I was struggling at mile 19 and completely fell apart at 23. Still finished in 3:55, which is fine since it was my first, but it was a really really tough day. I'll probably try and get my base back up and run a few short distance races for now. I might try and do the Long Beach Marathon in the fall.


                              MoBramExam

                                One more thing jumps out:  Your goal of 3:16 seems WAY ambitious, considering your PRs at other distances. 

                                 

                                This...Your goal time was about 7:30 pace for 26.2 miles.  You log shows that the three months prior to your race you ran a TOTAL of 13 miles at any pace sub 8:00.  Even without the heat and GI issues, 3:16:XX was not going to happen.  Shake it off, move on, and find a better training plan.

                                 



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