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Worst. Race. Ever. (Read 1401 times)

JML


    Have you ever had a race that has gone horribly wrong?  Thanks to the weather in Chicago, I have now had my first marathon mishap.  I trained diligently through the summer and put together a long stretch of good mileage weeks with some solid high quality runs.  My final 20 miler was run on 9/18 and included the last four miles below marathon goal pace.  I ran a much higher mileage training plan for this race than I used for my first marathon which seems to agree with me.  I trained in the heat and humidity so I thought that I would be prepared for whatever mother nature dished out on race day.  Boy…..was I wrong.

     

    I stepped out of the hotel on Sunday to discover that it was very warm for my tastes.  My recent half marathon PR (1:47:20) was set in March in 29 degrees, and I know that I am a cold weather runner.  My training had prepared me for a 3:45-3:50 time but I decided to aim for just under 4 hours given the forecast (previous PR 4:08 in March 2010).  I kept to my plan of starting a little slower than goal pace and easing up to speed before pushing it a little through the second half.   I came through the half point in 2:00:10 and was running smooth and easy.  My breathing felt easy and the pace was consistent.  Given the heat, I made sure to take my GU at 5 mile intervals and also slowed in each water station to make sure that I drank enough water.  Around mile 15, I realized that the wheels were coming off as I became aware of just how hot and lightheaded I was becoming.  I slowed the pace a bit to see if it would improve only to have severe muscle cramping start at mile 17.

     

    I borrowed a spectator’s phone to let my wife know that I was not going to break 4 hours and that I was going to try to finish.  The next 9 miles consisted of running for a bit, followed by severe cramping (legs, arms, back, neck etc), followed by a shuffling walk.  My lovely wife came down to meet me at mile 24 to run/walk with me.  I managed to run the last mile (9:50 pace) and finish but it was not pretty (4:36:26 final time – A personal worst by 28 minutes).

     

    I ended up in the medical tent where they observed a 104 degree temperature and covered me with ice packs until it was down to 101.  They cramping finally subsided at this point and I was released to find my wife.  The medical staff felt that I hydrated and used electrolytes properly, but the heat just overwhelmed me.  Today I feel pretty good and am starting to think about what to do next.

     

    The question: 

    What could I have done differently?  Should I have taken in more electrolytes, or given the temperature should I have run the race at an easy pace without thinking about a PR?

     

    I appreciate any guidance that the more experienced runners here can offer.  My log is open and I would welcome any advice.  I am going to start thinking about another marathon (in a cold region) and would like to learn if there is anything that I can change in my training / racing approach to have a better result next time.

     

    Thanks

     

    Jon

     2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...


    Consistently Slow

      4:00:00 @ 70F / 80F 4:28 / 4:38

      Next year run St.Charles,IL.  55 and drizzle.

      Heat Projected Performance

      Projected Performance

      40f 50f 60f 70f 80f
      3:00:00 3:05:24 (3%) 3:10:48 (6%) 3:16:12 (9%) 3:21:36 (12%)
      3:05:00 3:10:42 (3%) 3:16:25 (6%) 3:22:07 (10%) 3:27:49 (13%)
      3:10:00 3:16:01 (3%) 3:22:02 (7%) 3:28:03 (10%) 3:34:04 (14%)
      3:15:00 3:21:20 (4%) 3:27:40 (7%) 3:34:01 (11%) 3:40:21 (15%)
      3:20:00 3:26:40 (4%) 3:33:20 (8%) 3:40:00 (12%) 3:46:40 (15%)
      3:25:00 3:32:00 (4%) 3:39:00 (8%) 3:46:01 (12%) 3:53:01 (16%)
      3:30:00 3:37:21 (4%) 3:44:42 (9%) 3:52:03 (13%) 3:59:24 (17%)
      3:35:00 3:42:42 (5%) 3:50:25 (9%) 3:58:07 (14%) 4:05:49 (18%)
      3:40:00 3:48:04 (5%) 3:56:08 (9%) 4:04:12 (14%) 4:12:16 (19%)
      3:45:00 3:53:26 (5%) 4:01:52 (10%) 4:10:19 (15%) 4:18:45 (20%)
      3:50:00 3:58:49 (5%) 4:07:38 (10%) 4:16:27 (15%) 4:25:16 (21%)
      3:55:00 4:04:12 (5%) 4:13:24 (11%) 4:22:37 (16%) 4:31:49 (21%)
      4:00:00 4:09:36 (6%) 4:19:12 (11%) 4:28:48 (17%) 4:38:24 (22%)
      4:05:00 4:15:00 (6%) 4:25:00 (12%) 4:35:01 (17%) 4:45:01 (23%)
      4:10:00 4:20:25 (6%) 4:30:50 (12%) 4:41:15 (18%) 4:51:40 (24%)
      4:15:00 4:25:50 (6%) 4:36:40 (12%) 4:47:31 (19%) 4:58:21 (25%)
      4:20:00 4:31:16 (6%) 4:42:32 (13%) 4:53:48 (19%) 5:05:04 (26%)
      4:25:00 4:36:42 (7%) 4:48:24 (13%) 5:00:07 (20%) 5:11:49 (27%)
      4:30:00 4:42:09 (7%) 4:54:18 (14%) 5:06:27 (21%) 5:18:36 (27%)
      4:35:00 4:47:36 (7%) 5:00:12 (14%) 5:12:49 (21%) 5:25:25 (28%)
      4:40:00 4:53:04 (7%) 5:06:08 (15%) 5:19:12 (22%) 5:32:16 (29%)
      4:45:00 4:58:32 (8%) 5:12:04 (15%) 5:25:37 (23%) 5:39:09 (30%)
      4:50:00 5:04:01 (8%) 5:18:02 (15%) 5:32:03 (23%) 5:46:04 (31%)
      4:55:00 5:09:30 (8%) 5:24:00 (16%) 5:38:31 (24%) 5:53:01 (32%)
      5:00:00 5:15:00 (8%) 5:30:00 (16%) 5:45:00 (24%) 6:00:00 (33%)
      5:05:00 5:20:30 (8%) 5:36:00 (17%) 5:51:31 (25%) 6:07:01 (33%)
      5:10:00 5:26:01 (9%) 5:42:02 (17%) 5:58:03 (26%) 6:14:04 (34%)
      5:15:00 5:31:32 (9%) 5:48:04 (18%) 6:04:37 (26%) 6:21:09 (35%)
      5:20:00 5:37:04 (9%) 5:54:08 (18%) 6:11:12 (27%) 6:28:16 (36%)
      5:25:00 5:42:36 (9%) 6:00:12 (18%) 6:17:49 (28%) 6:35:25 (37%)
      5:30:00 5:48:09 (9%) 6:06:18 (19%) 6:24:27 (28%) 6:42:36 (38%)
      5:35:00 5:53:42 (10%) 6:12:24 (19%) 6:31:07 (29%) 6:49:49 (39%)
      5:40:00 5:59:16 (10%) 6:18:32 (20%) 6:37:48 (30%) 6:57:04 (39%)
      5:45:00 6:04:50 (10%) 6:24:40 (20%) 6:44:31 (30%) 7:04:21 (40%)
      5:50:00 6:10:25 (10%) 6:30:50 (21%) 6:51:15 (31%) 7:11:40 (41%)
      5:55:00 6:16:00 (11%) 6:37:00 (21%) 6:58:01 (32%) 7:19:01 (42%)
      6:00:00 6:21:36 (11%) 6:43:12 (21%) 7:04:48 (32%) 7:26:24 (43%)

      Example usage: You expect to run a 4:20 in 40 degree weather, but it’s going to be 70. Looking across the 4:20 line to the 70 degree column you find 4:53, which is a 19% reduction in performance.

      Run until the trail runs out.

      2014***1500 miles 09/28/14

      50miler 13:26:18

      Race Less Train More

       

      Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

      "The Marble in The Groove"

       

      unsolicited chatter

      http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

        From briefly looking over your logs and reading your race description, it seems like you just had a bad day.  Since you started feeling it so early (15 miles) even with a conservative early pace, I'm not sure what you could have changed.  Here are a couple of minor suggestions:

         

         You mentioned taking gels at 5 mile intervals and water at water stations, but did you also take any electrolyte drinks (I'm assuming Gatorade was there)?  For me, I rely more on Electrolyte drinks early in the race and water later in the race. Some stations I take both water and electrolytes just to water down the thickness.

         

        Your logs look pretty good and consistent for the pace your looking for.  My only suggestion would be to add more runs that last an hour into your weekly runs if possible.  There seems to be a few double days of less than 30 minutes each.  Combining those runs into one will help your efficiency.

         

        I am also a wimp when it comes to warm weather racing, so I can understand what you're going through.  Looking for cooler races will definitely help your psyche.

        JML


           

           You mentioned taking gels at 5 mile intervals and water at water stations, but did you also take any electrolyte drinks (I'm assuming Gatorade was there)?  For me, I rely more on Electrolyte drinks early in the race and water later in the race. Some stations I take both water and electrolytes just to water down the thickness.

           

          Your logs look pretty good and consistent for the pace your looking for.  My only suggestion would be to add more runs that last an hour into your weekly runs if possible.  There seems to be a few double days of less than 30 minutes each.  Combining those runs into one will help your efficiency.

           

           

           I did take gatorade as well (later in the race) to try and stop the cramping assuming that it was an electrolyte problem.  It did not seem to make a difference (unfortunately).

           

          I totally agree with you on the mid-week longer run.  This was suggested to me by someone here and I found that it really helped my aerobic fitness.  Scheduling problems are behind the doubles.  Sometimes work is a pain in the ass.

           2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

            A few points:

             

            1. The chart below is ridiculous, no way a well trained runner should lose that much time at 60-70 degrees, I'm sorry. At 75+ degrees all bets are off.

             

            2. The weather at Chicago was not perfect, but it was pretty good. (A course record was set.) Runners trying to understand why they blew up should look, primarily, to other factors. 

             

            3. The OP: 30-50 mile weeks in which almost half the mileage comes in the form of a long run is just risky training. It's good training for finishing the race, but it is far from ideal marathon training. If you have a good day, some runners can hold it together after a block of training like this, but most will blow up.

             

            4:00:00 @ 70F / 80F 4:28 / 4:38

            Next year run St.Charles,IL.  55 and drizzle.

            Heat Projected Performance

            Projected Performance

            40f 50f 60f 70f 80f
            3:00:00 3:05:24 (3%) 3:10:48 (6%) 3:16:12 (9%) 3:21:36 (12%)
            3:05:00 3:10:42 (3%) 3:16:25 (6%) 3:22:07 (10%) 3:27:49 (13%)
            3:10:00 3:16:01 (3%) 3:22:02 (7%) 3:28:03 (10%) 3:34:04 (14%)
            3:15:00 3:21:20 (4%) 3:27:40 (7%) 3:34:01 (11%) 3:40:21 (15%)
            3:20:00 3:26:40 (4%) 3:33:20 (8%) 3:40:00 (12%) 3:46:40 (15%)
            3:25:00 3:32:00 (4%) 3:39:00 (8%) 3:46:01 (12%) 3:53:01 (16%)
            3:30:00 3:37:21 (4%) 3:44:42 (9%) 3:52:03 (13%) 3:59:24 (17%)
            3:35:00 3:42:42 (5%) 3:50:25 (9%) 3:58:07 (14%) 4:05:49 (18%)
            3:40:00 3:48:04 (5%) 3:56:08 (9%) 4:04:12 (14%) 4:12:16 (19%)
            3:45:00 3:53:26 (5%) 4:01:52 (10%) 4:10:19 (15%) 4:18:45 (20%)
            3:50:00 3:58:49 (5%) 4:07:38 (10%) 4:16:27 (15%) 4:25:16 (21%)
            3:55:00 4:04:12 (5%) 4:13:24 (11%) 4:22:37 (16%) 4:31:49 (21%)
            4:00:00 4:09:36 (6%) 4:19:12 (11%) 4:28:48 (17%) 4:38:24 (22%)
            4:05:00 4:15:00 (6%) 4:25:00 (12%) 4:35:01 (17%) 4:45:01 (23%)
            4:10:00 4:20:25 (6%) 4:30:50 (12%) 4:41:15 (18%) 4:51:40 (24%)
            4:15:00 4:25:50 (6%) 4:36:40 (12%) 4:47:31 (19%) 4:58:21 (25%)
            4:20:00 4:31:16 (6%) 4:42:32 (13%) 4:53:48 (19%) 5:05:04 (26%)
            4:25:00 4:36:42 (7%) 4:48:24 (13%) 5:00:07 (20%) 5:11:49 (27%)
            4:30:00 4:42:09 (7%) 4:54:18 (14%) 5:06:27 (21%) 5:18:36 (27%)
            4:35:00 4:47:36 (7%) 5:00:12 (14%) 5:12:49 (21%) 5:25:25 (28%)
            4:40:00 4:53:04 (7%) 5:06:08 (15%) 5:19:12 (22%) 5:32:16 (29%)
            4:45:00 4:58:32 (8%) 5:12:04 (15%) 5:25:37 (23%) 5:39:09 (30%)
            4:50:00 5:04:01 (8%) 5:18:02 (15%) 5:32:03 (23%) 5:46:04 (31%)
            4:55:00 5:09:30 (8%) 5:24:00 (16%) 5:38:31 (24%) 5:53:01 (32%)
            5:00:00 5:15:00 (8%) 5:30:00 (16%) 5:45:00 (24%) 6:00:00 (33%)
            5:05:00 5:20:30 (8%) 5:36:00 (17%) 5:51:31 (25%) 6:07:01 (33%)
            5:10:00 5:26:01 (9%) 5:42:02 (17%) 5:58:03 (26%) 6:14:04 (34%)
            5:15:00 5:31:32 (9%) 5:48:04 (18%) 6:04:37 (26%) 6:21:09 (35%)
            5:20:00 5:37:04 (9%) 5:54:08 (18%) 6:11:12 (27%) 6:28:16 (36%)
            5:25:00 5:42:36 (9%) 6:00:12 (18%) 6:17:49 (28%) 6:35:25 (37%)
            5:30:00 5:48:09 (9%) 6:06:18 (19%) 6:24:27 (28%) 6:42:36 (38%)
            5:35:00 5:53:42 (10%) 6:12:24 (19%) 6:31:07 (29%) 6:49:49 (39%)
            5:40:00 5:59:16 (10%) 6:18:32 (20%) 6:37:48 (30%) 6:57:04 (39%)
            5:45:00 6:04:50 (10%) 6:24:40 (20%) 6:44:31 (30%) 7:04:21 (40%)
            5:50:00 6:10:25 (10%) 6:30:50 (21%) 6:51:15 (31%) 7:11:40 (41%)
            5:55:00 6:16:00 (11%) 6:37:00 (21%) 6:58:01 (32%) 7:19:01 (42%)
            6:00:00 6:21:36 (11%) 6:43:12 (21%) 7:04:48 (32%) 7:26:24 (43%)

            Example usage: You expect to run a 4:20 in 40 degree weather, but it’s going to be 70. Looking across the 4:20 line to the 70 degree column you find 4:53, which is a 19% reduction in performance.


            Feeling the growl again

              The question: 

              What could I have done differently?  Should I have taken in more electrolytes, or given the temperature should I have run the race at an easy pace without thinking about a PR?

               

               

               

              Skipped the race and left for home early to beat the crowds.

               

              Sounds to me like the weather was just not there for you.  It happens.  There's not much you can do about it, there is no formula to maintain a pace in the heat that you could do in cooler weather.  Some people handle it better than others but it WILL slow you down. 

               

              I ran Boston in 2004 when it was in the mid-80s at the start.  There were three kinds of runners that day:

              1)  People who tried to ignore the heat and go for what they came there to do

              2)  Those who tried to go after their goal, but realized somewhere early in the race it would not happen and adjusted accordingly

              3)  Those that altered their goal before the race and set out to run the best they could in those conditions

               

              Most of the "1" runners had ugly, ugly days, DNFs or med tent experiences.  "2" runners fared better and some "3" runners pulled decent times out of it.  I was somewhere between 2 and 3, altering my goal pre-race then again 9 miles in to pull out a really good finishing place (with a crappy time). 

               

              On a hot day like that, you really need to start asking yourself how much it is worth it.  I was signed up the last year Chicago was really hot (2007?) and when I saw the forecast I stayed home and never regretted it.

              "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

               

              MrH


                And by the way, Moses Mosop wasn't doing so well at the end - so don't feel so bad. He vomited quite a bit, staggered around. He really slowed in the last few km.

                The process is the goal.

                Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

                JML


                  Skipped the race and left for home early to beat the crowds.

                   

                  Sounds to me like the weather was just not there for you.  It happens.  There's not much you can do about it, there is no formula to maintain a pace in the heat that you could do in cooler weather.  Some people handle it better than others but it WILL slow you down. 

                   

                  I ran Boston in 2004 when it was in the mid-80s at the start.  There were three kinds of runners that day:

                  1)  People who tried to ignore the heat and go for what they came there to do

                  2)  Those who tried to go after their goal, but realized somewhere early in the race it would not happen and adjusted accordingly

                  3)  Those that altered their goal before the race and set out to run the best they could in those conditions

                   

                  Most of the "1" runners had ugly, ugly days, DNFs or med tent experiences.  "2" runners fared better and some "3" runners pulled decent times out of it.  I was somewhere between 2 and 3, altering my goal pre-race then again 9 miles in to pull out a really good finishing place (with a crappy time). 

                   

                  On a hot day like that, you really need to start asking yourself how much it is worth it.  I was signed up the last year Chicago was really hot (2007?) and when I saw the forecast I stayed home and never regretted it.

                   

                   

                  Probably the best option would have been to skip it and run another race later in the fall.  I thought that I adjusted my goal appropriately (your runner #3 above), but I think I should have either skipped the race or just treated it like a nice, long, slow, easy run.

                   

                  Jeff - 100% in agreement with you on #3.  I trained for my first marathon on 25-35 miles / week and it was not a sound plan.  I raised my mileage this year into the 40s and 50s and plan to try to keep it in the 50s once I recover from this race.  More mileage has made me a stronger runner and I hope will make the next marathon a better experience.

                   2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

                    And by the way, Moses Mosop wasn't doing so well at the end - so don't feel so bad. He vomited quite a bit, staggered around. He really slowed in the last few km.

                     

                    According to his coach, that had more to do with the 8:25 3k he put down between 31k and 35k than the heat. 

                     

                    (cool insight into mosop's preparation)

                    MrH


                      According to his coach, that had more to do with the 8:25 3k he put down between 31k and 35k than the heat. 

                       

                      And? I didn't say Mosop suffered from the heat - he was out there for much less time and in cooler temps.

                       

                      But the OP can take a little comfort that marathoners of Mosop's caliber can feel unwell at the end of a race.

                       

                      Smile

                      The process is the goal.

                      Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

                        And? I didn't say Mosop suffered from the heat - he was out there for much less time and in cooler temps.

                         

                        But the OP can take a little comfort that marathoners of Mosop's caliber can feel unwell at the end of a race.

                         

                        Smile

                         

                        And? I didn't say that you said that Mosop suffered from the heat. 

                         

                        Smile

                          A few points:

                           

                          1. The chart below is ridiculous, no way a well trained runner should lose that much time at 60-70 degrees, I'm sorry. At 75+ degrees all bets are off.

                           

                          2. The weather at Chicago was not perfect, but it was pretty good. (A course record was set.) Runners trying to understand why they blew up should look, primarily, to other factors. 

                           

                          3. The OP: 30-50 mile weeks in which almost half the mileage comes in the form of a long run is just risky training. It's good training for finishing the race, but it is far from ideal marathon training. If you have a good day, some runners can hold it together after a block of training like this, but most will blow up.

                           

                          Yeah, I ran around 3:00 pace and I can tell you, there is no way I could have ran 10 minutes faster overall on a 40 degree day.  Maybe 3 minutes and that is a big maybe.

                           

                          I think the training base makes a huge difference, in 2008 I was averaging 50 MPW as a base, the temps were similar and I had a 6 minute positive split.  This year with closer to a 70 MPW base, I still had a positive split but it was less than 1 minute.

                           

                          That being said, it is a lot easier to blow up when it is hot out, and I know a number of people that had significant positive splits (15+ minutes) yesterday.  Take it as motivation to kill it for your next race.


                          Feeling the growl again

                            A few points:

                             

                            1. The chart below is ridiculous, no way a well trained runner should lose that much time at 60-70 degrees, I'm sorry. At 75+ degrees all bets are off.

                             

                            2. The weather at Chicago was not perfect, but it was pretty good. (A course record was set.) Runners trying to understand why they blew up should look, primarily, to other factors.  

                             

                            I agree the chart is a bit extreme, but saying so relies on the "well trained" assumption.  One cannot compare the situation of the elites or even sub-3 crowd to the 4hr crowd....not only will they do worse from spending more time in the heat, but they will be out there longer while temps are climbing and therefore be disproportionately negatively affected by a hot day....the temp when they finish may be a lot harder.

                             

                            Regarding the course record, I just realized this weekend that the Chicago CR is now ~2min slower than the WR (wow, remember just a few years back when there was a Chicago-Berlin-London fight over who would get the WR?).  So setting a CR in Chicago no longer means conditions were that great, a 2:05 was also run at some race I've never heard of in The Netherlands.  But yeah, 60s/low 70s -- lacking humidity -- isn't awful.

                            "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

                             

                              I agree the chart is a bit extreme, but saying so relies on the "well trained" assumption.  One cannot compare the situation of the elites or even sub-3 crowd to the 4hr crowd....not only will they do worse from spending more time in the heat, but they will be out there longer while temps are climbing and therefore be disproportionately negatively affected by a hot day....the temp when they finish may be a lot harder.

                               

                              Regarding the course record, I just realized this weekend that the Chicago CR is now ~2min slower than the WR (wow, remember just a few years back when there was a Chicago-Berlin-London fight over who would get the WR?).  So setting a CR in Chicago no longer means conditions were that great, a 2:05 was also run at some race I've never heard of in The Netherlands.  But yeah, 60s/low 70s -- lacking humidity -- isn't awful.

                               

                              I agree with all this, and I acknowledge that borderline conditions make it so that any other weaknesses a runner has are more likely to have an effect.

                               

                              I am lucky in that I am a pretty good heat runner, being a little dude, so this probably biases me a bit. As body-mass goes up, the effect of a hot day also increases (many are saying that this is partly why Hall couldn't hang at the end of the race; he was the biggest runner in the lead pack.) So, this is another reason that runners farther back will do worse on hot days (and another good reason to focus on weight as a part of marathon training.)

                               

                              As we all know the maddening thing about the marathon is that it (almost) never goes perfectly well, which is part of what makes it such a fascinating distance.

                                I guess I'm the odd ball here that I don't recommend too many super long runs.  I guess I should have known of Chicago weather, being in MN myself and it's been unseasonablly warm the last few weeks; the elite field did super well!  2:18 for woman!!?  Wow!!  Was the weather really a factor?  I don't know...  There's this lady here who had been doing our MRC program.  She was really worried because, if I calculated it correctly, her longest run was 15 miles (2:30, or she might have gone a bit longer).  Naturally, her result was my biggest concern to me.  She did a 7-minute PR and broke 4-hours for the first time.  She also told me she PRed in a 5k race the week before the marathon. 

                                 

                                It seems to me that the OP was doing fine in May, June time frame; then he was trying to get ready for the marathon by adding lots of long runs in July, August and September.  He did 2:10 on 7/9, then 2:29 on 7/16, 2:53 on 7/30, 2:37 on 8/6, 2:18 on 8/13, 2:31 on 8/27, 3:08 on 9/3, another 2-hour on 9/10, another 3+ on 9/18...  It looks VERY impressive!  But, it seems to me to be a typical "impressive looking log, not being able to deliver performance" situation.  If there's a medal for an impressive training log, you'd get one.  But running performance is not that; "if you can run 4-hour marathon with 40-miles per week training, I should be able to run 3-hour marathon if I did 60-miles per week".  You just can NOT do it that way.  Your body can ONLY handle what your body is capable of handling. 

                                 

                                There's this 40+ year-old lady wrote to me after reading that article Lorraine wrote.  I worked with her for 7-weeks and she and her husband ran Akron Marathon.  In that last 7 weeks leading up to their marathon (their 4th), I did give them one 3+ hour run (I think it was about 15-miles) for psychological purpose more than anything; one 2-hour run and one 1:45.  Those were the only "long runs" that they did in the final 7 weeks.  I was a bit concerned because we only had 7 weeks.  Two days before the marathon, her husband wrote to me and said that he had never head for a marathon start feeling this fresh with no aches and pains.  She did alright; 4:58 with 4:50 PR.  But the big thing was; he ran 4:58 (they ran together), a 40-minutes PR.  Would OP had run 3:45 if he cut back his mileage?  I'd opt to say that.  Would everybody run better if they run less?  I wouldn't say it that way.  But I DO believe majority or runners preparing for a marathon seem to train waaaaay too much than necessary.

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