Running with the sub-3s: Boston Bound (Read 380 times)

No Talent Drips

    1. Did a lot of long-hill work, specifically training myself to run down hill w/o breaking. (thanks for advice on this, especially Mikey).  All my Monday AHR runs are on a "W" course.  Many of my easy runs as well.  I even went out of town to seek some nasty hills in Nelson county just to push the quads more.  Most of this was prep for Boston, but it will probably help anyway.
    2. I ran doubles with the second run of the day being a recovery run at 9min pace or slower.  I think this helped with the next item.
    3. I hit 87mpw twice and averaged around 74mpw for the training period.  Even after high-mileage weeks I felt fine.  I think because of #2.
    4. Unlike the other sub3s, I took a damn rest after NYCM.  Through Nov and Dec I just slowly built a base not caring about the pace.  I think this really helped my legs recover.
    5. Dropped 5lbs off my race-weight.
    6. I only did Gu on one training run and otherwise avoided sports-drinks during the run.  After the run I'm still pushing Ultra-gen.


    Nothing i can really control at this point other than to make the attempt or not.  But it looks like a green-light so far.


    Holy feck, man. You are ready. Your training above is superior to anything I've ever been able to put together. I like your negative split plan. You are so ready you have Mikeymike and Flatfooter tweaking.

     Dei Gratia



      I wasn't recommending banking more time, this was in response to the plan on speeding up in the last 5 miles strategy.  The reason why I recommended doing the math up front was to prevent the mental break down of "oh no, I missed my planned time by 15 seconds two miles in a row", despair, and all that which can result for some folks in the end of their race because they lost the mental fight.   I'm not saying this happens to everyone, but OTOH I have definitely seen runners check out mentally after a couple missed splits.



      Ok I see what you're saying, though I don't really see stadjak as the type to pack it in after a couple of sub-par miles. And if you think about it he's not really planning on speeding up over the last 5 miles. A whopping 2 seconds per mile (a whole 10 seconds over the last 6.2 miles) at that point is way within the normal fluctuation from mile to mile just based on wind, hills, dark patches, crowd support, etc. That's why I said above if he's actually able to intentionally dial it down 2 seconds per mile at that point in a marathon, he's playing a different game than I am.


      By the way 7 out of the last 8 posts (including this one) are the exact reason I would never put my pacing plan on the internet before a goal race.

      Runners run.

      Interval Junkie --Nobby

         By the way 7 out of the last 8 posts (including this one) are the exact reason I would never put my pacing plan on the internet before a goal race.


        Actually, the last 7 out of 8 are exactly why I post my plan.  You guys give great advice, even if I don't always take it.  Flatfooter's suggestion is a good one: know the backup plan.  I do caveman math on my runs, so pre-calcing the max pace to sub-3 is probably something I'll put on my paceband.


        Unfortunately, my cold still has my  body run down.  Haven't kicked it yet and for the first time in 2years I skipped track-practice.  If this continues to Friday I'll have to make the hard choice of waiting until Boston for my attempt.  I'm not sure how other people do this, but I think I need to decide before I start the TRM.  If I'm anything but committed when I'm on the line, at mile 20 I'll falter.  Just don't have the willpower to fend off doubt at that point.


        How classic: epic preparation only to be cut down by a measly cold.


        Still a few days left to recover, though.

        2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

        Best Present Ever

          Talked about you with Rick this morning.  We all agreed that you are going to kick ass this weekend. And he's convinced the weather forecast is perfect since you'll be done long before it gets warm.  I can't wait for the race report.

             I can't wait for the race report.


            Me too. Been neat and eye-opening to see what goes into this kind of effort. Best of luck!



              your training has been awesome, trust it and youre going to kick ass sunday.  good luck!

                Great thread -- almost makes me want to run a marathon again.




                  During most of the training period I felt like I could chew glass and shoot lightening out of my butt.


                  Do this!


                  Running is stupid

                  Interval Junkie --Nobby

                    Thanks folks.


                    The cold broke on Thursday morning.  Still feeling fatigued, but much less than Wednesday when standing for a time was a problem.


                    Went to see Coach.  He didn't really like seeing me in his shop again before the race, "Uh oh", he said.  I told him the deal.  He gave me some really good advice.  Or rather, he was really specific on advice that I generally hear.  He said there's a 70/30 chance the cold will affect performance to the point of trashing my effort.  Before mile 16 I need to make the decision: bail or go all in.  More than 16miles at MP and there isn't really a good chance for recovery before Boston.


                    He said, "you'll know if its your day or not."  I told him that I really didn't know how to know.  Around mile 20 I usually have thoughts of how great it would be to twist my ankle and not have to continue this crappy thing I got myself into.  He said this is how I tell, "if you're having trouble keeping MP before 16 you're done.  It doesn't get easier after 16."  Obvious, but really good advice.


                    So the plan sticks.  I'm not really someone who can toe the line an "see how I feel".  I'm committed.  The whole reason I can push myself is because I remove the choice.  Coach gave me a really good way to tell if I should walk-off w/o it being a choice.


                    I went out for my first run since Monday.  3miles.  I did a practiced marathon start: 7:20->7:05->6:48.  Felt like crap . . . like late-taper runs always do.  But it didn't feel worse than that.  So, I think I'm good.


                    Joints still feel a bit achy.  Still a bit fatigued.  I think it's stuff I can handle, though.  I won't really know until the gun goes off.


                    I think my biggest fear at this point is hitting 16 thinking I can gut it out and finding the cold sapped my reserves.


                    Weather: 40F-50F and an 100% chance of rain after mile 18.  Looks damn perfect to me.

                    2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

                    Interval Junkie --Nobby

                      Saturday, Rick and I drove the 4hrs down to NC only to find the reservations Jerri pawned off on us were for the day of the marathon, rather than the day before.  After explaining to the hostess that my buddy Rick, who had a bummer of a training season, was handicapped, she found a room for us.  Rick (2:54PR)  feels we were being completely honest as was hoping for the best of a 3:20plan.


                      On the way down we chewed on my carbo-loading secret: power balls.  Sushi rice + cooked tuna rolled into a ball and coated in flaked seaweed and sesame.  Worked for NYCM.  We continued our carbo-loading tour with spagetti + meatballs for lunch and dinner.  Then it was to bed at 9pm with dreams of taking a big poop at dawn. [this is a theme, pay attention]


                      4:45 and I woke before Rick to grab some tea and hit the john.  I squeaked out a little, but it wasn't the evacuation I was hoping for.  Rick likes to poop twice before a race.  I'm usually good with one.  But this one was a bit unsatisfying.  I swear if someone could make a pill you could take and instantly evacuate your bowels, it would be in every marathoner's pre-race kit.  Downed some yogurt, granola and blueberries.  Met Deric, Steve and his son Aaron in the lobby.  Then we were off to the site.


                      MamaOfThree gave us her parking pass, so we got a prime location in the lot where we watched a leggy half-marathon women warm up for a half hour.  She sure looked fast.


                      Rick and Aaron went to the porta-potties for Rick's traditional pre-race dump #2.  I waffled.  The lines were long and my stomach was "eh".  Even sitting over a bowl, I probably couldn't do anything.  So, I just figured it was pre-race jitters.


                      I felt fine after my cold this week.  Blew my nose once more and headed to the starting line.  The real effect of the cold, if not something dormant, was that I couldn't find my game-face.  I just couldn't lock on to the fact that I had a race imminent.  "Sure sure.  26miles.  Gotcha, we're going to run long today.  No problem."  But I just couldn't get my brain to say, "okay, do-or-die time!  Let's go catch Deric!"  I this the biggest problem was that I spent so much of the week worried if I even should race or bail at 16 that I couldn't lock into that part of the mind that is really hungry for a PR.


                      We went to the line late and got stuck behind the 3hr Half-marathon pace group.  Yes, there was a pace group for that.  I did my best Balkan attempt at worming us through the line like good sociopaths getting us only as far as the 1:40 HM pace group.  This was going to be a rough start.  I downed 8oz of gatorade.  45F, over-cast, 80% humidity (but cool) -- these were pretty perfect running conditions.


                      The gun went off and you couldn't see the clock so you had no idea of your chip/clock differential.  Lots of people with big aspirations, or little commonsense were ahead of us in a big wall.  I started playing NASCAR trying to find a way out of the 9min pace I was land-locked into.  There wasn't much choice.  I was also wrestling with my shorts.  The four GUs were dragging them down as I hadn't cinched the waistband tight enough.  I'd pull them up only to have them wiggle down again.  Eventually I stuffed 2 Gu in my left glove and held another.  I think I'll do this in the future: it has the benefit of keeping the Gu really liquid-warm too.


                      7:15 first mile.  On track.  Mile two 7:02.  Still on plan.


                      The course split onto the trail, taking the HM left and the M right.  Just after the split I spotted Ben, who has been on the disabled list this season but must have woken at 3am and drove down just to cheer us on.  Now to hit MP.  Mile 3: 6:44, a bit fast but what I was looking for.  Mile 4 I got surprised as my garmin said 6:43 pace, but when I crossed the split it was really 6:54.  Mile 5 was similar.  Okay, garmin was playing this bullshit again.  Now, I understand in a city -- lying to me because of all the buildings, but this was a trail in the woods with a view to open sky.  I was 32secs off my plan due to this.  I stopped looking at my garmin for mile 6 pacing and went by feel.


                      At mile 6.1 the garmin just gave up and told me it didn't want to look for metal birds in the sky anyway.  So, now my $300 watch was a $19 Timex.


                      Mile 6 was just full of good things.  About a mile earlier I could hear gatorade sloshing around inside.  Now at mile 6 my lower intestines just started complaining.  The most enjoyable part of a marathon, the first half, was to become a complete chore because my focus was on hoping my GI problems away or deciding on an emergency backup plan.  There was a hair-pin at mile 8 where there were sure to be porta-poties.  I'd resigned that it was the only way to fix the problem.  It wasn't directly affecting my pace, but I was spending a lot of energy dealing with it.


                      Okay, so coming up the to blue-beacons of hope . . . and . . . oh, the GI issue has gone away.  Okay, guess I don't need to do that.  I'll just loop through the hairpin, truck on down the road and . . . oh, god it's back.  So, there I was, past salvation and no johns to go until maybe 14.  And by this time I was looping back on the slower marathoners.  I'm not bashful, but it made traffic weird.  I still thought I might be able to gut past my gut.  Uhm, no.  I could feel energy being sucked away from my legs to deal prevent valve failure.


                      Mile 12, I looked at my watch, tore off into the woods, squatted, grabbed some leaves, hopped back on the course looking at my watch.  30sec loss.  I could still see the guy I was following before my vacation so I set sights on reeling him in.


                      Okay, 30secs.


                      I was passed in the other direction by a guy wearing a full gas mask.  A sign.  I wouldn't want to be behind me.


                      Now my quads hurt.  A dead-stop and deep squat put some weird mojo on my quads that I didn't work out for another 4 miles.  By that time I'd caught back up to the guy.   I nicknamed him Hernan, after a guy we train with.  He looked like him from the back.  I chased Hernan most of the race.


                      1:29:37 at the half.


                      I saw Ben again around mile 14.  He smiled and cheered.  I threw him my gloves -- which may or may not have been a little stinky.


                      Mile 16 was coming up.  The decision point.  I knew this wasn't my best day.  My gut problems were not resolved but it left my gut a little sensitive.  I couldn't abuse it like I usually do -- telling it to do things it thinks are impossible; summoning energy from nowhere; gutting it out.  I think it had different ideas about "gutting it out" this race, and I just couldn't reach down deep.  Verbotten.  But I was 16 in and feeling "okay".  No more work than usual for a marathon.  But really, I didn't want to go another 5 weeks prepping for Boston where the weather might not be this perfect.  I decided to go.  All in.


                      Of course, 16 is a slight confidence inspiring down-hill.  17 is a hope-crushing uphill.  Muahahahha, sucker!  Immediately I had second thoughts about my decision to proceed.


                      At the next hairpin around 18, I saw Deric on his return trip.  58secs between us.  He was looking strong.  I was not feeling strong.  Good for Deric.


                      The way back was a frequent almost-disaster.  We were passing the back of the half-marathoners with the slower marathoners coming in the opposite direction.  At one water-stop a giantic marathoner in blaze-orange was stopped in the middle, talking to the volunteer.   On the other side the half-marathoners were walking 3 abreast and drinking water.  As Hernan and I were barreling through I shouted, "TRACK!!!" and he called out, "PAY THE FUCK ATTENTION."  We had a few of those.


                      At mile 20 Hernan, whom I had passed earlier, passed me.  I started losing pace.  Over 4 of the next miles I lost about 15secs each off my plan.  So, a minute.  One of them was a 7:10 at mile 23.  I started thinking, "Now I'm cutting it really close.  I'm not going to let a shit in the woods rob me from a sub-3."  3:00.20 flashed in my brain as a terrible possibility.


                      For whatever reason I just couldn't "dig deep".  Sometime in a run you feel like a thief who has sanded his fingertips to sense the tumblers of a safe; you have a keen understanding of how and how much you can push your body.  Today I felt like I had rubber gloves on; I couldn't feel a damn thing.


                      I just keep chasing Hernan.  Around mile 25 we hit the open road again and Ben was there to cheer me on.  Apparently he still liked me, so maybe the gloves weren't so stinky -- or maybe he just understood what stinky gloves meant and was impressed I was still on the course.  Anyway, he cheered his damn head off.  I was able to get on pace.


                      Mile 26 was full of traffic hazards.  Half marathoners gobbing up water stations.  Walking 4 and 5 abreast across the road.  Not bad, except they like to hug the tangent too.  I channeled my fury into a last muster of speed.


                      I rounded the corner after 26 and some guy shouted, "Come'on, sub-3.  Go get it!"  That was the clock.  I decided to beat the fucking clock just in case my chip died or some crap like that.  2:59.58 on the clock.  2:59.34 chip time.




                      I'm both happy and disappointed with the day.  Sub-3 is awesome.  I've had that goal in my head for a long time now.  My first marathon was a 3:32 and sub-3 looked super-human.  I put in a lot of hard work to get here.  And I'm really really happy.


                      But this wasn't my day.  The weather was near perfect.  The course was pretty flat, but really not to my taste.  The inclines are subtle so it's hard to know what your splits mean.  I'd rather have flat then obvious hill.  I'd rather run on the road than the trail, too.  But those are small things.  The real reason this wasn't a 2:58 or better day was that I just couldn't get my mind right.  The cold had thrown me off.  Instead of "crushing it" I went to the line "hoping" the cold didn't ride along with me.  Even at mile 20 I couldn't find "race-mode".  I was just in "finish it" mode.  I wasn't "hanging on", but I also couldn't "push".  To be honest, my NYCM race was more impressive to me.


                      But I guess that's something for me to learn.  The marathon is a head-game.  You gotta get your head in the game.  I'm just pleased my fitness was so good that even though I had a mildly bad day, I could pull out a sub-3.


                      I came in 37th and got a sweet (only semi-obnoxious) "Boston Qualified" shirt, which is actually much nicer than the crappy race-shirt.  Got the 1st AG for 40-44.  (only because the top 3 masters were also awarded).


                      Deric, who broke every rule in the marathon book (one of his weeks he ran 16miles.  The next 65.  His training was terrible.  He wore brand new shoes for race-day.  He plan was get on MP and stick there 1-26.2).  Deric came in with a 2:57.20, 40sec PR (and 1st AG).  The entire last two miles he was thinking, "Just can't let [stadjak] catch me."  Ah, if only I had the chance.

                      2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

                        Congrats, stadjak! Great effort, poop scare and all.


                        btw...ever tried Immodium before a race? Not for everyone,  but it helps me.

                          That's fantastic! Sub 3 and a rough day at that. That means you've got more in you!! Very cool.

                            Wow! 30 second poop!! Impressive!!!


                            Congrats on the sub 3.

                            comfortably hard

                              Hey Stadjak,


                              Been lurking on these "sub-3s" threads for a while now.  There's some really good stuff here. Hope you keep at them. Great effort on an off day - Congrats!

                                Congrats!  BTW, my current PR has at least 40 seconds worth of poop time.  It's okay.  You will be <2:50 in the next two years.