2019 Sub 3 hour marathon thread (Read 669 times)

Brewing Runner


3:56 marathoner at heart

     

    I think a lot is acclimation.  It was high 50s for Grandma's 2018, and damp.  But coming out of a DC early summer, that weather felt blissful.  I would think that it would feel a bit warmer if you have recently been training in freezing temperatures.

      

    To be clear, I am not saying that weather is not a factor - it definitely is.  But I do think that one can run very well in good but not great weather, and that sometimes it's our mentality that limits us more than our bodies.

     

    FOR ME it comes back to earlier this training cycle when I told a new friend "get comfortable being uncomfortable" (she'd run a 3:09 or 3:10 at CIM previously). It wasn't the wather I'd expected based off past races, or the forecast (which were total opposites). It wasn't AS BAD as I'd thought running in 90% humidity and a TDP of 100 would be. After the little bit I've know of training in TDP of 100 it means you can do race effort. Had I bailed on workouts when it was too hot or windy or just not that really nice training weather yesterday could have gone a lot worse. Truthfully the biggest thing I noticed was just that my shirt stuck to me (SO GLAD I'd trained with this shirt on hot days) early on and I just left it alone. Maybe after the race I noticed my socks and shoes were wet but I attributed that to being around runners kicking up little amounts of water for 3 hours.

     

    I DO think getting out in the TDP 100+ days this year helped physically and the rain going away helped psychologically. At times I felt warmer than usual but never at any point did I think I was over dressed. I think having experience and knowing "The Magic of CIM" is partially trusting the training and partially not letting my imaginary friends who are following me online (and my wife) down lends itself towards thinking less about the negatives and more towards the positives.

     

    Jmac Kipchoge is totally ruining my age grade percentage result. Seriously...put my time and age into one of those calculators that spits out the best performance or something and it's just unfair.

     

    Maybe it's a good thing my wife married me because I made her laugh. She obviously didn't marry me for looks or brains.

     

    Oh, and I didn't like the start. I wish they'd go back to opening the entire road instead of pinching us down to one lane, then shifting us over to the right which seemed narrower than the starting corrals. I DO think it helps keep the number of people going out too fast around you to a minimum. The first right hand turn seemed to go well for me.

    1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

    5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

    10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

    Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

    Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

    Annual Miles 2,121 miles

    *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

     

    2020 Goal: Short Distance PRs so people won't make fun of me. 


    I must break you

      Next marathon I need to run much faster - it kills me now that some amateurs ran it faster than me and now brag about it 

       

      Weather was just fine - sun was seen only twice for a short time and I think I would prefer a little bit more wind, at least some breeze or a little bit cooler - yesterday wind was basically non-existent and I felt a little bit too warm. 

      Negative and positive - it all depends - my goal was a certain time yesterday and I was trying to keep a pace that would allow me to achieve that goal. In case when you just go BOTT, it’s not up to you what you like negative or positive - its up to your fit level and how you defined BOTT at the start.

       

      It was funny yesterday when I talked to Brew around mile 11-12 about pacers and he sweared at them and then pacers started to get away from us and Brew got upset and just accelerated so quickly that literally in 30 seconds he was 50 meters away from me  - next time I saw him was finish area 

      Full - 2:48:35 / 2:51:17 (12/15 - 12/14 - CIM) *

               2:50:56 / 2:51:36 (04/14 - 04/16 - Boston) **

               2:53:02 (03/14 - Los Angeles) ***

               2:53:58 (10/13 - Chicago) ****

      * - CIM course is not approved by Mikkey

      ** - downhill courses are not approved by Mikkey

      *** - California courses are not approved by Mikkey

      **** - flat, totally fine - approved by Mikkey

      madisonrunner


        Wow - amazing results at CIM!

         

        Nimmals - really glad I didn't see you at the start as I may have started with you and been walking by the end Smile.  Just incredible though.

         

        JMac - Congrats, what an awesome PR.  I wonder if we ran together for many of the middle miles.  I ran with the 2:37 pace group for quite a while (up until about mile 18/19 and was still only a few seconds back at 21).  There was another guy in an orange singlet that was part of the group for at least some of it - maybe it was you! It took me 20 seconds to get to the start line so the 2:37 pace group was really 2:36:40 for me.

         

        I knew by 10k that I wasn't going to PR as 5:50s felt too fast.  I backed off to around 6:00 pace until 21 and then did the last 5 in 6:10s.  In retrospect, looking at my last few workouts, a PR probably wasn't happening for me. Taking time off due to the injury I had took away more of my fitness than I thought.  Oh well, on to the next one.

         

        CIM Weather - I'd call it good not great.  For me it was a touch too hot and humid and the wind was light but noticeable.  38, dry, and no wind (or a tailwind) would be perfect.  I dumped water on myself at every aid station.

        cinnamon girl


          Slammin – obviously no drowning sorrows in the wine! That place looks awesome. I like how you celebrate.
          JMac – well run, well done!   
          Brew – hard work and dedication - you got it done. See you in Boston.
          Swim – wow I hope it’s not as serious as it sounded .. i don't remember you mentioning any niggles going into this so I can imagine it's frustrating as hell

           

          M: 11 mi (8:14)
          T: 11 mi w/2 mi (12:33), 3 min easy, 1 mi (6:16), 40 sec rec, ½ mi (2:55) on river path
          W: 11 mi (7:50)
          T: 4.5 mi (8:24)
          F: 20 mi (7:41)
          S: off
          S: 60 min slow, hilly (9:11)
          64 mi. Someone called in for graveyard shift last Sunday and no one wanted to cover - so I worked 18 hr straight until 6 am Monday - (new PR ) so that affected my week. I would have had planned a workout on Tuesday but since I was recovering from work I thought I would just keep it easy but then a couple miles in my legs felt good enough - even though I was still tired   - to get something - so I ran what felt right given the day.

           

          Nice long runs (and weeks) this week Weather (less than 4 weeks already?!) and Andres – 1 mi at 6 pace, 4 mi off for 15 miles? What were the 4 mi at? Normal easy pace or MP +30 sec or something? I’m trying to rebuild a foundation that was lost – I wish 64 was maintaining. Good to have you back.

          Be your own inspiration

          flyrunnr


             

            I think a lot is acclimation.  It was high 50s for Grandma's 2018, and damp.  But coming out of a DC early summer, that weather felt blissful.  I would think that it would feel a bit warmer if you have recently been training in freezing temperatures.

             

            But even so, the weather that they had for CIM doesn't sound all that bad to me (again, I wasn't there, so....)

             

            I do think that there are some who get it wrapped around their head that if it's not A+ weather, they can't perform.  A+ or nothing.  And they start pre-loading on the weather hype.  [and that's really how it comes across - some people carb-load; others excuse-load]

             

            A few years ago, when training for Chicago, I had a teammate announce that it was a real shame about the weather for Chicago - it would simply be impossible to run well.  The forecast was for mid-50s, which is what we ended up getting.  Given what Chicago weather can be like, I thought we actually lucked out.

             

            Sure enough, pretty much everyone on the team had great races; the one exception was the person who decided several days before that they would not be having a good race.

             

            To be clear, I am not saying that weather is not a factor - it definitely is.  But I do think that one can run very well in good but not great weather, and that sometimes it's our mentality that limits us more than our bodies.

            I checked on findmymarathon.com to see what the PR score was for CIM based on raceday weather. It was 99.11 vs 100.38 (normal score). I think you would be looking at less than 2 minutes adjustment in a 3 hour finish time in comparison to previous years or about a 1% adjustment. Essentially making VF4's closer to VF3's. 

             

            I like what Jared Ward said once at race expo here in Philly, "just be fit" and realize that any deviations in weather provide "opportunities for higher placement" -- perhaps an AG win or top 10 placement would now be more achievable. Also, I know I've had two instances (Boston '16 and '19) where I refused to adjust my finish time despite the heat only because I felt that I was more economical running at the MP pace that I trained for, so slowing down to less economical pace would like induce more fatigue. I just knew that I'd feel uncomfortable much sooner and much longer due to the heat. It worked on those times. I did some heat acclimation attempts for both of those races, which helped from a mental preparation perspective. Also accepting the fact that I'd suffer more before the start is sort of "bracing technique" where if you set the expectation and if it's not quite as bad as you anticipated and mentally accepted, it can be a positive mindset boost.

             

            Congrats again to all that raced on Sunday, your performances were very inspiring.

            https://www.strava.com/athletes/2507437

            PR's - 5K - 17:57 (2017) | 10K - 38:06 (2016)  | 13.1 1:26:36 (2017)  | 26.2  2:58:46 (2017)

            2020 Goals - Sub-2:55 Marathon                       Up Next: US Club Nationals, Boston '20, Broad Street Run

             

            Brewing Runner


            3:56 marathoner at heart

              California International Marathon is OBVIOUSLY an easy marathon to get a PR at. I couldn't even BQ at a major downhill Revel race and here I am 8 months later sitting on a time over 6 minutes faster (3:05:22 vs 2:59:10, 2016 CIM was a 3:13) than Revel. Boston is going to be much harder with its downhill at the start and hills at the end even though it drops more than CIM and less people get their OTQ at Boston. It's such an easy course Jmac didn't even have to train hard enough to get injured this season and he scorched his goal of sub 2:40 by almost 3%. CIM is so easy old men (boomers) can hang with snowflakes just to watch the snowflake melt into a puddle when times are compared to age. #triggered

               

              fly I think the bracing technique before the race helped me. So much focus on the weather and how to run a marathon PR I didn't have to think about how I'd feel in the race until I was there. 

               

              cinnamon 18 hours? DAMN GIRL! 

               

              cal What was all that "3:01 or 3:02" talk last week? Get a little extra energy when some foul mouthed young punk who doesn't want to talk to you passes you a few times? I saw the flybys and it's amusing. I also didn't think I sped up. I thought the pace group slowed down, then sped up and wouldn't leave me alone. I should have stuck with you and the rest of the pack back there like those 3 people I informed how all of use started behind the group and caught them. I'll figure out how to run a marathon properly soon. 

              1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

              5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

              10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

              Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

              Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

              Annual Miles 2,121 miles

              *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

               

              2020 Goal: Short Distance PRs so people won't make fun of me. 


              I must break you

                 

                cal What was all that "3:01 or 3:02" talk last week? Get a little extra energy when some foul mouthed young punk who doesn't want to talk to you passes you a few times? I saw the flybys and it's amusing. I also didn't think I sped up. I thought the pace group slowed down, then sped up and wouldn't leave me alone. I should have stuck with you and the rest of the pack back there like those 3 people I informed how all of use started behind the group and caught them. I'll figure out how to run a marathon properly soon. 

                 

                Brew - tell you the truth, 3:01 or 3:02 still had a better probability to happen - I was actually on another side of sub 3 by mile 24 - it was 6:53 average pace and it was hard - what saved the day was just the power of will - some kind of stubbornness and non-willingness to take the same shame I had from Mikkey last year - he even asked me recently, before we agreed on the "duel" - what did I do after 50 running wise?  - my god - people have no shame. Anyway, check the HR for the last 3 miles - 173, 174 and 175 - it's my HM's HR at the end of an HM, sometimes it's lower - that HR is unsustainable for more than 4-5 miles for me. The difference comparing to the last year was that my legs were not feeling like they would explode like last year, they were able to take that additional beating. Plus I started to use this "breathing technique"  - making extremely loud and sharp noise every few steps - "wooosh, wooosh, wooosh". I even apologized couple of time while passing runners - because I hate when somebody does that, but usually hate it when it happens at the beginning or middle of the race - at the end I think many of us might dig deep and produce some unusual behavior .

                 

                So, you do not need to learn how to run marathon - you ran it better than me because you never were in danger of loosing sub 3 as I was...

                Full - 2:48:35 / 2:51:17 (12/15 - 12/14 - CIM) *

                         2:50:56 / 2:51:36 (04/14 - 04/16 - Boston) **

                         2:53:02 (03/14 - Los Angeles) ***

                         2:53:58 (10/13 - Chicago) ****

                * - CIM course is not approved by Mikkey

                ** - downhill courses are not approved by Mikkey

                *** - California courses are not approved by Mikkey

                **** - flat, totally fine - approved by Mikkey

                flyrunnr


                  Cal - very impressed that you got your s%$t together in that last 10K and ran in the pain cave. You crossed the half at 1:30:02 and fell back for 10K, then managed a strong negative split that last 10K. Don't listen to Mikkey, he still drives on the wrong side of the road. 

                   

                  cinnamon - that's crazy to work an 18 hour shift.  Are you in healthcare? I thought you managed a rock band? 

                   

                  Brew - great race, huge congrats on the sub-3! You did well, see you in Boston.


                  Swim - sorry to hear you suffered, congrats on grinding it out.

                   

                  I saw Lela ran 2:57:02 at CIM as well.

                  https://www.strava.com/athletes/2507437

                  PR's - 5K - 17:57 (2017) | 10K - 38:06 (2016)  | 13.1 1:26:36 (2017)  | 26.2  2:58:46 (2017)

                  2020 Goals - Sub-2:55 Marathon                       Up Next: US Club Nationals, Boston '20, Broad Street Run

                   


                  I must break you

                    Cal - ...

                    Don't listen to Mikkey, he still drives on the wrong side of the road. 

                     

                     

                    It's a loosing argument fly - we are still using weird measurement system... 

                    Full - 2:48:35 / 2:51:17 (12/15 - 12/14 - CIM) *

                             2:50:56 / 2:51:36 (04/14 - 04/16 - Boston) **

                             2:53:02 (03/14 - Los Angeles) ***

                             2:53:58 (10/13 - Chicago) ****

                    * - CIM course is not approved by Mikkey

                    ** - downhill courses are not approved by Mikkey

                    *** - California courses are not approved by Mikkey

                    **** - flat, totally fine - approved by Mikkey

                    Brewing Runner


                    3:56 marathoner at heart

                       

                      Brew

                      So, you do not need to learn how to run marathon - you ran it better than me because you never were in danger of loosing sub 3 as I was...

                      Seriuosly...I'm probably the ONLY one who wasn't 100% confident I'd go sub 3 until 40K at the earliest. There was a girl breathing really hard that must have been between us. Her breathing made me thing she was about to die in the last mile going for a sub 3.

                       

                      fly don't forget my half marathon PR in a marathon PR. Sub 3 was a two for one discount (BQ minus 5 and PR) but Sunday had a bonus.

                      1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

                      5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

                      10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

                      Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

                      Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

                      Annual Miles 2,121 miles

                      *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

                       

                      2020 Goal: Short Distance PRs so people won't make fun of me. 


                      Elite Jogger

                         

                        It's a loosing argument fly - we are still using weird measurement system... 

                         

                        I ride a motorbike and spend a lot of time on the right side of the road overtaking those weird square things with 4 wheels.

                        5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)

                        Brewing Runner


                        3:56 marathoner at heart

                           

                          I ride a motorbike and spend a lot of time on the right side of the road overtaking those weird square things with 4 wheels.

                           

                          Maybe you should try getting outside of the grocery store parking lot. Those "weird square things with 4 wheels" are called shopping carts in the Land of Bald Eagles.

                          1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

                          5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

                          10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

                          Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

                          Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

                          Annual Miles 2,121 miles

                          *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

                           

                          2020 Goal: Short Distance PRs so people won't make fun of me. 


                          I must break you

                            Obviously I just signed up for next year’s CIM - final marathon before going to Boston 21 and prove obvious 😚

                            Full - 2:48:35 / 2:51:17 (12/15 - 12/14 - CIM) *

                                     2:50:56 / 2:51:36 (04/14 - 04/16 - Boston) **

                                     2:53:02 (03/14 - Los Angeles) ***

                                     2:53:58 (10/13 - Chicago) ****

                            * - CIM course is not approved by Mikkey

                            ** - downhill courses are not approved by Mikkey

                            *** - California courses are not approved by Mikkey

                            **** - flat, totally fine - approved by Mikkey

                            Brewing Runner


                            3:56 marathoner at heart

                              Obviously I just signed up for next year’s CIM - final marathon before going to Boston 21 and prove obvious 😚

                               

                              I might have to switch to unlimited data and live stream the showdown on social media for those at home. Maybe I'll get one of those cool fancy gimbal stabilizers to keep the camera from shaking.

                               

                              CIM Race Report is up. It's actually a CIM WEEKEND report, not just the race.

                              Not as good as I'd have hoped for. This race was kind of a blur, or not as much stood out, compared to others. Maybe that is why it was such a great race.

                               

                              EDIT: cal I just saw your PR from CIM.....HOLY SHIT BALLS! I ran a 3:23 that year.

                              1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

                              5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

                              10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

                              Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

                              Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

                              Annual Miles 2,121 miles

                              *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

                               

                              2020 Goal: Short Distance PRs so people won't make fun of me. 

                              JMac11


                              Taper Czar

                                CIM 2019 Race Report

                                 

                                I picked CIM to run because all 4 of my previous marathons have been either a difficult course (NYC) or shit weather (Boston). Flavio over in the sub 1:30 forum always yelled at me to finally pick a course that can help demonstrate your potential. I contemplated Chicago at first, but given the questionable weather that comes with that race, I decided to go with CIM.

                                 

                                My cycle was by FAR the best of any in my life. My previous marathon, Boston 19, was an injury-riddled disaster. Although I ended up snagging a PR in Boston, I was so unhappy with how things went that I made one major commitment to myself this cycle: TAKE YOUR EASY DAYS EASY. Although I felt I was doing a good job with that in the past, clearly they were not slow enough to avoid injury. I ran most of my easy days in the 7:45 range, which was slower in relation to MP than any of my past cycles.

                                 

                                After 2 weeks off in late August, I kicked off my cycle on September 3. This was going to be an abbreviated cycle, where I had only 10 weeks of intense training, which was shorter than any previous cycle. However, I've found that my body gets into peak shape after about 8 weeks of intense training, so I figured this would be enough time. I'm always worried those 2 week blocks off will hurt, but they never do, and often lead to major gains in my next cycle. I know for some people in this forum, days off make them nervous, but I took 3 different 10+ day periods off over the past 12 months and I will continue to do so, for both physical and mental rehabilitation after major cycles.

                                 

                                I stuck with my own version of Jack Daniels 2Q, modifying it to what I believe suits me best. Most importantly, this cycle I missed only one day, an 11 mile easy day due to some peroneal teonditis that had me limping. Luckily, taping it up solved most of the issues, along with some PT.

                                 

                                This cycle, I ended up averaging 72 miles per week, which was significantly more than any more of my previous cycles (generally in the 55-60 range). I felt like after such a successful cycle in terms of mileage and workouts, I was finally going to see what my potential really was. I nailed almost every Daniels workout, with some of them feeling pretty rough, but that's exactly where I wanted to be. If every workout was successful, I wasn't working hard enough.

                                 

                                Pre-Race

                                 

                                I arrived in Sacramento on Friday. I did pretty much nothing pre-race, except sitting in the hotel room to do some work and going out to grab food. One major benefit of a west coast race was that I was able to stay on East Coast time. I fell asleep at 7:30 PM the night before the race, which led to by far the most sleep I've ever gotten the night before. Overall, ended up with 20 hours of sleep the two nights prior to the race. Can't come in more rested than that.

                                 

                                We were all stressing a bit about the weather prior to the race, as most people come in expecting absolutely A+ weather of low 40s and no wind. The original forecast had rain and 10+ MPH winds out of the SSE (crosswind/headwind). Luckily, the storm wasn't as strong as expected, and we ended up with solid A- weather: low 50's, 100% humidity, wind around 7 mph.

                                 

                                After getting on the bus line at 5 am and arriving in Folsom, I made my way over to the port-a-potties. I always heard CIM is so well run, but I think their port-a-potty situation may be the best thing they have going. I have never waited on such short lines for a race this size. I know a lot of races are dealing with space constraints, but they should look to CIM on how to get this done well.

                                 

                                I got into my corral about 15 minutes early and looked all over the place for nimmals but couldn't find him. Oh well, I knew he was going to be ahead of me anyway.

                                 

                                I decided to up my gel intake to 5 this race. I used to be a 3 gel guy, but having switched to Maurten, I've found my stomach handles them much better and I can get more down. So I had one before the gun went off, with the goal of having one at 5, 10, 15, and 20.

                                 

                                First 5/10K: 6:03/6:00

                                 

                                I didn't know exactly how I wanted to pace this race coming in. I told myself that sub 2:40 was a must, but I knew that a sub 6:00 pace was a possibility if everything went well. I had recently run a 1:16 in pretty bad conditions. Using my judgment, I figured I was right around 1:15:00 shape coming into the race, which meant that I would have to run a perfectly executed race to get sub 2:37. I decided to see how I felt over the first 10K to make the decision of what I wanted to do.

                                 

                                As usual, everyone ran way too fast to start, and I started way slower than my planned pace. People were flying past me for the first mile. The first mile is the only time I check my pace during the mile just to make sure things are okay. I was right around 6:25 pace half a mile in, which was okay, as the pace was coming down. I eventually got that down to 6:15.

                                 

                                The second mile I clocked in at 5:57 and felt like I was finally warmed up. Once I hit the second mile in 5:52 and didn't feel like I was speeding up at all, I knew it was go time to try to nab the sub 6:00 pace. So I told myself to lock into 5:55-6:00. If my pace ever got faster, I would dial back, and if it ever got slower, I would pick it up.

                                 

                                This plan was used MANY times throughout the race as I latched on to different groups. I generally have mixed feelings about running with groups, as I'm a guy that really likes to run by feel and my own pacing. I latched on to my first group after mile 3, because I wanted to use them to slow myself down with how fast I clocked in that third mile. I did just that, and they were good for about a mile, but mile 5 clocked in at 6:08 so I immediately abandoned them after I looked at my watch and saw that number. Either way, they did their goal of slowing me down and not letting the pace get too hot out of the gate.

                                 

                                I noticed how the course was rolling as others have stated. However, having done two different 22 mile runs in Central Park and all of my MP runs there, I felt like I was well suited for this course. The rollers never gain more than 30 feet, so I was just blowing by some folks as I was going up them who may not have been used to running on rolling terrain. I could definitely see the course beating you up if you live on flat terrain, but for anyone who gets even the slightest rolling training in their training, CIM is the course for you.

                                 

                                15K/20K/Half: 6:01, 5:57, Half in 1:18:26

                                 

                                Started to slowly work on the pace in this section. I'm a bit surprised my 10-15K split was 6:01, since it didn't show that high on GPS. Must have missed some tangents, a thing I hate dearly.

                                 

                                As with every marathon I've ever run, I went through a tough patch in this part of the race. There were two issues that creeped up. The first was normal for me: my first side stitch. It took me about half a mile, but I was able to work through it. The second was that my hip flexors started acting up, feeling way too wonky for how early it was in the race. Having been through 4 previous marathons though, I knew this was going to happen and told myself to stay calm, as it was just a rough patch. It ended up working and I didn't notice them bothering me after the half at all.

                                 

                                I will say after the gel at mile 10 (and the subsequent ones at 15/20), I noticed a significant pickup in my mood/effort. It's amazing how your brain just loves sugar. I also cannot endorse Maurten gels enough. Even the gel at mile 20 went down super easy, and this is for someone whose stomach turns on him very easily.

                                 

                                The only real noticeable point during this section was that I was running with a spitter. I don't understand people who spit every quarter of a mile during a marathon. It's a race where water is a critical resource, and you probably are spitting out a good ounce of liquid each time given how much this guy was getting out. Of course, he fucking hit me with one of his spitballs, which pissed me off so much, but it just wasn't worth the fight at this point. How hard is it to check next to you to see that you're not spitting into another runner?

                                 

                                Coming through the half at almost exactly 6:00 pace was encouraging, as I knew that I started a bit slowly and that I could just try to hang on to that sub 2:37 pace all the way through

                                 

                                25K/30K: 5:58/5:58

                                 

                                Well, that's about as consistent as you can get for a 10K. I just kept clicking along at my desired pace here. During this stretch of the race, I joined up with the OTQ pacers for the women. I definitely ran with Madison at this point, but we just didn't know it. There were two women, the pacer, and then anywhere from 2-5 other men joining along.

                                 

                                I had reservations about joining up with this group at first, given the last group I was with ran terrible splits. But, I knew this group was the best of best, with the women going for the A standard. So I decided to latch on and using the drafting. It's weird running behind shorter people, because you don't feel like you're getting any benefit of all, since your face is still being pelted by wind. But I kept reminding myself that 80% of my body was being blocked by them, and I just couldn't feel it.

                                 

                                 

                                35K/40K: 5:57/6:00

                                 

                                Here, I'd just like to point out the best pacing of my whole damn life. From the 15K to the 35K markers, I ran the following 5K splits: 5:57, 5:58, 5:58, 5:57. To run those splits in the tougher part of the marathon is just something I will always hang my hat on.

                                 

                                At the mile 19 mark, our pace group hit 6:00. I started to get a bit worried that they were slowing down for some reason. But, more importantly, I still felt really good. I knew what I felt like at this point in Boston, and I was nowhere near that level. I told myself before the race that if you don't feel like death at the 20 mile point, then you are okay and you shouldn't worry. So, at this point, I decided to abandon the pace group and go off on my own.

                                 

                                I ended up running with 2 other males from 20-22, but not necessarily run exactly with them. I felt like at times they were speeding up necessarily, and other times running way too slowly, even if was only varying by 5 seconds. My splits during this 20K point proves something to me though: I'm generally right about my own pacing and I may be someone that really does do better by themselves. I'll continue to latch onto groups near me, but I definitely will keep abandoning groups as needed. The only thing I do like about groups (besides drafting) is that mentally they do make it feel like they're doing all the work while you're just attaching along. However, if I feel like I'm speeding up and slowing down, it's not worth it.

                                 

                                The gel at mile 20 was actually enjoyed. My stomach started to turn around mile 21 though, where I had to start munching on my Nauzene tablets to keep the vomit at bay. Luckily it never came, but there was a point past mile 20 where I thought there's now way I won't have to vomit at some point. However, overall I'd say that my stomach faired the best it ever has in a marathon, with only a few stitches along the way, rather than the constant pain I'm normally dealing with.

                                 

                                Around mile 22 was when the going got real tough, but I was STILL clicking off sub 6:00 miles, so I got that feeling inside that I knew I had it in the bag. At this point, the OTQ women passed me! I knew it wasn't me slowing down, but them speeding up. I made sure to say "great job, go get it" to each one of them that passed, even though I was feeling pretty bad. I chatted with the pacer for a little bit around mile 24, saying he must be proud of his girls. He was, it was like he was a proud father of how they had gotten away from him. He asked if I was about to PR and I said yes, which he congratulated me for. He started to speed up a bit and I decided I would try to give it a hard effort, using my favorite technique of "this is just a TLT workout, and now I'm entering the final 2T before it's all over." I felt like I sped up, but I really just got back right into the groove. Miles 24-26 split 6:03, 5:59, 5:57

                                 

                                Finish - 2:36:31 (8 minute PR and a sub 6:00 pace!)

                                 

                                Those final two miles were rough, but normal marathon rough, not Boston rough. I remember at the end of Boston finishing, and even though it was a PR, I was depressed for hours. I really thought about why I bothered with all of this given the amount of pain I was in. This was such a different feeling. Yes, I wanted it all to be over, but when I crossed that finish line in sub 2:37 for a sub 6:00 pace, I was so happy. I scrambled out looking for nimmals again, but it looks like he had other priorities to take care of.

                                 

                                Given my stomach was in such bad shape, I almost abandoned the idea of the beer garden. Instead, I went near the finish and looked for brew since I was tracking him, but I couldn't find him at all. He must have somehow snuck past me. At this point though, my stomach was about 30 minutes post race and I said dammit, you just ran the race of your life, go have a damn beer. At this point, I saw that I had a note from brew that he was coming. To my surprise, calbears was all with him. We had a good time chatting in the beer garden, with brew acting like a firecracker that went off with his excitement of being finished. It's always good to meet some folks that I've spoken with on these boards now over the past few years.

                                 

                                Takeaways

                                 

                                1) Clearly the higher mileage, no injury cycle worked. I'd also say taking time off helped out, and keeping the cycle short as well. I will be taking another 2 weeks off at the end of December before attempting the same thing with Boston 2020

                                2) CIM is the real deal. If I lived nearby, I would run that course every year. Unfortunately, my local course is NYC, and I"m not sure I can ever break this time on that course

                                3) Speaking of which: I finished that race and said "if this is my lifetime PR, I'm happy." I'm not really sure what else I have left to accomplish. Sure, sub 2:30 at some point would be cool, but it doesn't mean anything really. I feel like the 3 barriers are a) sub 3:00, b) sub 6:00 pace c) OTQ. I do wish that I could have run more in my early 20s to see if an OTQ was ever possible, but it just wasn't feasible with my education and career work. I'm sure this rings true for many folks on this board.

                                4) What to do about 2020? I don't know. I'm signed up for Boston, so I guess I'll just get right back to my Jack Daniels training. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I haven't plateaued, and setting an 8 minute PR on my 5th marathon for a 2:36 is as good of a validation as you'll get. I would like to get that half marathon time down.

                                 

                                Finally, as always, I have to thank these boards. I remember Andres a few years back saying how much potential I had given what I was running with just 50 MPW, and I'm not sure I would have ever believed you if you said I would run a 2:36 in just a couple of years. But seeing folks on here consistently throwing up 70+ MPW showed me it's possible. It's definitely taken a much more serious commitment to my training, with days where I had to head out the door at 7:30 PM for a 18 mile mixed Daniels runs. But in the end, it was all worth it for that number.

                                5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:16:05 (10/19)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 

                                 

                                Next Race: Cupid's Chase 5K (2/8/20)