Competitive Jerks Racing and Training - 2023 (Read 573 times)

mmerkle


    Thanks everyone, I'm flattered! I'm glad you have faith that I can improve a lot from here. Andy excellent job on that massive PR. I'm going to work on this race report. Yesterday was busy obviously, and today and tomorrow are as well, but I am going to get you the RR as soon as I can.

    Running Problem


    Problem Child

      Congratulations on your marathon time. 2:55 isn’t really impressive or life changing. I’m more impressed you didn’t look at your watch and ran by feel for 20+ miles of a race. Oh and I was serious when I said I’d mail you beer. I once did a beer trade to Belgium or something like that for a Westy 12.  It really wasn’t worth it.

       

      AndyTN congratulations on the PR as well. Courageous move going for it on the downhill and hanging on.

      Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

      VDOT 53.37 

      5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22

      Running Problem


      Problem Child


        The course starts with about 8 miles flat, then the rest is downhill like my last half. Goal for a flat course would be about 3:15, 7:26 min/mi. Plan is to go out at that pace; when I hit the downhill, maintain the same effort and see what kind of pace that gets me. My thought is an extra 10 sec/mi, so 7:16 which corresponds to a 3:10 on that portion. Which puts the finish time around 3:12.

         

        3:12 would be a substantial PR for you in the marathon, correct? Weren’t you talking about 3:15 until your recent race?

        Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

        VDOT 53.37 

        5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22

           

          3:12 would be a substantial PR for you in the marathon, correct? Weren’t you talking about 3:15 until your recent race?

           

          You are correct. If this was a flat course, goal would be around 3:15. Counting on some extra from the downhill. Of course if the weather doesn’t cooperate, all that’s out the window.

          Dave

          Running Problem


          Problem Child

             

            You are correct. If this was a flat course, goal would be around 3:15. Counting on some extra from the downhill. Of course if the weather doesn’t cooperate, all that’s out the window.

             

            Since it is a downhill course my only advice is ‘don’t stop to use a bathroom.’  I hope you practiced this in training.

            Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

            VDOT 53.37 

            5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22

            flavio80


            Intl. correspondent

              Andy - awesome job on the PR, that feeling of breaking barriers and disrupting the pecking order is amazing!

              MMerkle - I'm very impressed with your progress in the marathon. That is certainly a reward for the higher mileage you have been doing lately and you've been very consistent 👏

              Steve - After taking it easier on 2 subsequent strength training sessions I'm back to "normal", where I'm just tired but not feeling like I'm underwater.
              Tough luck for your coach.
              I'm thinking a 5k PR is well within your ability and you might surpass it by quite a bit depending on how aggressively you start.

              DW - You have been always so incredibly consistent! It seems the new job is taxing you more?

              Cal - nonchalantly dropping a 100 mile week, like a boss!

              Dave - Please receive my well wishes that you run an outstanding race and a PR!

              PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

              Up next: some 800m race (or time trials) / Also place in the top 20% in a trail race

              Tool to generate Strava weekly

              SteveChCh


              Hot Weather Complainer

                Dave - Echoing Flavio, go get it!  Excited to see how this one goes.

                 

                Flavio - Yep, I feel that about 3:45/km is well within my range and that will be a PR.  It should be easier to start stronger this time with much warmer weather (probably about 12C (54F) rather than the -2C (28F)) I had for the last Park Run.

                 

                The downside of that is Spring can warm up quicker in Melbourne.  Houston, we have a problem (seems we can't post images anymore?):

                 

                Melbourne - September 24

                26° (79F)    Hi

                RealFeel® 25°

                RealFeel Shade™ 23°

                Very warm with plenty of sunshine

                Max UV Index6 High

                WindN 30 km/h

                Wind Gusts56 km/h

                Probability of Precipitation0%

                Probability of Thunderstorms0%

                Precipitation0.0 mm

                Cloud Cover0%

                5km: 18:34 11/23 │ 10km: 39:10 8/23 │ HM: 1:26:48 9/23 │ M: 3:34:49 6/23

                 

                2024 Races:

                Motorway Half Marathon February 25, 2024 1:29:55

                Christchurch Half-Marathon April 21, 2024

                Selwyn Marathon June 2, 2024

                Dunedin Half Marathon September 15, 2024

                mmerkle


                  2023 Erie Marathon Race Report:

                   

                  I’ll begin by noting that my head space was pretty poor leading up to this one. “You have done four marathons, each faster than the last. How long do you think that streak will continue?” “You have only run four marathons and three of them were a disaster in the final miles. How do you know Salisbury wasn’t just a happy fluke?” Reassurance from the thread and loved ones was helpful, but I was still very nervous.

                   

                  Course: The course is a two lap course around Presque Isle State Park in Erie Pennsylvania. Roughly 400 meters from half way / finish there is a hairpin turnaround. Then you turn left into a long, maybe 250 meter straightaway to the finish. Throughout the course, you have a near constant view of Lake Erie with lots of beaches. In between the beaches are woods and marshland. Lake Erie is one of the great lakes, so it looks like an ocean. The course is also pancake flat. You have a couple of small gradual climbs but you hardly notice them.

                   

                  Breakfast: First a cold shower. Then 2.5-3 Hours out: Water with a stick of LMNT, coffee, a slice of bread with organic peanut butter, and one Maruten Solid 225 bar. Then a bag of caffeinated sports beans 30 minutes from start time. All an exact repeat of my fueling before Salisbury. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

                   

                  Miles 0-12: I decided to go shirtless for this one, since it was pretty humid and roughly 65 F / 18 C. At the start line, there was another shirtless runner, probably about my age, who said he wanted a 2:55. So I figured I would try to stick with him. Let’s call him “shirtless 2:55 guy”. Once they said “Go” and I started running, my legs felt strong, and my form felt smooth and efficient. I am now feeling much more confident. I’m surrounded by a lot of runners. This is more packed than Salisbury or NCR. There’s that constant drumming of footsteps. It sounds pretty cool.

                   

                  So for the first few miles, shirtless 2:55 guy is 30-50 meters or so ahead of me, and in between us is a tight group of about 6 runners (I didn’t count). Let’s call them “the 6 pack”. By the time we get to mile 8, both the 6 pack and shirtless 2:55 guy have dropped me, as well as several other runners. It’s not a great feeling, but the race is too young for big moves in my opinion, so I stay focused and patient. I’m taking in fuel; a few Cliff Bloks every 30-45 minutes and water at every stop, often pouring water on my head and body. I am trying to maintain what feels like the correct pace for me. Oh right, I forgot to mention that I am once again staying loyal to camp darkwave and not checking my watch. There are even clocks at a couple of the water stops, and when I come near them, I make it a point to look somewhere else. I genuinely don’t want to know my current pace.

                   

                  Miles 12-16: As was the case at Salisbury, I am at a low point in my energy. I got a brief boost from seeing my girlfriend when I went through the half way mark, but my legs no longer feel fresh. I am aware that this happened before, but I am still worried. This is not how I would like to feel at this point. I recall JMac mentioning that many successful marathons have this feature of a low point somewhere around half way, followed by a comeback. But I wouldn’t mind discussing this on the thread, because I don’t understand it. I’d rather avoid it if I can. Or should I just accept that it will happen? Anyway, once again I tell myself to stay patient, get the fuel in, and enjoy the scenery, which was very nice.

                   

                  Miles 16-18: My energy is coming back, and my legs are starting to feel better. I pass a couple of runners.

                   

                  Miles 18-23: This is the best part of the race! I feel good again, I open up my stride a bit and start swinging my arms harder. I’m on my grind cousin! I pick off a few runners one at a time. I feel so strong, this rhythm feels great. Somewhere around mile 19, the six pack is now within sight. I reel them in slowly, and then at mile 21, literally AT the 21 marker, I pass the six pack! I’m trying my best to take in more Cliff Bloks and water but my stomach is starting to get a little upset and I have a very mild side stitch. After passing the six pack I pick off a few more runners.

                   

                  Miles 23-Finish: Once I pass mile 23, obviously, things start to hurt. This time the first thing to go is my left hamstrings. After looking at a diagram, I think it was either my semitendinosus or semimembranosus. I probably favored my right leg a bit in response because next to go is the right quads, the lower vastus lateralis especially. Eventually it was just overall fatigue in the legs. I mean, duh.

                   

                  So I pass a few more people one at a time. Somewhere around (or slightly before) mile 24, shirtless 2:55 guy is now within my sights! This is also where I crack and check my watch to see 2:43:XX. Sorry darkwave, but I have lost my willpower and with ~ 2 miles to go it shouldn’t make a difference. I catch up to shirtless 2:55 guy, he shoots me a compliment on my form. I tell him, “don’t take this the wrong way, but I’ve been trying to catch you the whole race.” He said he was flattered. So I said let’s bring it in. After a minute or so I shake him. I’m alone for a half mile or so. I’m in pain but I’m still in the zone. I haven’t slowed much, if at all. Then at the hairpin turnaround, I pass three people swiftly. I’m actually kicking at the end of a marathon. This is a first for me. Once the finish banner is in sight I try my best to put on a serious kick. It must have caught people’s attention because it got loud as I made my way through the finish.

                   

                  Wobbling, dizziness, and nausea ensued for a couple minutes after the finish, but I didn’t care. I made my way to the bushes to dry heave a bit. But didn’t get sick. Then I waddled my way to the beach to take a dip in Lake Erie. The water was perfect. Not too cold, very refreshing.

                   

                  Splits from the matts:

                   

                  10k: 41:59, Half: 1:28:54, 20 miles: 2:15:49

                   

                  Updated Marathon Progression:

                  3:21:33 (Baltimore 2012), 3:06:45 (Salisbury 2022), 3:03:21 (NCR 2022), 2:59:27 (Salisbury 2023), 2:56:47 (Erie 2023).

                    mmerkle - Awesomeness all around. That is really warm for marathoning, making it that much more impressive. 

                    Execution was incredible. Dead even splits till 20 then pick it up. You sure didn’t look fatigued. I am amazed you could do that without looking at your watch. I don’t think I ever could.


                    I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a serious mid-race low point, and recovered. Usually I’m feeling great through halfway. There does get to be a bit of a mental challenge around 14-16—I start feeling like I’ve been out there a long time, but there’s still a very long way to go. But nothing really physical; the fatigue just starts to build gradually from there. I guess everyone’s different.

                    Dave

                    Marky_Mark_17


                      mmerkle - helluva way to continue the streak! Well done.

                       

                      Dave - good luck for this weekend!

                      3,000m: 9:07.7 (Nov-21) | 5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20)  

                      10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) | HM: 1:09:41 (May-21)* | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

                      * Net downhill course

                      Last race: Waterfront HM, 7 Apr, 1:15:48

                      Up next: Runway5, 4 May

                      "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                      JMac11


                      RIP Milkman

                        Mmerkle - congrats!!! I haven't been following much lately but randomly decided to check in tonight. What a great time to do so and see this! We've always known your talent is there, and it seems like you are finally training right and executing well. I've always said you've got 2:4X at a minimum in you and it's showing here. Just need to keep at it, get a good course and good weather, and it's done.

                         

                        All I can say on the lull is that I've experienced it in all my successful marathons. Funny enough, I do NOT experience it in the bad ones, at least that I can recall. In the sense that if a bad one happens, it happens at mile 16-20, and by then there's no recovering. Or maybe I just got used to knowing that you'll hit a rough patch somewhere between the 15k and 25K mark and just don't think about it anymore.

                         

                        Anyway, keep at it and I hope you continue this great progression. You're a great runner!

                         

                         

                         

                        Hope everyone else is doing great!

                        5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 

                         

                         

                        AndyTN


                        Overweight per CDC BMI

                          The race distance determines the length of the race report so I will keep my 10k shorter than mmerkle's.

                           

                          Memphis Runners Track Club (MRTC) has a race series every year starting with 5k in July and ending with Half in November. I have my own competitive goals but this year is different because my son is running the mini series (5k-10k) with me, which he is currently in 2nd place in the under 13 age group. I didn't put much effort into the 5k, mainly cuz I knew it would be hot, but I actually did pretty well in the 5-miler, moving up several spots in the standings. I had not raced a 10k in 2 years and when I saw the weather forecast for low 60's, I made this an A race to go for a big PR and actually put a strategy together with a taper leading into it.

                           

                          Weather turned out great with 62 at the start with a cool breeze and during dynamic stretches for warm-up, I was surprised to not have any tightness in my legs. Gun goes off with the first 200m going downhill so I took off with the fast runners for a "go big or go home" approach. The first mile had a lot of down/up hills so I was pushing the pace and at mile 1 I was able to count the runners in front of me, 22nd with the leader within sight was a very good start for me. At mile 3 the net downhill ended at I was at 6:56 pace so I felt confident I had banked enough time for the gradual uphill, with only 8-10 fast runners passing me.

                           

                          I found a guy running my pace and trailed him as a pacer so I didn't lose focus. While I wasn't right on his heels, the guy could see my shadow right behind his and after a mile, he was starting to get really annoyed after half a mile. In order to keep muscle man from getting roid rage, I pushed passed him with my next target runner a good 200m ahead of me. We go through a curvy part of the paved trail through the woods, so I was trying to be tactical about running the tangents when some oblivious lady doing her morning walk comes the opposite direction right in the middle of the trail. Another runner and I almost run into her so I yelled "move, we are running a race here!". She yells back in a snarky voice "I have to get in my walk too".

                           

                          On the last big uphill, I passed 2 more runners, one of which was the 1st place lady. I had to finish on the same up/down hills as the start but no way I could have the same speed on the downhills as I did at the start. I pushed up the last incline pretty well and then a decline to the finish. I was running so fast downhill to the finish that my tired legs couldn't slow my momentum and I almost ran into the picnic tables for the post-race hangout. I got a lot of looks from the ladies handing out bananas/water as I kept running right through the pavilion.

                           

                          26th overall and I actually beat all the women for the first time in a competitive race. My time was right at my goal so I wasn't surprised but I was very pleased with my execution. My son didn't run the first 10k because his first XC race was the day after but I will pace him at the 2nd 10k on the 24th. The fast middle school boy ahead of him in the mini series standings didn't show up and I saw he won a XC race yesterday so if he is preoccupied with XC season and doesn't show up for the 2nd 10k, my son will end up in first with anything under ~57 minutes. I think he has the ability to go under 52 if the weather is good.

                           

                          My hips/legs were sore but nothing hurts like it has in previous PR's the past year. I will be targeting the Half in November for another PR so I will need to start ramping up my long runs and mileage.

                          Memphis / 38 male

                          5k - 20:39 / 10k - 43:48 / Half - 1:34:47 / Full - 3:38:10

                          CommanderKeen


                          Cobra Commander Keen

                            Merkle - Great write up! Killer progression, and I'm not sure how you manage to eat blocks during a race like that. I really prefer not to chew anything unless I'm at ultra-pace.


                            JMac! - Good to see you around here again. How's everything going?


                            Andy - Great job executing to your plan, well done.

                            5k: 17:58 11/22 │ 10k: 37:55 9/21 │ HM: 1:23:22 4/22 │ M: 2:56:05 12/22

                             

                            Upcoming Races:

                             

                            OKC Memorial 5k - April 27

                            Bun Run 5k - May 4

                             

                            Running Problem


                            Problem Child

                              Mmerkle I’ve been nervous before races. Probably my best marathons (read: every single PR and Chicago) I’ve been nervous for and just like you, when the race STARTS I somehow dial into race mode. The National Anthem just seems to hype me up and prepare me for what’s about to happen (I literally never know). 

                              a side stitch could be breathing.  Try some core workouts and see if it improves.  

                              A large crowd at the finish is one of the things I like about bigger races. 

                              the mid-race fatigue could just be your ‘thing’ you go through. If it happens every time you just know it’s coming. It actually sounds like ultra marathons. 

                              Lake Erie sounds like a mixture of Lake Tahoe and Chicago. If it is actually pancake flat like you said it might be MORE enjoyable than Chicago. What are the logistics like for getting to the start, hotels, travel, and WHAT DOES THE EFFING MEDAL LOOK LIKE??!??

                               

                               

                              shirtless 2:55 guy sounds like he could be you. 
                              the Sox pack sounds like a pace group who went out too fast and thought the could bank time. 
                              you should post this report on Strava so you don’t ever lose it. Maybe save it as a word document.  It’s sometimes handy to reference them to look over.  I like how darkwave highlights what works, doesn’t work, went well, etc. at the end of her race reports.   I’ve tried to incorporate it into mine so I know next YEAR when I race what I did. It makes ‘not thinking about things’ much easier.

                               

                               

                              JMac glad though dropped in. I sometimes look up your Strava in case I might have missed something. Hope recovery is going well. I’m still kind of interested in your CIM bib, and it might be interesting training this year.

                              Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

                              VDOT 53.37 

                              5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22

                              darkwave


                              Mother of Cats

                                DW - You have been always so incredibly consistent! It seems the new job is taxing you more?

                                 

                                Yup, but this is also the happiest I've ever been professionally, so I really don't mind.  Great boss, great coworkers, interesting work.

                                 

                                 

                                mmerkle

                                Execution was incredible. Dead even splits till 20 then pick it up. You sure didn’t look fatigued. I am amazed you could do that without looking at your watch. I don’t think I ever could.

                                 

                                I would counter that it is easier to do this without looking at a watch.  You just find a rhythm and go - no spending mental energy doing math or physical energy adjusting your effort in response to splits.

                                 

                                 

                                So I pass a few more people one at a time. Somewhere around (or slightly before) mile 24, shirtless 2:55 guy is now within my sights! This is also where I crack and check my watch to see 2:43:XX. Sorry darkwave, but I have lost my willpower and with ~ 2 miles to go it shouldn’t make a difference.

                                 

                                No apologies needed - you are doing what works for you.  I'm just so happy about your performance!

                                 

                                Andy - again, congrats on the PR.  Was the paved trail closed for the race?  Or have any signs indicating that a race was happening and to share the trail?

                                 

                                JMac - good to see you!

                                 

                                Cal - three 20+ milers in a row?  That's how you felt?  Smile

                                 

                                CK - I hope you kick the bug soon.  Edit to add: I eat red meat and try to eat it daily.  However, that's not enough for me. A lot of this likely goes back to the fact that I have ulcerative colitis, and so the fact that I consume something with nutrients doesn't necessarily mean that my system uptakes those nutrients.  No cast iron pan as I don't really "cook."  I just microwave or occasionally stick something in the oven.

                                 

                                RP - if you need a CIM bib, I have one.  In 2020 I signed up, under the condition that I could use my bib in 2021, 2022, or 2023 if 2020 didn't happen.  2020 didn't happen, and it's now 2023 and I'm racing Chicago and Houston again, so the bib will go unused.  I believe we're still in the bib transfer window, so the bib is yours if you want it.

                                Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

                                 

                                And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.