2021 Sub 3:00 Marathon Thread (Read 449 times)


Mother of Cats

    I am not sure why not to rent a car - then you would not have any logistical problems. 



    Renting cars can be very challenging right now, due to the shortage.



     I believe Bay area is not very friendly re public transportation.


    I actually am shocked by this (not disagreeing, just shocked).  I was always under the impression that the bay area had great public transportation.


    ch17 -  when I flew in and out of BWI I drove and parked at "Fast Park & Relax" which gets you from your car to the airport in about 8 minutes.   But that's no help to you.  The one time I flew out of DCA and returned to BWI I had my partner pick me up at BWI.


    I guess other options are a) to take a cab there or b) to metro to Union Station or New Carrolton and pick up a MARC or Amtak train.  The second option would make me a bit nervous given the reliability of our train systems currently.


    But all a moot point, as I checked, and just as Calbears noted, there is no longer a Southwest direct flight between BWI and Sacramento.

    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.


      Jmac is running now, through 5mi in fine style but going to be too late for me to stay up for a result, hopefully finished before 23:45 my time.


      Things are looking up here in the most locked down city in the world (262 days!).  The final one ended during the week. Vaccine coverage is at sufficient level that we are just going let her rip now. So I can be reasonably confident that this marathon I'm training for will actually happen now. I've also signed up for the Yarra Boulevard Half on 7 Nov.  
      The midweek sessions were a bit ordinary. Sunday went pretty well with a 3:47/6:05 average for the 12x1k but they were off a 3 min jog which was generous.

      Managed to fluke a nice even weekly total.

      10/18/2021 To 10/24/2021

      Date Name mi km Duration Avg/mi Avg/km Elevation Gain
      in ft
      10/18 Morning Run 6.23 10.02 00:52:25 08:25 05:14 292
      10/19 5k Tempo & Rolling Hills 6.51 10.47 00:48:16 07:25 04:37 272
      10/20 Morning Run 8.02 12.90 01:06:55 08:21 05:11 226
      10/21 10x600 7.17 11.54 00:54:04 07:32 04:41 246
      10/22 Morning Run 4.78 7.69 00:47:12 09:52 06:08 194
      10/23 Morning Run 9.59 15.43 01:16:30 07:59 04:57 167
      10/24 12x1k 17.70 28.49 02:10:25 07:22 04:35 669

      Total distance: 60.00mi

      Half 1:26:41 (2016), Marathon 2:59:83 (2021)

      Elite Jogger

        Milkman - Fantastic result!!!  Just 1 second short of A goal. 👍

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


        Good at sleeping

          Thanks, CalBears and DW. Yep, I later noticed that about the BWI non-flights. The reason to not rent a car is that when I last looked, it cost over $700, even just for a few days. (Not surprised; this came up on an earlier trip this year.)


          No worries, though, I'll figure something out. Thanks again! --Christine




          Renting cars can be very challenging right now, due to the shortage.




          I actually am shocked by this (not disagreeing, just shocked).  I was always under the impression that the bay area had great public transportation.


          ch17 -  when I flew in and out of BWI I drove and parked at "Fast Park & Relax" which gets you from your car to the airport in about 8 minutes.   But that's no help to you.  The one time I flew out of DCA and returned to BWI I had my partner pick me up at BWI.


          I guess other options are a) to take a cab there or b) to metro to Union Station or New Carrolton and pick up a MARC or Amtak train.  The second option would make me a bit nervous given the reliability of our train systems currently.


          But all a moot point, as I checked, and just as Calbears noted, there is no longer a Southwest direct flight between BWI and Sacramento.

          "I don't park. I just stop." --Mom


          Good at sleeping

            Whoa, new development! When I book the flight and car together the car suddenly gets quite reasonable (even if I keep it for the whole week, which I don't need.) Thanks for the nudge in that direction, CalBears. We'll see what happens. --Christine

            "I don't park. I just stop." --Mom


              JMac: Congrats on the PR! Looking forward to the race report.


              Marby: 12x1k is a huge workout regardless of the rest. Nice work.


              My week:

              45 miles


              M&T: off

              W: 11.3 miles easy (9:01)

              T: 6.7 miles easy (9:18)

              F: 10 miles easy (8:42)

              S: off

              S: 17 mile long run (7:43)


              First taper week, was a bit lower volume than I wanted. I decided to take an extra day after last Sunday’s 22 miler. I felt a bit of the inside knee pain come back during the week, but all easy running seems to have fixed that.


              I appreciate all of the feedback on the last prerace workout. With how I’m feeling now (healthy, but small issues keep popping up) I’m thinking most of those workouts are too big. Planning a 2 x 2 mile tempo at most, depending on how my legs feel Tuesday.


              The two week forecast came out for Indy. Weather looks great, no rain and a 42 degree overnight low. Obviously a lot can change in two weeks, but looks really promising.


              Mother of Cats

                Jmac- congratulations on the PR (and sorry on the one measly second....)


                Marby- glad to head that things are looking more reliable - it's been a hard road for y'all.


                JHudak - some smart decisions that I think will pay off for you.




                My week:

                52 miles running, 2:40 hours pool-running, and 1000 yards swimming.

                M: 80 minutes pool-running and upper body weights/core.
                T: 11 miles, with an attempted track workout that ended up being just some 200s and 400s at 6:45 pace. Followed with leg strengthwork.
                W: In the evening, 2 miles very easy (10:02 pace)  [stuck in a training session for most of the day.]
                Th: 80 minutes pool-running and streaming yoga in the morning; 4 miles very easy (10:10) in the afternoon.
                F: 10.5 miles with 8 hill repeats. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.
                Sa: 10.5 very easy (9:46) plus drills, 4 hill sprints, upper body weights/core
                Su: 14.5 miles progressive, split as first 5.5 miles averaging 10:04 pace, next 4.5 miles averaging 8:44 pace, and next 4.5 miles averaging 7:45 pace, and then leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.


                So not great.  Things are continuing to decline and I'm feeling more wobbly and my legs are feeling weaker. I am extremely frustrated.  I start getting into shape and then the chair gets pulled out from under me again.


                I saw both my primary care doctor and my rheumatologist this week - both agreed that neurology was the proper road to go down here.  A first round of bloodwork (CBC/CMP, iron panel, and folate/B12) came back totally fine.  I'm waiting on the results of a second round to check other b-vitamins (B1, B6, and B7).  I'm also going to see if I can check in with the neurologist before my EMG in early November, since things have gotten worse since my last appointment.


                I'm just frustrated.  I officially pulled out of the elite field for Indy Half so my spot could go to someone else because I can't be sure I'll be able to run it, and it's highly unlikely I will be able to run it fast.


                I'm not worried about this being a long term thing - I think it's got to be something akin to the folate deficiency (the increasing weakness and lack of speed feels very similar).  I just need to figure out what it is.  I keep hoping that the B-vitamin panel will show something, as issues with one of those could explain these symptoms.


                As for the obvious question of why I'm continuing to run, and to try to include some faster running a few times a week?  Everybody seems to agree this is neurologic.  I have a big history of neurologic issues in my family, and one thing I know is that it is essential to stay active and to do as much as you can when working through a neurologic issue - basically to keep using those neural connections as much as you can.

                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.


                  darkwave:  That. Really. Sucks!

                  Half 1:26:41 (2016), Marathon 2:59:83 (2021)


                    Jmac, dls, cal, RP (and I feel like I’m missing someone here):  Congrats to all of you on your recent races.  Impressive stuff all the way around.


                    JT: Bummer on the continued foot pain.  How’s that going?


                    Dwave: Thanks for the update on your situation; so sorry you have to pull out of Indy, and I hope you get this figured out soon.


                    Aspiring Hobby Jogger

                      JMac - Again, congrats on that PR! I'd certainly be quite interested to see what you could do if you had been focusing on a HM and had a proper taper, etc. Definitely looking forward to a RR.

                      Marby - Nice week, and hopefully things do relax for you and your compatriots.

                      JHud - Those seem like smart decisions, and I'm really liking that forecast for you. Hopefully it stays put!

                      DWave - Just echoing my thoughts from sub 90.


                      I had a good week overall, and felt pretty incredible for my Wednesday workout (which was somewhat balanced out by a relatively weak performance this morning). Good LR with just one stop in mile 9. LRs have really been giving me some extra confidence compared to previous cycles, thought I have some doozies coming up. This weekend is what my coach is calling "the big one" - 20 w/ 15 at marathon effort. I'll probably use this one as a dress rehearsal (though I think I'll wait to try out the fancy Asics shoes) and will likely craft some new-ish 10 mile loop route to help out with a water stop halfway.


                      Weekly for period: From: 10/18/2021 To 10/24/2021

                      Date Name mi km Duration Avg/mi Avg/km Elevation Gain
                      in ft
                      10/18 31 geese & 3 rabbits 12.05 19.40 01:42:07 08:28 05:16 407
                      10/18 Simultaneously the minimum and maximal viable double 3.55 5.72 00:30:30 08:35 05:20 92
                      10/19 Chasing the moon, then giving up and going home 10.05 16.18 01:24:51 08:27 05:15 492
                      10/20 10x 3 min hard, 3 min easy 15.10 24.30 01:51:22 07:23 04:35 495
                      10/20 Runchable 5.05 8.13 00:44:05 08:44 05:25 190
                      10/21 1 rabbit 9.10 14.64 01:19:55 08:47 05:28 420
                      10/22 1 great horned owl 12.40 19.96 01:45:06 08:29 05:16 551
                      10/22 Lunch Run 5.87 9.44 00:47:48 08:09 05:04 0
                      10/23 1 deer (1 stride) & 1 really awesome green and orange flaming meteor or piece of space junk 22.11 35.57 03:05:33 08:24 05:13 768
                      10/24 5 deer (5 strides) & 1 hawk 5.05 8.13 00:45:32 09:01 05:36 236

                      Total distance: 100.35mi

                      5k: 18:14 11/21 │ 10k: 37:55 9/21 │ HM: 1:23:22 4/22 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18


                      Upcoming Races:


                      Wurst Race Half - 10/8

                      CIM - 12/4


                      I spilled the milk

                        2021 Suffolk County Half Marathon




                        I ran this race 2 years ago in terrible conditions: pouring rain, with a headwind at 20-25 mph for the final 5 miles. This year, they changed the course to go over "the bridges," which is just one long bridge that goes from the south shore of Long Island to the "barrier beaches" of Long Island. I wasn't thrilled with the course profile beforehand, but having run this race before and based upon my schedule, this was the best race for me: 6 weeks out from CIM and I knew there was a high probability of someone faster than me showing up, which is what I wanted.


                        I set the A goal of breaking 1:15 as it's a cool round number, and the B goal of a PR, which is 1:15:27. I had my biggest 4 weeks ever prior to this race, having run 22 straight days (my longest streak prior to this was probably about 10 straight days). However, the mini-taper usually leaves me feeling pretty fresh by race day, as I went from 85 mile weeks to just 20 miles in the 4 days prior to the race, with an off day.




                        The start and finish were approximately 4 miles apart from each other. After picking up my bib at the start line and using the port-a-john, I decided to park about 2.5 miles from the start, which gave me that warmup plus a 1.5 mile cool down. Longer than I usually warm up, but I figured it didn't really matter. It was better than the alternative: they wanted you to park in some remote lot to shuttle to both the start and from the finish, which was too much. Better to do zero shuttles!


                        On my run to the start, I passed by a gas station and 7-11. For a split second, I thought about using the bathrooms there to avoid the bathrooms at the start, but decided against it. I was going to be at the start line at 7:00 for a 7:30 start, so figured I had enough time when I arrived.


                        NOPE. I got to the start, and saw the line was at least 30 people. Okay, long, but should work. But then I saw where the line snaked around, and realized it was at least 100 people in line (I'm not exaggerating). I had the realization that I had 3 options: go jog back to the 7-11, which would have made my warmup about 5 miles, go to the bathroom in some lot with no TP around, or wait in line or hope the for best. I decided to actually jog a little bit away from the start, hoping some random store was open.


                        Within about a minute of jogging, I passed by a VFW that some guy was bringing items into from a truck. I asked him if he knew if there was a bathroom anywhere around, he thought for a second, and then said "no, but it's okay, go in and use ours." That man not only fought for my freedom, but he fought for my bowels. A true American Hero, and frankly, I still don't know what I would have done if I didn't run into that guy.


                        First Half


                        At the start, I recognized a woman who knew nimmals. I asked if he was around, and she wasn't sure. About 2 minutes later, he actually showed up. Said hi to him, but he wasn't running the race, just pacing someone.


                        This race has a 10K, half, and full in it. When the gun went off, one guy went absolutely flying out (probably 5:00 pace). I figured he was running the 10K. Two other guys eventually pass me about 0.25 miles in, but going only a bit faster. I stayed with them for a little, but kept checking my watch and realized their pace was a bit too hot for me. I wanted to keep my pace between 5:40 and 5:45 the entire race, perhaps a touch faster for the sub 1:15 if I felt great. These guys were doing right around 5:30, so I decided it was better to abandon them and run alone than to keep up with them this early in the race.


                        I did a pretty good job running the tangents, but by mile 2, I was already a good tenth of a mile off. I don't know if my watch screwed up or the course measurer did, but he's pretty much an expert so maybe it was my watch (or me). The guy who was currently in 2nd ran the greatest tangents I've seen of someone ahead of me. He wasn't darting across the road, or staying to one side which most people do. He did it very gently. A man who knows a pathway to my heart.


                        After a first mile of 5:42, I put up a 5:37 and 5:38. I kept telling myself "ease up a bit, it's a touch hot", but i came in at 5:36 and 5:38 the next 2 miles, so I knew that this was actually the right pace as I was trying to take it "easy" but they kept clicking in a bit faster than I planned.


                        Mile 6 was the first time up the bridge. Turning off the elevation correction, it looks like the bridge gains about 115 feet. So it was a pretty sizeable climb, but over a half mile or so. As usual, this is when I find the VaporFly tends to shine. I was able to get up it in 5:43, so only lost 5 seconds or so. I did have concerns about the Next%2 before the race, but I realized I just needed tighter laces and the shoe felt great as I had no heel slippage throughout.


                        Coming down the bridge, I kept it very in control but still ticked off a 5:28. At this point, I started to feel like a PR was completely in the bag.


                        Second Half


                        You have to climb a second bridge to get to the turnaround point, a sharp 30 foot climb. This is 8.5 miles in. This was the first time I felt like the going was getting tough and I started to feel tired. I told myself it's okay, this is exactly when you're supposed to be getting the moment of doubt, so I brushed it off.


                        As I turned back around and started approach the real bridge a second time (so back up 115 feet) is when I really felt tired. I also realized at this point I actually had a slight tailwind. Nothing crazy, probably somewhere around 7 mph, but it still sucks to turn around and hit a headwind when you didn't even realize there was any wind. It looks like my pace started to drift up to 5:50. I think I was trying to subconsciously gain some energy to get back up the bridge. I told myself in my head "this mile is going to look bad on the watch, so don't get alarmed when a bad number rolls off." It was a way of prepping myself not to just mentally check out at the top.


                        I also felt my left hamstring with a tweak at this point. It's still sore today, so I must have damaged it a bit during the race. It perhaps cost me some power at the end of the race. I'll have to keep my eye on it this week as I recover. Probably will drop the strides over the next few days to give it a chance to heal. I also saw nimmals in his pacing job around this point. He gave me a good cheer, so that was nice.


                        Going up that bridge a second time was, as expected, terrible. The 11 mile marker is right after you start descending, so it's really late into the race, but not late enough that you know the finish is around the corner. When my watch ticked off a 6:11 mile, for a split second I remember what I had just said about a bad mile. But then I realized I just gave up 30 seconds on pace, which washed away a huge margin I had built for the PR. As I was coming back down the hill, I had very little energy. Therefore, I used the downhill as a way to "fill up" my fuel tank as I tell myself. You're not trying to fly down the hill, but take it relatively easy so you can pick up the last 1.5 miles and give it all you have.


                        Once I got to the bottom of the bridge, I still didn't feel great. I used my favorite technique to tell myself "you've done a bunch of 2T, you can do this, this is like your last rep, go get it." So I picked up my effort as best as I could. Mile 12 though was still a 5:56, which shows how much the bridge took out of me.


                        At this point, I realized I had 1.2 miles left (because there were basically no turns from miles 3-12, I never fell farther behind than that 0.1 I lost somewhere at the start). Looking at my total time for the first time in the race, I saw I had about 6:30 or so to get under 1:15. Doing some quick math, I realized I had to really give it absolutely everything to get that A goal.


                        Of course, at this point you run into the slow 10K runners. I was able to avoid them though because not a single person understood tangents and I was the only one on the correct side of the road. Looking back, I'm actually very proud I was able to get that 13th mile in at 5:45, because I was ready to just run in 5:55-6:00 the rest of the way with how things had fallen apart at the top of the bridge.


                        Once I hit the 13 mile marker for real, I saw I needed to get under 30 seconds to break 1:15. I gave it everything I had, but unfortunately there were two VERY sharp 90 degree turns at the end to get into the chute, plus merging with 5K runners which apparently went off 45 minutes after the start of our race. I nearly knocked over an 8 year old girl because I was running 5:05 pace and she could not have been faster than 10:00 as I'm flying around these 90 degree turns.


                        I saw the clock at 1:14:5X and did everything I possibly could to get home in that number. When I crossed, my watch had me at 1:15:03 as I stopped it a bit late, but I checked the official results when I got my phone and saw 1:15:00. Can you be upset with a PR? I was for a few minutes as I could not BELIEVE I missed it by literally a second.


                        Oh - the winner ran a 1:06 . No idea where this guy came from, I've never seen times run that fast in non-NYRR races in this area. The guy in 2nd was doing a MP workout and ran 1:12 with a "slight pickup" at the end. I hate those people (in a "I can't believe you're that fast" way), although I know when I run MP at 1:18 in a half, the guys who run 1:20 probably look at me the same way.




                        1) Setting an A goal faster than my PR helped me this race. If I didn't have that, I could have easily just rode the struggle bus to a 1:15:20, gotten my PR, and been happy. However, knowing that an all out effort could get me a 1:14:XX helped big time. Upset I didn't get it, but happy with the strategy. I've seen a lot of guys work so hard and not get PRs, not get injured, etc. You can never walk away from a PR "upset."


                        2) Obviously two 100 foot or so climbs in a half marathon, especially one of them happening in the 11th mile, didn't help. However, the weather was effectively A+. It was upper 40s at the start. I shed my gloves around mile 2 and arm warmers around mile 6. That's as good as it gets, I can't complain about the 5-10 mph headwind for 3 miles. You can't get perfectly flat courses with 0 wind and upper 40s for every race. We always have excuses and what ifs, but running doesn't work that way.


                        3) Perhaps the biggest takeaway is CIM: This time puts my VDOT right at my PR of 2:36. So it's clear to me that's my goal for the marathon. Part of me had wondered prior to this race if I ran something like a 1:14:30 if I should up my goal and take a chance at something even faster, but I am now 100% confident in shooting for a 2:35:XX at CIM. Going to lock in at 5:50-5:55 in that race and hope to hold on.

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


                        Next Race: Grete's Great Gallop 10K (8/27)


                          Marby - solid week. I still don't understand the situation with lockdown. Yes, more people might get sick with covid you open earlier, but man... nobody even cared to see through the damage these lockdowns bring to economy and people's psyche and well being Sad


                          jhudak - things looking really good. So great you were able to get through the issues within the cycle. Hope the marathon's day weather forecast holds up.


                          DW - your last few weeks reports are so depressing Sad I admire your dedication, doubt I could have a will power in similar situation, but these things make me sad. Actually a lot of stuff makes me unusually sad - I noticed this year I cannot watch a lot of movies - movies where people really struggle - it seems to me too real, I actually can see it in real life, can easily imagine that happening - yeah, I am watching Squid Game - my daughter thinks it's a fiction, but to me it looks way too real (except the killing part) - way too real to the life people have in in this country - I was surprised South Korea had the same terrifying issues too.


                          OMR - Hi! Please take care of your injuries and get back here - I need some moral support from my geriatric friends (Mikkey doesn't show up very often) Smile


                          CK - maaannn.... I pray for you to be rewarded by CIM gods and you would get a weather CIM regularly gives to its participants. Anybody who puts that amount of efforts like you do should be rewarded at least by having a great weather for their race. Or, otherwise, you might have just what we had yesterday - torrential rain and 40 mph winds Smile


                          JMac - Congrats again! I think 1:15 is a great, awesome looking number - much more attractive than ugly 1:14:59 Smile. I can't believe you still continue to PR! Awesome job. Very easy to read report - thank you! The parts about "American Hero" and "tangent man" are the best ones Smile


                          I had something like 45 miles week. I think I have way too many races for the structured cycle to be implemented - so, I will just try to enjoy what I can do without making me injured. Last two weeks and next week I will try to work on my downhill skills to make my quads stronger. Last week I ran Mt Diablo with it's very steep 5.5 miles trail downhill section and it took me 3-4-5 days to actually recover (to the point where my quads didn't feel pain). This week I run the same Mt Diablo route but I took a road on the way down - the road route takes 10.5 miles (instead of 5.5 by trail) - so, my quads had quite a beating - descents were like 300, 350, 415ft, etc per mile - great cadence workout Smile. The positive part after that - I think my body can still recover - next day after the run I was almost fine and today I feel totally fine - just a tiny little bit sore - almost nothing. Amazing... I expect next week's Mt Diablo will feel just like a regular run (except the ascent part, of course - those 700ft uphills are never easy Sad.

                          paces PRs - 5K - 5:48  /  10K - 6:05  /  HM - 6:14  /  FM - 6:26 per mile


                          37 going on 60

                            Nice Jmac


                            2021 Goals for my 2 marathon cycles this year

                            Marathon Sub 2:40 2:39:27 Grandma's Marathon 6/19/21

                            10k Sub 35:00 in Marathon build

                            5k Sub 16:30 in Marathon build /16:34 BK5K Memorial Day 2021


                            2022 Goals

                            Marathon Sub 2:37 2:41:32 Grandma's 2022

                            10k Sub 35:00

                            5k Sub 16:00


                              DW: Did you pull out of the elite field or the race altogether? Really pulling for you to get this figured out, I think you'll run some really good times once you do.


                              Cal: How much do you plan to up the mileage going into CIM?

                              Jmac: Nice RR and congrats again on the PR!


                              Keen: What pace do you expect for the marathon effort? That long run should be called "the huge one".


                              Aspiring Hobby Jogger

                                JHud - I have no clue what pace I'll see for that run, but it darn well better be sub 6:50/mi, even with 100+ miles in my legs over the preceding week. I'm going to do it based on a combination of Stryd and perceived effort and the pace will be what it will be and we (coach and I) will use it for planning going ahead.
                                I'm thinking of improvising a loop around a neighborhood that will be considerably less hilly than my usual loop (plus it will be all pavement instead of being 40% gravel) while still probably having the same elevation gain as CIM (with zero net loss) and I'll be able to setup my own water stop as well.

                                5k: 18:14 11/21 │ 10k: 37:55 9/21 │ HM: 1:23:22 4/22 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18


                                Upcoming Races:


                                Wurst Race Half - 10/8

                                CIM - 12/4