Masters Running


Rocket City Marathon...The Pre-Race Report (Read 25 times)

MM #5615

    Well...rather than bug everybody on the forum for the whole day of traveling...I decided to do a pre-race report. This should keep me occupied for awhile, anyway.


    I'll start out by saying that I have never worked this hard in preparing for a marathon. When I decided to train for my first one back in 1993, I read Jeff Galloway's book and have been following his plan...kind of...ever since. It wasn't until I spent some time in here that I realized there might be a better way.  When I read Hansons Marathon Method I was really just looking for something different. I wanted something to shake up my training...well...I definitely found it.


    Since I didn't know my VO2max...which is what they base their training on...I decided to follow the 2:55 goal plan. (I think I might have said the 2:50 plan in an earlier post...but it was the 2:55 plan). I had looked at the speed work and the tempo runs and figured I could handle them so...away I went. The speed work started right away with 3 miles of 400 meter repeats and increased the length of the intervals every week, but remained at 3 miles throughout. I ran the 3 miles up to the middle school track every Monday...dreading it the whole way. Then I would run the 3 miles back home thinking about the great workout I had just accomplished. Well...most of the time. There were 2 days when it was in the mid and upper 90's when I really struggled and, for some reason, the last workout kicked my butt as well. But, for the most part, I really had some good speed workouts.


    For the second half of the training period, Monday's speed work was replaced with strength workouts--more intervals--but not as intense. I liked the strength workouts...except the last one that I was forced to do on my treadmill. Throughout the entire schedule was the Wednesday tempo runs. These were some tough runs...but satisfying when they were done. They started at 6 miles and increased 1 mile every 3 weeks up to 10. They were tough...especially the last one on the treadmill. I sure wish the sub zero temperatures could have held off for another week...but we play with what we're dealt.


    Hold on...we're landing...and I have to get in my "prepare for crash" mode...


    We made it. Okay...where was I?


    Oh...the tempo runs...yeah...they were tough...did I say that?


    Also, every other week, was the long run. Although, their long run was not like the long run I am used to. The plan called for 16 miles as the longest distance but it does allow to go further depending on your weekly that's what I did...but it still only got me up to 19 miles as the longest run. The thing that makes their long runs different is...they are done at a faster pace...for me it was 7:17...and they were done on tired legs...which leads me to my biggest surprise of this legs were always tired.


    As I read through the plan, and saw how slow I was supposed to run some of the easy runs, I wondered how I was going to get myself to run so slowly. only took a couple of weeks and I was having no trouble with that. In fact, there were some times when I felt like I had to push it just to get up to that "slow" speed. Again...all the long runs went well...except for the last one, when it was really headlight went out...and Ryan got irritated with me. But...I did it and it was on pace.


    So...that leads me to today...the day before the marathon. I feel legs are sore...but I have the confidence that I can do it.  I really deserve to get under 3 hours. I put in the work and I really feel ready.


    It took me 9 marathons and 4 years to get under 3 hours. Then they became kind of regular...I started taking them for granted...but, all of a sudden, it's been 7 years since I've gone under 3. I've come close...including a 3:00:04...but I really do not deserve to think of myself as a sub-3 hour marathoner anymore. Tomorrow, I hope to get back on track.


    The plan...I am going to go through 13 in 1:29:16...that's a 6:52 pace. Then, I'm hoping to pick it up just a little bit...maybe to 6:48...and see how that feels into mile 17. Mile 17 is where I usually know how I'm going to do. If I'm feeling okay, I'll stay with that pace, but if I'm not, then I'll ease back down to 6:52. The Hanson's say they train you for the last 16 miles rather than the first 16...well, we'll see.


    As I look back at the last few years, I think I've been losing a lot of time at the water stops. I'm going to try to get through those a little quicker...but still get my fluids.


    It's going to be tough. I have to go into it like it's a fight. I have to fight the fatigue...the physical...but mostly the mental fatigue. I have gotten weak mentally over the last few years. I have allowed myself to feel sorry for myself and give in to the negative thoughts that enter everybody's heads in those last few miles. I have to fight those negative thoughts! I have never been more prepared for a marathon in my life. Tomorrow will be my day. Unless, of course, my plan crashes today...


    I'm still on my plane heading from Chicago to Huntsville. Ryan is already there...feet up and resting, I'm sure. I noticed a guy at the airport with running shoes on and I asked him if he was a runner...a half an hour later we had shared several stories about the marathons we have done. He has four kids and, by the time he runs his 50th state, he hopes all four...and his wife will run it with him. That would be cool...but good luck with that...unless, they're the Posie clan...which, unfortunately there aren't too many of those.


    So...we landed at about 3:45...I called the hotel at 3:53 for a shuttle. "It will be there in 15 minutes". Well...I will spare you the details...but 2 hours later, I got a different ride to the hotel...I'm not very happy.


    Anyway...I'd better get going...and let anybody who read all this go, too.


    To finish is the number 1 goal...2nd is to enjoy my time with Ryan...and 3rd is to get under 3, while it is important for me to get under's not the most important thing.


    Okay...that's it. See ya!

      Good luck, Mike.  A friend of mine is running it also, but likely in 3:45 or so, so it's unlikely you'll see him.  Enjoy the finisher's medal.



      MM #5616

        Good luck!  I hope the training plan works out and you get that sub-3, but in any case, have fun.  The forecast looks pretty wet - hope it's just damp at the worst.    I'll be thinking of you tomorrow!

        I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.

          Go Mike Go!!!!

          You know we are all cheering you on for that sub 3!!!

          We are all rooting for you!!!!


          Go Mike go!!!

          go Ryan go!!!

          "Champions are everywhereall you need is to train them properly..." ~Arthur Lydiard

            Mike, I hope you and Ryan have good runs tomorrow. Time be damned, it'll be what it'll be. Have fun!


              Mike, I hope you and Ryan have good runs tomorrow. Time be damned, it'll be what it'll be. Have fun!


              Yeah - what Evanflein said! 



              Without ice cream there would be darkness and chaos.

              Marathon Maniac #957

                Go Mike Go!!!!

                You know we are all cheering you on for that sub 3!!!

                We are all rooting for you!!!!


                Go Mike go!!!

                go Ryan go!!!


                +1, with pom poms waving....

                Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, "Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapenos."

                  MIKE......I'm rooting for you buddy!

                  "During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."

                    Can't wait for the post race report. Hope the race went good for you and Ryan.

                    And so it goes

                      ...this PreReport is a Classic


                      need to put it in The Archives//////

                      ..nothing takes the place of persistence.....