1:49:24 first half
1:47:58 second half
57f to start with 89% humidity, 73f to finish
Had a great training cycle despite falling onto the kneecap and chipping it back in May. Cried like a baby it hurt so bad. Abe said it would get better. It did. Might have had more miles if that didn't set me back but that was early so that was good. And it didn't set me back too much. Training plan: talked Abe into coaching me this time as I tend to change things and tweak things too much when I follow a regular plan or my own plan, plus I don't always know when to push and when to let up for races, workouts, etc. I was a little concerned about my ability to listen to him. Turns out, I'm pretty good at doing what I'm told (if I trust you. ha!). I did almost all of the runs except that week with the kneecap and missing a few strides here and there. Didn't always hit the paces but put in the effort. 16 weeks before 2 week taper got me 732 miles (2016-680, 2015-654, 2013-450). Anyway, it was super solid, well thought out coaching and it was nice not really knowing what was coming up from week to week. Just be the student. He didn't let up on me, gave me lots of confidence the whole training cycle (even when I tried to use the forecast as an excuse in the days leading up to the race, he made me convince myself that it's fine), and pushed me when I never would have pushed myself (i.e. race a half marathon at the end of a 60 mile week, ha!). I am thankful for that and owe him a lot. Ooh, also got 10 days (about 90 miles) in at altitude visiting my brother and his family, including a 17 mile run at 8000-9000+ elevation in Crested Butte. Gorgeous mind blowing running AND saw a moose! Actually, my longest runs were in Colorado. That one and a 20 mile run in Colorado Springs. Bryan and Melinda were very patient.
The few days before the race I was really trying to solidify in my mind a few things. How to handle the warmth of the day. What do I need to be thinking about during the run. I think A was letting me do my own mental preparation. He wasn't telling me to do this thing or that thing, he just exuded a quiet confidence in me that just kind of rubbed off. And that was probably for the best. Let me figure that part out. Last year's race was a good model, I think. I did some things this time that I shouldn't have like eating way too much in the week before (or was it just right?!), having a couple of beers on Friday night before at Jimmy's thing, not getting super great sleep. Oh, but the things that I tried to solidify... take it easy those first 15 (during the race I kept changing this. first to 20, like hey this is easy. then to 22, 26... I told myself that maybe the whole race is just going to be easy. I knew it wouldn't be but I convinced myself that it might). This time I tried not to weave around people. Tried to keep the same path and wait for them to weave out of the way as they almost inevitably do. The race starts at 20, be ready to work. Oh yeah, played some other tricks on myself. It's a cool day! Feel that breeze. It's nice. What a perfect day, etc. Then, PG posted some things on facebook for the few days before the race that just made a whole hell of a lot of sense. I'm going to copy and paste those to the bottom of these notes for future reference. I read them several times. A few things really stuck out. Stay on top of hydration. I repeated that to myself several times during the race, especially when I wanted to skip water. I stopped at every single aid station and drank got two cups almost every single time. I reminded myself of that workout in 95f+ that WORKED. Of the workouts that didn't seem like they would go well, as I was dreading them, and then BAM, great. Relax the shoulders, land like a cat, head looking forward eyes up.
Okee, and swamp race report cut and paste:
Been trying to ignore the weather forecast for the last couple of weeks. Was looking like 57-58ish at the start with high humidity and 70 or so at the finish. That's about how it ended up. As my non-running friends put it, "a beautiful day for a marathon". Right. The thing is, we've been training in 90+ temps all the way through September (7 days in a row of 90-95 right near the end) and still in the 70-80s into October. High of 80 degrees today. At the beginning of the summer that heat and humidity just killed me but by the end of September, I was feeling strong despite it and really tried to remember that so as not to totally freak the eff out. The training cycle was good, got more miles in this time around than ever before although still not up to a real high mileage cycle yet. Got some really good guidance and just did what I was told. Anywho, the race. Found the 3:40 pacers and stuck with them for a mile or two and then kept them tucked behind me for another mile or two. Not sure when I left them behind but it was a great way to keep it smart at the beginning and not start too fast. By mile two, I was visibly sweating. Hmm. Okay. I read a few years ago that one should not expend any unnecessary energy the first 15 miles of a marathon. I stuck with that idea. When the breathing got the tiniest bit out of control, I told myself (often out loud) to slow down. To calm down. I also read some advice to keep on top of hydration and really took that to heart. I got water from every single aid station, in almost all cases, two. That's about 37 little half cups of water, ha! Did the usual gu thing every 5 miles. Around halfway, I realized that this race felt a lot like last years race and that one had gone very well. This gave me a lot of confidence. Keep calm and keep moving, driving, light on the feet, focused, relaxed. By the time I got to Pilsen I was just all smiles. That place makes me so happy. The music, the people, mariachi, electronica, cowbells, screaming, I internalized all of it and used it, channeled it into my race. That's around mile 20. I was feeling on top of the world. Then the work starts around 21-22. I remembered that feeling and smiled and tried to keep channeling that energy. Feeling that sun just made me happy. I passed a building that had a temperature reading of 79f. Ha. I didn't quite believe that although it was getting a little warm. Started to feel a little bit of a side stitch. Hoped it wouldn't turn into anything. A little twitching in the calf muscle. Hoped that wouldn't turn into anything. At 24, started getting real cramping in my calf. A little more stitch. Fuck. Calm down. Land flat on your foot and stay relaxed. Channel that energy and be calm. The cramping went away thank god but now I'm thinking I better just not do anything stupid. Don't go too fast and give that calf a reason to cramp again. Don't sprint at the finish and ruin your race. Even at mile 25 I was telling myself to slow down as I was speeding up. I knew the time was looking good. Made it to the finish without any disasters and got a nice PR of 3:37:22. I was elated and I couldn't stop smiling. Like big fucking grin happy. Oh man.
Split Diff min/mile
05K 26:08 08:25
10K 25:48 08:18
15K 25:48 08:18
20K 25:59 08:22
HALF 5:43 08:23
25K 19:59 08:15
30K 25:41 08:16
35K 25:49 08:19
40K 25:55 08:21
Finish 10:37 07:47
Notes from Pauly's FB knowledge bombs:
1.Remember to check in with your body during the race; take inventory. Is my breathing ok? Push all that bad air out. take 3-4 strides per breathe. Are your shoulders relaxed? Swing your arms without shoulder tension. Are you driving forward? Are you landing like a cat? Are you taking off evenly across the pad of your foot? Is your head looking forward eyes up? You know these things, you can work to achieve these things; they are in your control.
Stay up on the hydration and nutrition.
2. The marathon is getting ready for you, and you're already ready for the marathon. You put in the work, think back on that, you've sacrificed for this already. The long runs are done, the hard tempos and intervals are in the bank. The next few days should reflect upon the work you've put in, and visualize your conquest this coming Sunday. Take it all in, relax, breathe, dream.
3. Ok, it's been a long summer. You ran in the heat (much hotter than any predictions), you ran in the rain, you ran in the wind. Turns out, you can run regardless of the weather. Don't worry about the weather, the forecast is gonna waffle and you can't change it. Just factor it in on race day. You ran several long runs. Do you recall why? To prepare you for this. You increased your resistance to fatigue (mental/physical). You learned to run more efficiently at race pace. Sunday is doing the same thing one more time, only with a bib and 40K of your soon to be closest friends.
4. Remember that workout where on the drive to the start you felt like crap? At about 2 miles you wanted to quit? You were sore and unconfident before it?....
...then you just started the workout and the body responded positively...
...keep that in your back pocket should the bad voice come calling this weekend.
5. Ok, it's race week. REMAIN CALM!!!
It's a taper; your body is chomping at the bit now that you're letting it rest and recover. Stay active. This week is much like any other, its just less distance. You'll still probably have a few turn over work outs; they're just to keep the legs activated and ready to turn over. They are NOT to build fitness. They are NOT to test how long you can hold this seemingly easy pace. Hydration should be a week long process, add in electrolytes every couple bottles. Bank some sleep this week if you can. Friday is usually most critical, but get it all this week. Visualize how great you feel in Chinatown, passing Comisky, strolling up Michigan and your arm raising on Columbus.