Monday, February 21, 2011

GW Marathon 2011 Race Report

I can only find solace in this race if I remember this was a long run. My time for this run was 4:17:20, my slowest marathon yet. My average pace was 9:49/mile, which is well within range of a long run pace for my goal marathon pace.

I hit my planned half marathon split on the nose, 1 hour 57 minutes. I kept a tight reign on my pace, but as soon as I hit the half marathon point I felt the energy deficit. I was prepared to try hard, but not go to the bottom of the barrel for this race. I threw in a couple of attempts at goal marathon pace miles, but the next level energy would not come. Though I walked through each water stop I began to walk when tired after mile 16. I struggled in at a decent pace, but only after the soul rending uphill at mile 26.

So I am happy with this as a training run. I did no 20+ mile runs leading up to this race and those I have found are vital for getting used to the fatigue I must get used to. So this will be my first going into the SunTrust National Marathon.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

GW Marathon 2011 Race Strategy

Tomorrow is the GW Birthday Marathon. I am registering tonight and will toe the line at 10:30 for my fourth marathon. I don't have much of an expectation. I have not really trained for this as an A race, but I think I could still PR as I have tapered a bit and feel like I never let my running fitness from this Fall drop too far.

The truth is I have not done any 20 milers since the marathon and I bailed in my 19 mile attempt at 17 miles. I am running this race as a long run in training for the SunTrust National Marathon. My only goal is to negative split, but I do hope to PR slightly as my PR is still fairly below my projected times from my results in shorter races.

So my changes to the race day strategy will be:
1. Eat a gel every 30 - 35 minutes, I ate one every 45 minutes in my other marathons and I felt pretty drained in the second half of the race.
2. Though I have never used them before I am going to try Enduralytes tomorrow. I have had bad muscle cramps in each marathon. I want to try to avoid this and learn for the SunTrust.
3. I will use my Garmin heart rate monitor. Last week's long tempo run of 12 miles was done at 8:40 pace. My average heart rate was 158. I am not sure that I will directly run to my heart rate, but I'll be paying attention to it to see if any adjustments can be made from watching it.
4. I will run a negative split! So this will mean I have to set a reasonable pace strategy. I have been wildly optimistic in my past marathons. I got 20 minutes in front of the 4 hour pace group in my first marathon (4:03:27), and I rashly said I may just BQ in my first marathon. I ran with the 3:40 pace group at Baltimore only to fall back at mile 18 and struggle in just under 4 hours. I lined up boldly in the 3:30 corral at the MCM, ran 1:44 at the halfway point and positive split by 30 minutes. Tomorrow I want to get to the halfway mark in 1:57, averaging 8:55/mi pace. After that, I like to increase the pace modestly running between 8:50 and 8:30 until the last 5K. Hopefully, I'll get in under 3:50.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scratching my head

More than a couple of times during this period of my annual training I've asked myself, "what am I doing?" This is my third Winter running. I am planning on running my fourth marathon a week in a half, but I don't feel really prepared yet I don't really care. I haven't run a 20 miler or for that matter any runs longer than 17 miles this year. I am going to call this race a long run that happens to be a marathon. And why should I treat it overly special? I've run the course almost every weekend since I've started running.

I am going to run the George Washington Birthday Marathon on the 20th. I am preparing for the SunTrust National March 26th. Though my training plan has me peaking then I am taking liberties to skip workouts and do my own thing as necessary. The only real thing I am trying to accomplish is to get more mileage in and practice the distance. I plan on running 5Ks and 10Ks after that until a final Fall marathon in 2011. Maybe by then I will be fast enough for a BQ.