Friday, October 21, 2011

Baltimore Marathon 2011 - Epilogue I

Hi. I'm back. I am about to go biking then run 3 miles. I think this is called a brick workout. I want to start training again. I am mad at my Baltimore Marathon 2011 performance and want to get back at it. Unfortunately, I have to wait another year to get my revenge. Most people don't have a nemesis. Maggie from the Simpsons has Gerald Sampson (the uni-brow boy) as her arch-nemesis, so I declare the Baltimore Marathon mine.
The Baltimore Marathon is my rival. I started my marathoning lifestyle for the Maryland Double 2009 (which I accomplished thank you) not because of the short lived Frederick Marathon, but because I wanted to own the Baltimore Marathon. My first organized race was the Baltimore Half marathon 2008 and I was happy with the 1:51 at the time, but found my *office boasting* to be lacking in what people expected me to be. I tried to cast my lack of proper racing weight (nearly 200 lbs) as the reason, but frankly no one wants to hear it. I trained and others I work with that trained did the half in 1:20 (or there about). By implication, I am a punk. I am big (6'4"), but I am supposed to be more athletic (like basketball or football has anything to do with running). and I still haven't beaten my expectations. I only get the "you ran 26 miles" compliment. Man, I was recently confronted with Amby Burfoot's statement that he could not believe that someone can run so slow as to finish a marathon in greater than 3 hours. I AM AN ATHELETE and I see that statement as a challenge.

War me vs. B-more marathon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Baltimore Marathon 2011 Recap

My overall take on the racing was that I ran well, but was not in shape for the pace I wanted to run. I had no idea that I wasn’t in PR shape. I thought my training consistency could make up for the lack of overall volume and intensity workouts.

In the minds of most of the people who know my training, they would say I trained hard, but it was actually a step down from last year this time in mileage and completed 20-mile long runs and the Baltimore Marathon is a challenging course. I had to remind myself to slow down repeatedly throughout the first six miles, but managed to keep the pace mostly on target. I went through half in roughly 1:53. The dreaded hills from mile 16 to 23 hurt. I did not handle them like I wanted to, but even still I had my PR still in sight as I hit Johns Hopkins with my heart and lungs feeling good and only a small reminder that my legs (particularly, my Achilles tendons and calves) were only barely holding off a cramp. I picked up the pace on the downhill.

A note about the Baltimore Marathon course for those who have yet to run it: it is touted as a challenging course – it is. To the rookie who looks at the elevation chart it looks like an early steep up and down followed by a long stretch of flatness around the harbor/downtown area followed by another long up and steep downhill to the finish. Manageable right? I claim that it is if you survive the seven miles from 16 to 23 relatively fresh. The down-hills are always too short and followed by another soul-claiming climb on the return home. The bridge over Falls Road can ate away the remainder of my ability to attack the downhill on Eutaw Street as a debilitating diaphragm cramp seized me a wouldn’t let go. We meaning half marathoners implored me to keep running as I fast walked and stumbled holding my side. I fought the cramp harder than I have ever before, but anyone who tells you that you can ignore such pain is tougher than I.

I got to Camden Yards with my PR long gone and the 4 hour pace group on my heels and I tried to pick it up and sprint to the finish. I thought I was going to make it and break 4 hours at Baltimore again, but as my stride had me step of the curb to approach the final tenth of a mile my left Achilles spasmed and I had to slow for fear of it completely locking up. 4:00:07 was my chip time.

Baltimore 2011 may be the end of my marathon season. I am not satisfied and hope I can figure out another this year, but I plan on focusing on speedier short races for a while. The race was crowded this year and the wait for food and getting out of the “athlete’s village” when I finished was a bit annoying, but I’d definitely do the race again. I will be more fit next time putting in a lot more long runs and marathon pace long runs with hills. I have to slow down in the first half (half in ~2 hours) in order to have something left for the attack on the last 3-4 miles.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Race day cometh

This Saturday morning 0600 EST I am going to run my sixth marathon. I did a lot of things wrong this week. I bike cross-trained on Monday breaking the don’t try anything new rule. I ran way too fast during my tempo run on Wednesday. I also missed my weight goal by nearly 10 lbs, weighing in at 194 instead of 185. Oh well, I can try to get some sleep.

My B goal is 3:45 an 8:35/mile pace. I think if things go my way I can get a 3:40, but I’ll take a 3:52 as a new PR.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Marathon Week Begins!

The hay is in the barn…

Week 20 of my training plan for the Under Armor Baltimore Marathon 2011 officially begins tomorrow. I’ll be doing 2 easy runs, a mid-week tempo run and the race on Saturday. Training went well

  • Week 1 – 4 runs, 15.24 mi, 2:06:52
  • Week 2 – 4 runs, 15.18 mi, 2:02:47
  • Week 3 – 4 runs, 25.52 mi, 4:01:38
  • Week 4 – 4 runs, 26 mi, 3:49:20
  • Week 5 – 1 runs, 7 mi, 1:06:44
  • Week 6 – 4 runs, 22.47, 3:15:22
  • Week 7 – 1 runs, 12.37, 2:01:54
  • Week 8 – 4 runs, 33.03, 5:08:12
  • Week 9 – 4 runs, 33.13, 4:57:08
  • Week 10 – 4 runs, 28.38, 4:04:03
  • Week 11 – 4 runs, 39.78, 6:01:44
  • Week 12 – 4 runs, 37.44, 5:47:34
  • Week 13 – 4 runs, 39.07, 6:02:59
  • Week 14 – 4 runs, 33.04, 4:44:45
  • Week 15 – 4 runs, 43.03, 6:31:06
  • Week 16 – 4 runs, 44.48, 6:51:58
  • Week 17 – 4 runs, 32.49, 4:38:34
  • Week 18 – 3 runs, 26.86, 3:59:44
  • Week 19 – 3 runs, 19.32, 2:36:28

Training totals through week 19 were -
70 runs, 533.84 miles, 79:49:02

I definitely think that most of my quality work was done faster than my conservative goal pace 8:38 for a time of 3:46:25.

The hay is in the barn and Winter is here (so to speak). Now I am hoping to deliver on the training that I put in for my sixth marathon. I trained injury free and really consistently all Summer. I would’ve called training perfect if it wasn’t for missing my last 20 miler when on my business trip last week. No excuses, though. I will toe the line confident next weekend.