- Another solid week. Took a few days extra, but mileage was still high. Thursday was a big long run with the guys, where we got rolling. Hit a lot of 5:20-5:30 pace during the last 10 miles. Watch died, but 20.4 miles in 2:00:21- 5:54 pace.
- Sunday was a nice 4×2 miles
- Been pretty darn consistent with mileage. This week was more of the the same. Did 10×800 with Morgan on Wednesday at the track. Averaged sub 2:30 for 10 of them. Didn’t feel too bad.
- Finished the week up with my simulator- aka the Detroit Free Press half marathon.
- Felt pretty solid. Went out conservative. (that split is not right). Handled the Ambassador Bridge and the tunnel well. Those are miles 4 and 7. Really settled into a groove and was moving up the whole way. This was a pretty big confidence boost.
- Last big long run! Recovered well from Simulator and ripped sub 6 pace for the majority of the run.
- Finished the week off with a big 2×6 Miles
- Was a tough, wet, breezy morning. We got it in though! Glad to hit this one. Another confidence boost.
October 28-November 3 (Start of taper)
- Start of the taper, so was really just about being consistent with work and scaling back volume. Tried to keep intensity the same. Nothing special. A 16 mile long run at a pretty comfortable pace. Finished the week with a 3×2 mile @ MP. Did this one by myself and got it in. I definitely overlooked it though! Was probably tougher than it needed to be.
November 4-10 (Race Week!)
Alright, so nothing special. Leading to the day before the race, I felt great. No complaints about anything. I thought I handled everything well and I was on point. Going into the race, we knew it was going to be cold and it was going to be windy. We were right. It was 28 degrees at the start. The wind was out of the south at about 8-10 mph and increasing throughout the morning. Chilly!
I felt ok, but seemed a little chaotic. The field was huge between the women and men, both half and full. There was a lot of folks wanting to be on the front of the line. But, the race started and all was well. I was a little behind the 2:19 group (probably about 10 seconds) at the mile. There were a few people around me, so all was well. I wasn’t rushed at all. I didn’t feel overly comfortable, but that’s common. I just tried to relax and chip away to the group.
We weaved through downtown and I did gradually reach the group. I am not sure on splits because my Garmin was beeping way before, but after the first mile I do think it was close, but I did end up being about .3 mile long. So, essentially when I caught the group, I just focused on staying with the group.
By about mile 5..
I was in the back of the 2:19 group, right where I wanted to be. Again, not super comfortable- it felt a little harder than I was hoping, but being in the group was where I needed to be. At 10k, we had our first bottle, I grabbed mine as the pack scattered to the 10 tables. We regrouped and settled back in. I began sipping my fluids and it was freezing cold. My bottle held 10 oz and I’d say over the next half mile, I probably got 4-6 ounces in. I also had a gel taped to the side. However, I had two pair of gloves on and getting it off was impossible. So, I tried to focus on the bottle, but something got wanky and my stomach started turning sour. So. I put as much down as I could and had to toss it. This was the start of my problems.
From about 7 through halfway,…
it’s a near straight shot and it was with the wind. I just tried to settle in the back and not panic. My stomach was tightening up and my second bottle at 20,k was only a few sips before I thought I was going to barf. So, knowing it was gonna get rough, I just buckled up and hoped/prayed that I could just get pulled along. We came through 10 miles in 52:40 and then halfway at 1:09:15 (ish), so we were right where we needed to be. At halfway, there was a good 40 people in the 2:19 group.
At halfway, you turn and come back to the city. Unfortunately, the wind is in your face for the vast majority of that time. By now, my stomach was pretty tight and it was causing my back (which is my achilles heel) began tightening up to. Still we pushed on, but the group was starting to break up. At 16 miles, you turn right, by the governer’s mansion. It’ the hilliest part of the race. Not really that bad, but rolling for the next few miles. This is where I started falling back. The math started running in my head and was trying to calculate what I had to maintain, in order to break 2:19. I had about 45 seconds to lose, but it went pretty quick.
The pack gradually pulled away and I saw 2:19 slip away.
I hit 20 miles ..
in a touch over 1:48 and new I needed to be about 1:46 to have a chance. Admittedly, this deflated me. I was bummed, and started having a conversation with myself. Do I push on and sell my soul to run 2:22-3, or live to fight another day? Well, what a moot point, because I wasn’t really able to fight anyway. Ha! I saw Kevin, Keith, and Mike around 22 and they tried to encourage me, but we all knew the 2:19 train was long gone!
As I pulled onto the main drag,…
it’s nearly a straight shot to the finish line and you meet back up with the half marathon. There was a lot of cheering for me as I ran by and I am very appreciative. I definitely was able to pick up the pace a little bit. Rolling in, I was cold, my hands were starting to hurt, and my back was tight. But, we made it. In a way, it was liberating, because I had run 6 marathons in 2.5 years trying to chase the time. This was it. The decision was made for me. It honestly felt like I finally recognized that my service is not running fast marathon, but showing others how to do it themselves… I am a coach now, and Once a Runner.
Now that it’s been a few days, I have thought about some things. In occupational running, there isn’t really a retirement, rather, you just quit running. I don’t plan on quitting running. I don’t even plan on avoiding races. I have goals and I always need a challenge. Plus, once you turn 40, it’s like a whole new career! I just don’t feel a need to chase times anymore.
My training was great.
I wouldn’t change what I did at all. I added strides again. I was very consistent with that. Now, I need to assess what other detail I need to improve. My nutrition was so much better. The best it’s ever been. I feel good. I feel like I can train hard and stay healthy. I do want to do some faster stuff and hopefully, this summer I can race some shorter races. I think that would help me a ton. The stomach thing was a freak thing. I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was the temp? Either way, I just wasn’t able to get the fuel in. That cost me, big time.
So, you live, you learn, and you push forward. I truly appreciate the messages I have received, but please, don’t feel sorry for me. My life is good! Plus, getting all the successful race reports more than makes up for my own disappointment!