Monday, September 27, 2010

My Favourite Race

With less than three weeks to the MDI marathon, I've started my taper, but not before finishing my last "really" long run of 20 miles today. That's four 20-milers over the last four weeks, and they have all felt very good.

I did the long run today (Monday) rather than my normal Sunday, because yesterday I ran the Fall Classic 10k race. Coming into the race, I hadn't been very impressed with my speed. In fact, of all the races of I have done this spring and summer, the only one I was reasonably happy with the half-marathon that I ran in Fredericton in May. In retrospect, the weeks following my hernia surgery until I started the marathon training plan were too light on volume. Next spring I'll try to do a better job and get more training in before the spring.

So ... the 10k. Have I mentioned how much I like this race? For a specific race experience, I don't think anything will ever compare to my first marathon in PEI with Mike. But when it comes to races, this is the one. It's home, in the fall, on a route I have run many times, and it's flat. All three times I have run it the weather has been perfect. Most importantly, all three times I have run it, I have been happy with the result.

I saw Mike before the race, and told him I didn't think I would match my time of 47:11 from last year, despite what I think has been a good few months of training. Mike responded with "a race can ... .... ". I don't remember exactly, but something like "it can bring out results". Unknown to me, he predicted to his wife that I would get in at 46 minutes, and he was close. 46:12. Results here. I was happy, and even happier with my pacing. Check out the splits below. I followed a legendary local runner for a while. She had passed me in the later stages of enough races to let me know that her pacing was much better than mine.

Km 1: 4:32
Km 2: 4:33
Km 3: 4:34
Km 4: 4:39
Km 5: 4:51 --> Passed my pacer! Theory: I was creeping her out, so she let me pass!
Km 6: 4:37
Km 7: 4:31
Km 8: 4:36
Km 9: 4:37
Km 10: 4:30

The race was a good confidence booster. I'm tentatively planning on running another 10k next weekend, and I hope it goes as well. Next post I'll do the obligatory summary of my weeks of training, but I couldn't have asked for it to have been much better than it was. I only had a couple of bumps in the road, but the following post on a message board succinctly puts things in perspective:

"Sometime in the next 18 weeks your training will be derailed. That's actually part of marathon training. The best thing you can do when this happens is just forget about it and get back to work where you left off."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Marathon Training Update

An update since my last post a few weeks back.

I'm getting the mileage in. Take away one week in when I needed to take a few days off to heal my calf (see below) and I'm averaging over 50 miles per week over the last nine weeks. Some good runs too, not just junk miles.

I got in 20 mile runs each of the past two weekends, and felt pretty strong through both. While there weren't any monster long hills, I do run a route that includes many rolling hills, with some being quite steep. Last week's run was at a pace of 8:52 mins/mile, and this week was 8:48 mins/per mile. Actually, yesterday's run was 20.5 miles (my longest non-marathon run), and next week I plan to make it 21 miles. I even ran a negative split yesterday, with the pace over the first ten miles at close to 9 mins/mile, and the last ten around 8:38 per mile.

Since I haven't posted for a while, I should state that there was a period when my calf was an issue. During my run two days after the Saint John half, my calf was quite painful a couple of miles into the run. The next day, it didn't feel horrible, and I foolishly headed out for a 10-mile run. Nine miles into it, there was a sharp pain, resulting in me walking most of the remaining mile to my house. I ended up taking three days off after that, followed by a very easy 6-mile run on my "long run Sunday". Thankfully it hasn't been much of an issue since then.

My next race is the 10k at the Fall Classic in Fredericton on September 26th. My first ever race was there, and this is still one of my favourites. I also plan on running the 10k at the Dam Run in Perth-Andover the following Saturday, as a tune up race prior to the marathon.

Oh yes ... I also ran a half-marathon "race" in Truro, Nova Scotia in late August, near the stomping grounds of my youth, that I don't even want to speak or write of ...

Finally, an image showing my pace and elevation from my long run yesterday. Looking ahead to a week of early morning runs in the dark and the rain! Less than five weeks until the marathon, and I'm feeling at ease with my training!