Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Fall Marathon: The lead up to Philly
After some much needed time off I decided it was time to really start ramping up my training so I wrote a very basic and simple plan for myself to reach a peak week of 85 miles, permitting I made it to this point completely healthy there would be no reason that I could not knock a couple minutes off of my standing marathon PR. I knew that reaching this would be a very difficult task as I typically have to stick around 50-55 miles per week before my body starts breaking down so it would be a much longer build than I would prefer. If you know me well, you know that I have been a fairly inconsistent runner in terms of training. I like to take about 3months at a time to really get into my training and 3 months to take time off to lift, cycle and to tend to home life. It works for me but is not for everyone, I do still believe that I have a couple of PR's left in me somewhere, most likely in the longer distances and I will get there in due time.
To keep my training fun and exciting I always like to mix in races to offer a true chance to get into a race mentality while also providing the obvious stimulus. One race really stuck out on my radar that I have always wanted to participate in, "Run For The Green" half marathon in Davidson, NC. I knew that it would prove to be a slow race but it would have long term benefits. Up to the point of the race my training was finally coming around quite nice as I was getting into the 50's for mileage but my body was having a difficult time adapting to the increased load. My thought was that it would be ideal if I could run just under 1:20 while staying controlled and optimistically hope for the big W. Once the gun went off their was quickly a contender among the field who meant business. He took off with ease and floated away from the rest of us minus some teenage kids who were dreaming for a couple hundred yards.
After dropping a 5:30 mile to remain in 4th place I thought to myself that it must be game time today, no games and no floating around. I had to start my race soon or this guy might just run away from me. As we approached the 3 mile mark he continued to surge every time I strolled next to him and then finally he pretty much gave up completely it appeared. Within two steps I had made a solid gap on him and I kept pressing. As we hit the turn around, I noticed I had a solid lead and finally was able to back off of the pace and cruise home for the victory. Great race/run, I went out fast got into oxygen debt but was still able to press on with a solid pace, this was really teaching my body to deal with some solid fatigue.
Two weeks after the "Run For the Green" I told my fellow Huntersville-Concord triathlon team that I would be willing to compete in the relay for the inaugural Davidson Half IM. I knew that I had to hit some solid mileage that week and I made it very clear that I would not be setting any record paces during my run portion. Since I did not have to be at the race till later, I managed to run 5 miles to the race from my house, sit around for awhile then do another 2 mile warm-up before I was set to complete my 13.1 mile journey for the team. Boy was this a BITCH of a course, I know that I was
This performance left me feeling a little less confident but still hopeful that I could continue to press my mileage on up. Looking back one of the critical mistakes that I made was not allowing myself a proper amount of time to recover. I distinctly remember one workout that I did with help from Dan Matena at McAlpine, where I was set to do 3 x 5k. The 1st 5k went by FAIRLY smoothly but I could tell that the sickness that I had been suffering from was still lingering in my
Upon completion of that week of training it was highly likely that you may have very well witnessed my famous last 5-6 weeks of training move, it was pretty sweet and went something like this......"ahhhhh my Hamstring!" , "Oh my Achilles, I can't walk, it's locked up", "My IT band is killing, I don't know about this marathon". Despite all of these factors, I still showed up to the start line at the Philadelphia Marathon with the slim optimism that they may very well be a PR waiting to happen, which I will recap on my next installment.