Saturday, July 2, 2016

2 Marathons in 2 weeks

After finishing the Sacramento Marathon Relay in December, I convinced several friends to run the BMO half or full marathon in Vancouver on May 1.

I also signed up to do the local Resolution Run Series in Steilacoom. You choose either kilometers or miles and distance increases every 4 weeks, so you start with 5k or 5mi then 10/15/20). I knew it would be a great way to get in some longer races while building up for the Marathon.

After the 5 miler on New Year's Day, I realized I had my work cut out for me. My training consisted of hill repeats or a track workout, a tempo run, a long run, and 3 short easy runs. Three weeks later I went into the 10 miler with a cough that would not go away. I ran several minutes slower than my PR. The race felt hard from beginning to end.

Four weeks later I ran the 15 miler. The roads were full of cars because of a high speed chase shutting down the highway and everyone rerouting. This was my first longer race that I was able to negative split. My 10 mile split was a couple minutes faster than the 10 miler race. I finally started to see my body was absorbing the training.

The last race of the series took place in late March. My training was going well, so the plan was to negative split the race. I was competing for the series title as well. I knew I had to win the race to tie for the series. The gun sounded and we rounded the track and for some reason I was leading the race. I laughed and waited for a few guys to pass me before we headed out onto the street. I watched the guys slowly put a few seconds on me. I stayed patient and slowly reeled a couple of the guys back. There were 2 guys in front of me at the halfway mark. I decided to make my move and passed the guy leading the series in my age group. I didn't want him to come with me, so I picked up the pace by 20 seconds per mile. I pulled away with no problem, but felt the effort in the last few miles as I struggled to get to the finish. I didn't negative split, but set a PR my several minutes. I also realized that I was capable of running a 2:53-2:58 marathon.

I recovered from the effort after 10 days. I also hit peak weekly mileage during this last block of training before the marathon. My training indicated that I was on pace to have a great marathon. The weather forecast was low 80s. I didn't think this would be a problem until I realized the race would start at 8:30AM.

The Vancouver Marathon route changed since I ran it in 2009. I did not feel great in the first few miles, but knew to stay patient. As the race progressed, I started feeling worse. I felt the effort was high for a slow pace, so I slowed to a walk. I hoped that if I did this a couple of times, I could get back into the race. Unfortunately, I jogged/walk the last 10 miles. This reminded me of my heat exhaustion experience in Las Vegas.

I was surprised that I wasn't sore after the race. I knew I had the fitness to run faster, so I signed up for Capital City Marathon. I also decided not to have a week of all easy training. I went back to what worked for me at the 15 & 20 milers. I did a few 800s and a tempo workout the week of the race.

I felt so much better at the start of Capital City and started a little fast. After a couple miles there were 11 runners in front of me. I passed the first guy at 4 miles. I could see the runners up ahead slowly pull away. I focused on my race and stayed patient. At mile 18 it was great to see Steve and Duke. After 20 miles, the race started to get harder. I wanted to run faster, but legs would start cramping. I plodded along the last few miles. I passed on of the faster guys who was laying down on the ground being stretched out.  At mile 25, I saw the lead female. I closed the gap to mere seconds, but it was not enough. I thought I finished 10th, but one of the guys leading the race for 18 miles pulled out. I ended up 9th and set a PR by a little over 3.5 minutes. Still a few minutes short of what I know I can run.

Beginning of Capital City Marathon

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