Monday, November 7, 2011

Almost perfect

Everything went according to plan. More or less.

I started out super slowly. Went through 5K in 21:30-ish, which is slower than 3 hour pace. The fast people were long gone and I was ok with that. 10K in 42:17, just a hair under 3 hour pace still.

Then I got anxious and sped up a little. I wish I had held back another few kilometers; maybe next time. Came through halfway in 1:27-something.

I had still held back significantly and finally it was time to run. I drank a caffeine drink I had stashed in the woods and got a huge high almost immediately. I went from 7th at the halfway point to 2nd with 10K to go. I hit the 31K mark at 2:11, which meant that a 38 minute 10K would lead to a small PR. The legs easily felt like I could run that.

But.

With 4 K to go, I got a huge cramp in my hamstrings and had to stop and stretch out. It was really aggravating, because the legs felt great, except for the cramps. But it was what it was. I walked some of the hills the last few Ks and was able to run gingerly on the flats and downhills. Thankfully, I got passed by only one guy and still ended up on the podium with some nice prizes. My time was 2:54 something.

Those last 4K shouldn't spoil the race, though. It was fun to continuously speed up through the race. In retrospect, I probably went too fast from 21 to 37K, but it felt really effortless at the time. At the Milwaukee marathon, everything just got suckier as the race progressed. This was a different kind of collapse; after Milwaukee, I thought, "never again", whereas yesterday, I couldn't wait to come back next year.

The Girl took 2nd after starting out slowly and speeding up at the end. Her time was 3:27.

6 comments:

SteveQ said...

Well, my predictions were as bad as usual. Congrats on placing!

I haven't done an actual official road marathon in a long time; I still remember how much it sucked to hit the wall at 8 (eight!) miles and stagger for almost three hours. Until I can guarantee that doesn't happen again, I won't be doing another.

DDitlev said...

Sorry to hear about the cramp :( Soo close! Otherwise it sounds like a truly perfect marathon for you.

Btw. you had planned a nearly 15 minutes negativ split .. I thought that a very small negativ split was the most optimal. Have I misunderstood something? *remember I'm a noob who have only knowledge self-taught or stumbled upon on the net*

Good to see you again. Glad that you found the right spot for your bottle after all.

Fast Bastard said...

Steve, you know I'm always hoping you'll come back as a world class master. Hopefully, we'll be doing a lot of the same races next year.

Daniel, I guess in a physiological sense, you want even splits, or maybe a slightly negative split. But the negative split that we see some pros run may just be from the surge over the last few miles. I bet most world records are set at a very, even pace.

But I think it also depends on how you train. All my long runs start slowly and then build up to something like a tempo run at the end. So I'm not really used to running even splits.

If I had a group to train with, it might be different. Training alone, it's pretty boring to run 20 miles at the same pace.

PiccolaPineCone said...

Basically the same comment as Daniel, I don't think your plan was optimal for a PB however I can definitely see how, given your experiences as of late, you would have just wanted to get one "clean" marathon in, i.e. no walls, no major unforeseens etc. I agree with you that most world records are probably run with even or very slightly negative splits (should confirm by google but too lazy). My marathon PB to date is still run with a 4 minute positive split, the last mile was 9 minutes as opposed to all the others which were an average of 6:38 with a slowing trend i.e. even mile 25 was 6-something and then mile 26 was 3 minutes slower which I took to mean I emptied the tank at ALMOST precisely the right moment.
I wonder if you would benefit from some serious overdistance runs like every 3 weeks during a marathon build up running 45 + km but then again you do ultras so you should be covered...

PiccolaPineCone said...

p.s. as I said on SLG's blog, you are both looking astoundingly lean and fit (not to imply that either of you ever look rotund!).
-signed the envious waddler

SteveQ said...

@PPC: Most times the 5K record has been broken, it was done with heavily positive splits. The marathon tends to be evener, though Steve Jones ran a near-record 1/2-marathon and jogged (for him) the last half when he set the record. My fastest official marathon was done with the half in 1:18, second half in 1:24; my second best had the first half in 1:14, second half in 1:29... but then I always run that way, except my splits for my best 5 Mile were 5:06,5:06,5:06,5:06,5:05!