April 12, 2014

Eisenhower Marathon Race Report and General Bitching

I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed.

I don't believe my parents ever said this exact thing, but it does float around our collective social vocabulary. And it fits, in this case.

To get it out the way, 3:21:something. I don't care to wait until I get an official time, so this will suffice.

Again, not mad. But disappointed.

Disappointed, because relative to my expectations, that kind of sucks.

But not mad, because it's running, and I enjoyed it, and it doesn't totally suck.

And maybe my expectations were shit to begin with. One calculator said 2:49, another 2:55, all of them under three. And so I thought I'd just go do that.

Calculators don't have legs, though. They haven't run road marathons. And, before today, neither had I.

I'm humbled, to be honest. It was harder than I expected. High sixes? Easy enough. 26 miles? Easy enough. High sixes for 26 miles? Can't be too bad.

Missed on that. The heat, humidity, and wind saw to that. Well, no. They were present, but I saw to it. I can own this.

External factors aside, I went out like an idiot. Especially into a 20 mph headwind. No excuses for that, but a lot of consequences.

So I blew up. Because of course I did. I overheated. My legs found their ultra shuffle and got too comfortable there. I could go but I couldn't go fast.

3:21:something and I'm not mad, but motivated.

I've been vexed for a while concerning what the hell I'm going to do this fall - but no more. I'm going to do some other stuff, but mostly, I'm going to target a road marathon, and run a whole lot faster.

This isn't an irrational expectation. Better pacing would've done it today, even disregarding everything else. That, I can fix. And I will. I need to train better as well. Not more, but better. Jogging 90 a week is fine training to jog a 50 mile race, and that worked very well last fall. But that, plus a shortish tempo every week, isn't marathon training. It's good general fitness, but it's a hunk of metal when you need a knife.

So here's what we're going to do: 1) Add a second real workout every week, in addition to my group's Thursday tempo. Not strides, or short hills (to be clear, those too, but not those only). Something like 2 x 3 miles at goal pace. Something that sucks at the time, but pays off later. 2) Run - really fucking run, not jog - my long runs. If volume has to drop, then it will drop.

Work to do. Happy to do it. There are worse things to find at the end of a race.

But still... fuck. Three goal races this spring. One DNF. One win, so there's that. Then one collapse and sub-par time.

Work to do.

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