Race week, finally here. The "hay is in the barn." The long runs done, the sacrifices made....now it is just time to stay healthy and get some rest. I find the key to race week and taper's in general, is to try and keep the stress low and get an extra 30min sleep here and there. DON'T get up early to cram a last minute workout in during this week....it will do NOTHING for your fitness. The extra hour of sleep will help much more.
Next Saturday, I'll be running in the Wisconsin Marathon. This will be the 5th marathon I've run, 9th if you count Ironman marathons. At this point, I know what to expect. I know how to eat...fuel during the race...and I know exactly how I'm going to feel at mile 10, 15, and 22....funny how weather makes the "wall" come a little sooner than mile 20!
I consider myself a very strong Ironman runner...and Triathlon's in general. It takes a little different skill set to be able to run fast off the bike. Getting thrown in with "runners" though is tough! They are like gazelles...they don't seem to drink or eat very much when running. Possibly the greatest asset of a "runner" is that outside factors like weather, don't effect them as much. So they bust through races like nobodies business. As you'll see, that is NOT the case for me.
Miami Marathon: 4hr 40 something minutes....85 degrees. I did this Marathon in January of 2008. This was a BAD idea. Doing long runs in 20 degrees and racing in 85 degrees, not smart. I felt invincible coming off a great Ironman debut in the fall of 2007. Went down to Miami with a chip on my shoulder, I was going to qualify for Boston, it was "just" a marathon...and absolutely crashed and burned. I made it through 19 miles and then every muscle in my legs seized up. It was a very painful 7 miles of walking and throwing up before I crossed the finish line that day....but I was determined to finish. Marathon 1, Dave 0
Chicago Marathon: 3hr 40min....80 degrees. I ran this in the fall of 2008 for redemption from Miami. I was a little more acclimated to the weather this time, but 80 degrees is not ideal for Marathons. It is great for watching...not so much for running. I noticed 10mi in that I wasn't sweating anymore....that is a BAD sign of things to come. My quest for Boston was over before it started....I joined the death march to the finish line with cramps in my legs....it was like a "mini Miami." Marathon 2, Dave 0
Chicago Marathon: 3hr 15min....40 degrees. FINALLY, I get an ideal day to run in 2009. I was hammering this course and on pace for Boston through 22 miles. I knew the 3:10 Boston time was going to take a perfect race...especially coming off Ironman Lake Placid about 2 months prior. At mile 22, I started getting sharp pains in my quads. At mile 24...those pains were like knives stabbing me in the legs. I basically gave back 6 minutes over the last 3 miles and missed Boston by 4 and half minutes. My best marathon to date, but it still got the best of me. Marathon 3, Dave 0
St Louis Marathon: 3hr 30min....90 degrees. Starting to see a pattern here? Running marathons in the heat SUCKS. I did this last year in 2011. I was by far in the best shape I've ever been in for a marathon. I just got unlucky with the weather. St Louis turned out to be sick hilly as well! I knew it had hills, but had no idea the torture chamber that it became. I woke up race morning, it was already 80 and humid. I made the decision to try and run with the 3:10 pace group. I made it through the half way point with them, and then started to fall off the pace. By mile 18, the death march I've experienced in the past was back again...but this time with hills. SOB. So I slogged my way to the finish line again and proceeded to drink myself into oblivion the rest of the day/night. I DO NOT recommend this. I was so sick the next day I couldn't even drive home. Super dehydrated + alcohol = A F'ing MESS. Marathon 4, Dave 0
So that brings me to Saturday. I feel like I'm in better shape than last year and I've got a flatter course and hopefully cooler weather to look forward to. It is time to put up or shut up. My BQ time needs to be under 3:05....so my race plan is simple...run under 3:05. Steady, steady, steady....and hopefully, we can put a "1" next to "Dave" in the next post. Time to ship up to Boston?
Dedication, Passion, Results