Sunday, June 18, 2006

Marathon to Marathon...The Report

OK, will probably play with this a bit but I promised a report today and I'm exhausted, want to get to bed, but will post now and mess around with it tomorrow...my computer at home is so slow...

Marathon to Marathon

The Goals: To Finally Run a Sub-4 hour marathon…
The Training: You might as well not have called anything I’ve done before training as this time I was really serious. I did a large number of doubles, I had highest mileage of 63, I believe 2 20 milers, a 22 miler, a 30K race and 17, 18 and 19 mile runs. I did tempo and interval workouts every week on a 3 week cycle with a rest week every 4th week. I was running some great paces and easy runs were pretty much marathon pace or better for a sub-4.

The drive down on Friday was uneventful, grandma and I had a nice visit and mom and dad got there shortly after I did. We had reverse driven the course so I knew what the rolling hills were like and nothing looked that terrible. The race packet pick up was quick and we set up camp and had a nice visit and good dinner, including cake I had brought and fresh strawberries for dessert. I was in bed by about 9:30 with alarm set for 4. As expected I couldn’t sleep, took forever to get to sleep and I didn’t really get much for sleep, but oh well, I had slept good early in the week and that is what mattered.

My plan was to be to the start line by 5:15, we got there about 5:25, but that’s OK, the school was open, there was no line for the bathrooms and the bathrooms were actually bathrooms, not porta-potties. I used them and was ready…Start went off right at 6, there were 115 runners that finished, so around that number at the start give or take with any that may not have finished. It was warm enough that I had a singlet and shorts on, and my MP3 and a hat. The sun was coming up and we ran around the school and then headed out of town to Marathon. It was a bit humid, and I knew if the sun came up full, it could get quite warm, but it was OK for then. There were even a few brave souls that were up and cheering from their homes at that early hour. It was all feeling really good, a wind started to come up, but it was all at my back, southwestern wind blowing us northeast, this was with the whole way and helped keep the temps feeling OK and a cloud cover came up by about mile 7 too, no rain in it, but it made for cooler temps, it was humid, but I don’t think it got above 70 for the entire run, I was wet due to humidity, but it wasn’t unbearable. I had good music on my MP3 and by mile 3, I knew I wanted to really see what I could do, I was definitely going under 4 hours, but the thought had been in my mind that I might just have enough in me to get a BQ, I was just over the 8:24 pace I needed at this point so I started to pick it up and to catch up on a few of the seconds here and there that I had missed in the first couple of miles…This went on, through the small country roads, not much to mention as it really is just the corn and bean fields of Iowa, and there were rolling hills, but nothing bad at all, much less so than Madison was last year and the worst of them was early on. By the halfway point I was definitely on BQ pace, I had a 1:50 half huge PR there for my half marathon time…I saw mom, dad, grandma and Max just before mile 18 where they were supposed to be, dad had spotted me with his binoculars about a half mile before I got there and I was coming down a hill and it felt really good and gave me a nice boost to go on…However mile 20 and the wall came up. My lungs were good, but my legs were really starting to feel even the slight of the rolling hills, there was a hill there that made me hurt and for the next 6 miles I continued as I had been, fueling on water, Gatorade and fruit bars and gels, but I could tell that I wasn’t going to be able to maintain this and I knew the BQ was just not quite in me at this time. I started to slow up a bit off my pace and about mile 24 was feeling a bit better, I had had to use a port-a-potty, so probably lost about 30 seconds at that time, but still OK…Mile 25 we turned the corner and headed into Marathon, I got water and ice at the water stop and really wanted to hang out longer there but I kept going and it was just getting into town that the only person passed me, I had passed everyone else up to this point, but I was definitely tired and hurting so I let her go on…she had something more in her than I did, but she never got too far ahead. There was a nice old man sitting in front of his house welcoming us to marathon and then a water stop with about .6 to go. Turned the corner and spotted mom and Max, then went around another corner and saw the finish line. The clock had 3:42 on it and I managed to cross it in 3:42:54…1:55 off BQ, but that’s OK. I’m not even feeling the huge disappointment that I could’ve as I know I left it on the course. This definitely proved to me that I have a BQ in me and I will be running there one day. Dad took a picture of me crossing the finish line (but on a film camera so it will have to wait for posting) and all of them were there to greet me as I got my medal and shirt. I got water and Gatorade, talked to the nice women at the finish, told them how well I thought the race was organized, there were water stops at every 2.5 miles, as promised, water and Gatorade at each, and after mile 20 it was about every mile that they had them. The course was hilly but not terrible, and everyone was very friendly. Afterward there were showers, a massage person, they announced your name and where you were from as you crossed and there was plenty of fruit and the breakfast provided looked good too, if I had been hungry enough to eat it.

Grandma was so glad I did this one as it made it easy for her to be there and finally see one and dad really enjoyed himself, I rode home with him and mom and grandma brought my car back (I had had a couple of beers with lunch before we headed back) so got a nice visit with dad which was nice too...we then went out to celebrate and I didn't feel so hot this morning!! Sigh...

Oh, almost forgot, the other benefit of running a small marathon…I was 4th girl overall and 3rd in my age group, so not only did I get a finisher’s medal, I got an age placement award, more hardware!! Obviously I’m in a tough age group!! I was also 20th overall out of 115 finishers. I was 3 out of 9 in my age group and 4th overall for women out of 36 or 38 women that finished. So again, quite pleased with my performance. I really had no idea I had something that good in me. And I thought of everyone as I was running, and thank you all for the good wishes and vibes even though I didn’t get to read them till after I was done!! If not for this group, I would not have gotten the gumption to get out there so much, and the ideas for the training that I got and in particular I need to thank Chris again because it was a slightly modified version of the training schedule he gave me last year that I used for this training and I’d definitely say he knows what he’s talking bout and doing!!

Oh, that PR, 38 minutes faster than my previous. Now I don’t expect that I’ll ever get that big of a PR again, but hey…maybe a 3:35 next time?? J What is Marine Corp course like?? J

6 comments:

mg said...

I am so incredibly happy for you, Dani! Awesome job - congratulations on not only PR'ing in a huge way, but collecting hardware! 3:35 looks like a good goal for MCM; selfishly I wish you were running Chicago so you could pace me :)

Danielle said...

Ah, that would be fun to pace you, although I wouldn't say I'm the best at pacing...:) My numbers are all over the board, I have to pull the stats off my Garmin and I'll try posting them a bit later maybe today. I had one sub 8 minute mile in there...that was when I saw the family and it was downhill!! I'm definitely going to try to get my training posted on here for anyone that wants to read it. A bit more leg strength training and maybe a bit faster on the tempos and the 3:40 is there!!

Kathy said...

You're quite the racer Danielle! Congratulations on a great race. I'm very proud of you!

Running Rabbit said...

Now....get you on a flat course and you will go ZIP ZIP!!! Fantastic time! You are awesome!

Nice drinking story, BTW on Sunday. Did your grandmas partake in those festivities??

mg said...

I'm not consistent either; it'd be fun to have someone to run with, though. (Not that I don't enjoy the 50-something men I find in races here). Maybe I'll come up for that half you were talking about running this summer, and we could both smash our soft 1/2 PRs.

I haven't checked the site out, but a bunch of people on the Running Times forums seem to like http://www.running-journal.com for posting training and race reports. (I like the tallying features for my sidebar over at www.breakingthetape.com). I'm lame with web stuff, so I just use MS Frontpage to create my pages and upload them to www.freewebs.com (I used to use the free web space you get from yahoo/geocities, but when I moved to frames the ads annoyed me). I'd love to see all your training put together - it's awesome to see hard work pay off! I can't say congratulations enough!

Kurt said...

You did awesome and I knew you would. Your an amazing runner! Your going to kick arse at the MCM!