Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Monumental Day

This was the marathon I had my sights set on all year.  When I set my PR at this race in 2013 of 3:09:25 it got me very excited.  One, because I had qualified for Boston 2015 and two in the back of my mind there was something telling me that a sub 3 hour marathon was not impossible and with some more hard work could be done.  I decided to make the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon my goal race for 2014 with 3 goals in mind.  One was to qualify for Boston again.  My qualifying time is a 3:15.  Two to break my marathon PR of 3:09:25 and three, although I knew it might be a long shot break 3 hours in the marathon.  The thing about getting faster is that it gets harder and harder to take off huge amounts of times like that for your PR but I was going to work my butt off and just see what happened.  Training had gone pretty good leading up to this race but I knew I hadn't hit enough of my training runs at my goal pace and was struggling with that a bit mentally.  Any other time I had ever trained for a race I just logged lots of miles and really didn't worry too much about my pace.  If I felt like I was working hard then I was happy with it.  Sometimes for me trying to hit a certain pace stresses me out too much.  I just want to run and enjoy it.  When I set my half marathon PR of 1:28 earlier in the year I did it with no speed training.  Just logging lots of miles at a medium effort pace while training for a 100 mile ultra.  This time I decided to try a little different approach by cutting my miles back from the normal 60-80 a week and the typical 30 mile run like last year to more quality work cutting back to between 45-60 miles per week with my longest run being between 24-26 miles.  I would do 1 tempo run, 1 pace run and my longer run with some recovery efforts thrown in there.  I felt very well prepared leading up to this race to go after a PR with the training I had put in.  With running outside everyday it also prepared me mentally for any weather conditions that are ever thrown at me.  I knew leading into this race I would be glad I trained the way I did as they were calling for 25 mph winds and 25 degrees at the start of the race.  They were right on with their prediction.  I decided before the race that I would try to stick with the 3:05 pace group pack in order to help fight off some of the wind I would be battling.  My nutrition plan for the race was the same as it is for any marathon.  I use cliff shot mocha gel and take the first one at 30 minutes into the race and then additional ones every 40-45 minutes. 

I got started and felt pretty good from the beginning and ran extreamly consistant through the first 30k of the race except mile 3 which was a crazy fast 6:18 pace.  I think the pacer got excited or something and that might have cost me later on in the race.  First 10k was a 6:59 pace, 2nd 10k was a 7:01 pace and the 3rd 10k was a 7:02 pace.  I was right at a 7:00 pace through 20 miles and that is when the wheels started to fall off and the wind got the best of me.  At mile 21 I fell off the 3:05 pacer and that pack and found myself battling the wind for the next 4 miles by myself.  It was hard and it was a struggle but in the back of my mind a PR was still within reach and a BQ was definitely within reach so I kept pushing even though there was basically not much left in the tank at this point.  At mile 24 I got passed by the 3:10 pacer and decided that would not be happening and I had to stay up with him if I had any shot at all of breaking my PR.  I pushed as hard as I could those last 2 miles but it just wasn't enough.  Finished in 3:09:49 just missing a PR by 24 seconds.  Disappointed for not getting a PR but happy all the same because I know I had given it all I had and qualified for Boston by over 5 minutes for the 2nd year in a row.  I train in all sorts of weather just because of this. You never know what you are going to be dealt with on race day.  So yes I'm happy but I know I have a 3:05 or even a sub 3 hour in me with the right weather conditions but that will have to wait for another time and another day as I now turn my focus to my next race, a 100 mile ultra at the Pistol 100 in Tennessee on Jan 3 which will be my 3rd 100 mile race.  I've gotta make a quick transition to get ready but I know I will be ready come Jan 3.  As for that sub 3 hour goal and new PR?  I'm coming for you in Boston in April of 2015.

Just a short recap of all the stats from the race for those that are interested.  This was my 27th marathon/ultra(16 marathons and 11 ultras) since I did my very first one in April of 2012 and my 9th marathon/ultra this year(4 marathon's and 5 ultra's) Mile splits for the race were 6:48, 7:04, 6:18, 6:56, 7:06, 7:05, 7:05, 7:13, 7:01, 7:04, 6:58, 6:59, 7:01(half marathon at 1:31:53 which is my 2nd fastest half marathon ever), 6:58, 7:00, 7:09, 6:56, 7:03, 7:00, 7:03, 7:00, 7:14, 7:36, 8:03, 8:13, 8:16, 7:42, 7:28(last half in 1:37:58 which I am usually much more consistent than that as I usually run dead even splits or negative split it). I was 28th in my division, 223th among males and 263rd overall. The miles 21-24 I lost the 3:05 pacer and found myself battling the wind all by myself but I kept it together for a strong last 2 miles. The 3:10 pacer passed me at mile 25 and I said enough is enough and I stuck with him to the finish. I still was able to get a BQ for 2016 by over 5 minutes and am very happy with my time considering the conditions today. Anytime I can qualify for Boston that is a major accomplishment for me and I couldn't be happier. I gave it my all. It hurt like crazy at the end but I sucked it up and got it done.  Thanks for all your support everyone.
Hanging out with Jeff Galloway
The struggle is real, damn real
I sure wan't feeling as good as I looked in this picture.  Gotta smile for the camera.
Mr. and Mrs. Run Nerd
My buddy Shyla
Thanks Jeff Galloway for signing my race bib
I run all my miles for precious Shaelyn