Here are all of my strengths for Skagit Flats 2016:
My cardio was rock star status. My resting heart rate right before the Seattle Marathon in June was around 48-54 beats per minute whereas my resting heart rate right before Skagit this year was 38-42 beats per minute. I wonder if it’s because I was training too hard for Seattle that my body never fully recovered before the race.
My mental game was on point. For some reason, I handled the mileage a lot better this time than in any other marathon. I broke it down into sections: The first section was from the start to the halfway point (where we pivot around a cone in the middle of the road to come back) and then the second (mental) section was from the halfway mark to the 16 mile mark where I saw Andrew and Callum. Once I chugged some cold Gatorade and saw my boys, I felt re-charged. I then turned off my iPod and forced myself to run without music until mile 20. Hitting mile 20 was a sweet reward; I was able to dial it up with both music and energy (I heard the third place woman’s mother tell her to stay on my heels). Miles 20-26 were divided up into 3 miles each, but honestly, they didn’t drag along like they always have before. It’s like a couple of my favourite songs would play and then all of a sudden I’d be leaving behind another mile.
I had fresh legs. Last year before Skagit Flats 2015 I had hit 100 miles during peak week and then (half-ass) tapered. I peaked at 90 miles during peak week before Seattle in June. This time, I kept my mileage mostly around 60 miles per week. I just felt a lot spunkier out there on Sunday.
Here are all of my struggles for Skagit Flats 2016:
I pooped out. I couldn’t hold onto sub-7 minute miles for longer than 10 miles. Granted, I only lasted 11 miles in Seattle, although that course was much hillier. Hanson’s Marathon Method has peak training week hitting marathon race pace for 10 miles before the taper begins, so you’d THINK that if I could hit those paces for 10 miles on Sunday that in 3 weeks I’d be able to hold it for 26.2. No. Not gonna happen.
My muscles were under-trained. While I could probably run 50 miles straight at a 9 min/mile pace, hitting sub-7 min mile paces require a lot more muscle strength, muscle strength that I just didn’t have on Sunday. At mile 8 I felt my left quad start to go, so I compensated with my right side which I felt in both my right hamstring and my right foot (cramps). Doing strength and speed work would remedy this, I’m sure.
I’m not a gifted runner. I shouldn’t say I’m not gifted. Running is a gift and I’ve got some sort of natural athletic ability for sure, which I’m so thankful for. But a natural runner? I’m just not. A 3:06 or 3:09 or whatever it is marathon does not come easy for me; I’ve worked at marathoning now for twenty straight years (taking baby breaks) and you’d think by now with all the mileage I’ve done that I’d be eating with silver spoons, spilling caviar on my gold-lined Canadian Olympic tracksuit.
Do you know where the word “spunk” comes from?
It means sperm.
Do you divide long runs/races up into mental sections to help it not feel so overwhelming? Which sections?