Difficult, but worth it when I not only broke 4 hours in my marathon, which was the goal I set in October, and not only beat the low end of my A-goal range of 3:50-3:55, but absolutely obliterated everybody’s estimation of what I thought I could do.
And to make it even sweeter, I have a new half marathon PR from the race, too.
From the first half? No. I did that in 1:55:28. The second half was 1:52:02, just about 1:30 faster than what I ran in Richmond three months ago.
The rest of the week seems inconsequential compared to that, but the very focused running efforts coupled with disciplined rest are what made that race happen.
Monday: Rest day.
Tuesday: A 5.5 mile untimed run, guessed to be completed in about 50 minutes, before hopping on a plane to Palm Beach for a work meeting.
Wednesday: Faced with a pre-dawn run time and no well-lit areas to run outdoors, I hit up the treadmill for 4.5 miles, including 3 miles at marathon race pace. The warm up at 9:13/mile felt like walking. The 8:49/mile marathon race pace felt slow and I kept running into the front bar of the treadmill. When I logged the workout data, I noted to my coach that I was pretty sure the treadmill was broken because it felt too easy.
Thursday: Flight home from Florida and 1500 meters of swimming in the morning, then a drive to Myrtle Beach in the evening.
Friday: 20 minutes of easy running (let’s call it 2.2 miles) with Rachel, then visiting kitties at the race expo.
Saturday: Myrtle Beach Marathon - 3:47:29 (8:40/mile pace), closing in 1:52:02 for the last half, which is 1:29 faster than my half marathon PR. The speed I maintained for the distance felt surreal, and I never hit any kind of wall. At all. Then I got to celebrate Rachel’s first marathon finish ever with her – she ran a smart race and had a serious negative split out there.
Sunday: Rest day, aside from the 40 times I went up and down the stairs at a meet that I coached. It was oddly not nearly as painful as I thought it would be. Sitting and judging, on the other hand, was not friendly to my hips.
(That’s me in the background judging. Those are my swimmers in the foreground. And yes, it’s hard to hold that position; try it the next time you're in the pool.)