Monday, February 18, 2013

February 11-17: That Time I Took 47 Minutes Off My Marathon PR

Training last week was 100% focused on resting and staying fresh for Saturday’s marathon. It’s a tough place to be – training fully completed with only enough running to keep proper kinesthetic awareness of marathon pace running, and resisting any and all urges to test speed and fitness going into a race. I was aided a bit by some business travel that kept me occupied and away from my home pool, but it was still difficult.

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.)

25 comments:

  1. But can you explain why there were big kitty cats at the race expo?

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    1. http://blog.tigerfriends.com/blog/tigers-3/tigers-join-us-at-the-16th-annual-myrtle-beach-marathon

      And they weren't all that big. Yet.

      P.S. There was an elephant at the start.

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  2. So impressed!! Way to CRUSH the marathon! Congratulations! You must still be on cloud nine

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  3. Way to represent team #rage. I can only hope my second attempt is half as successful as yours.
    No mention of the caramel cake?!?

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    1. I'm weeping for more caramel cake, alas, there is none. And, next time will be in 9 months with super ridiculous time goal.

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    2. I only need to drop 41 minutes for that!
      More caramel cake in October at the MB half.. #goodideas

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  4. Congrats! 3:47 is an amazing accomplishment!

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  5. Whoever thought that it was okay to have big cats at a marathon expo and an elephant at the start is an asshole. Sorry, that's animal cruelty - I know there are zoos (don't get me started on those...) but the noise, crowds, hype around a marathon...I'm shaking my head in sadness for those poor creatures. It's even worse for young tigers who will still be even more wild at heart than adults raised entirely in captivity.

    I'll get off my high horse about that and note that your first/second half split is amazing. I wish I could run the second half of a marathon so much more quickly than the first - do you think you held back a little in the opening miles? Either way, it suggests positive signs in relation to improving your time further.

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    1. I'm so sorry this was upsetting to you, and I understand because I know that caring treatment of animals is very important to you. I can only hope that the animals are well-treated and care for, it sounded like they were, but of course it is not ideal (or arguably, remotely ethical) to parade them around. I don't know if the point was to bring more publicity to the organizations work, which sounds like it is well-intentioned. But of course, I respect your opinion that it's not acceptable under any circumstances.

      As for the pacing - I was holding back the first six miles, built up to the 13.1 point, and then just kept accelerating. I generally have sluggish/tight legs for a few miles, which probably accounts for a good deal of that. Maybe I need to become an ultra runner.

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  6. Holy Sh*t, Victoria, that's awesome! Way to blow it out of the water. Can't wait to hear about your ironman goals.

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  7. FREAKING AMAZING. Seriously you are a goddess. That pace is super fast. There are not even enough words to praise you with.

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  8. I have been dying for this post. I am so excited, proud, I don't know for you. To negative split your marathon and PR your half. Oh my stars. You have worked your butt off and really deserve that.

    Also I tried to do that position at swim practice one time. (a bunch of us did) if anyone claims it to be easy...they are clearly have never been in a pool and are laying on their couch doing it.

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  9. I smell a BQ.....AWESOME JOB!!!

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    1. That's the plan for November!!!!!!!!

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  10. Unbelievable! Looking forward to the "how I did it"/"lessons learned from this training cycle" post. You know---so I can copy what you do and be just like you when I grow up.

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  11. Seriously awesome! Your pace is incredible and I love how you blew all expectations away!

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  12. That's amazing! You've almost inspired me to sign up for a marathon.
    Can't wait to read the blow-by-blow recap (which I hope will come!).

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  13. A half marathon PR in the 2nd half of a 47 MINUTE marathon PR is just out of control. So many congrats!!

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  14. Congrats again! You had such an incredible race, and I know this bodes well for future goals! I hear the tweetings of a BQ goal?

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  15. You didn't hit the wall! There is hope! I love hearing that from runners. While I have not really hit a significant wall in a marathon, I have definitely found that the last 6 miles are WAY harder but it sounds like you felt great! Will you be writing a full race report!? Also, the fact that your 2nd half was faster than your marathon PR gives me more hope for myself at Eugene!

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  16. wha wha, you ARE AMAZING! way to tock that PR :) i knew you had it in you after those times you've been running!! congrats!

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