The Aftermath

on Monday, October 1, 2007 at 8:14 PM

I hope I didn't bum too many people out with crappy experience yesterday. Especially considering that a number of you have your own marathon to run in 6 days. I'll just outline things that I have come to my mind over the past 24 hours and hopefully that'll be the end of that and I'll move on.

Going out too fast. I know I already mentioned it, but it can't be emphasized enough. One should not go out too fast as one will pay for it in the end. I learned this lesson last year in a spring marathon, which prepped me for Chicago last year. I guess I needed a gentle reminder of this fact.

Salt intake. The going out too fast thing aside. One potential issue that I may have is salt intake. The cramping sensation was new to me and having followed Steve's trials and tribulations with his cramping issues, I think that I didn't take enough in the days leading up to the race or during. Last year in Chicago, they were using Gatorade Endurance which apparently has twice the sodium and three times the potassium content of the regular stuff which probably contributed to me having a good race. This year, I had lots of salt on my face after the race yesterday so I must have lost a lot and didn't replenish nearly enough since they use the regular stuff up here. I will have to look into getting some salt sticks or something to take during the race.

Didn't drink enough. I had a concern with having to stop to pee towards the later part of the race so I probably didn't hydrate properly the morning of or even during the race and I think that dehyration had a definite part in me bonking. It's better for me to overdrink and have to pee than to underdrink and hit the wall. It's much easier to take a one minute break to pee than it is to do the death walk which will cost much more than one minute in time.

Caroloading. I don't think I carboloaded properly this year. I had basically pigged out on carbs on Friday and come Saturday, I only had some energy bars for breakfast and a light pasta dinner. I did this last year out of necessity and thought I would try to repeat the experience. I had forgotten though that last year, I also probably ate about 10 gel packs the day before which added both carbs and electrolytes to my diet. I didn't eat any this year.

I've seriously giving thoughts to doing the race in two weeks, provided I have a decent recovery. I know it's highly not recommended and to quote from Pfitz book.

"If you have less than 4 weeks between marathons, you're on your own. Your main concern should be recovery, recovery, and more recovery not only from your first marathon but also from the lobotomy that led you to come up with this plan."

But hear me out, there's a reason to my madness. The December marathons that I'm considering are all net downhill courses which as Quinto Sol has pointed out can be quad busting. I want to try and get a feel for how the quads would react to extended periods of downhill running and the Toronto course is pretty much mostly downhill. After that race, I'll have 7 weeks to a December 2 marathon. Even if I do sign up, I'm fully prepared to DNF if I have to.

Speaking of the Toronto course, I noticed today that the course profile pic I posted yesterday is different from the one they posted in the spring time. This past spring while deciding which Toronto marathon I was going to do, I had commented that one of the marathons (ie, the one in two weeks time) had changed courses. At the time, I actually would have preferred to do that one instead since it was later in the year (and thus cooler) and was a net downhill course. The one wrinkle to the new course however was that it was to run through a park area at about the 30km mark which had a fairly steep hill. I figured that any benefits to the net downhill course would be lost trying to run up a hill at the 30 km mark (like in Boston) so I ended up deciding to do the flatter and earlier Scotiabank one. Looking at the elevation profile today, I noticed that there no longer is the big bump at 30km. I investigated a bit more and looking at the route, the course doesn't even run through the park anymore. When the hell did they make this change? If I had known about this before, I would definitely have pushed my training back two weeks and retargeted that marathon instead since the one concern I had was now gone.

Well that's it for my bitching and griping, I'll be all happy and cheery at least until Sunday night when all of the Chicago runners will have finished. For those that are doing Chicago, I just want to wish all of you a great last week of the taper!


Sonia said...

"recovery not only from your first marathon but also from the lobotomy that led you to come up with this plan"

This really cracked me up, the lobotomy part.... make sure you're not just wanting to get back to racing too fast. =)

yumke said...

I've run the half and it's really downhill. There are some uphill sections around the cemetery and Hogg's Hallow.. I kinda liked the downhill. It's all in the first 15K.. then you've got mostly flat then a 3K rise... I'll be cheering runners that day probably around the Rosedale Valley Road so hopefully I'll see ya.

(see this Google Earth Map)

jellypepper said...

hey fran, i'm sorry you didn't BQ this time round but we all know you have it in you. you know you have it in you. it just wasn't your day to do it this weekend.
you clearly have the discipline and desire to get to your ultimate goal. so you live, you learn and you go again. you've obviously analyzed your performance these last 36 hours and know what needs to be tweaked. we're with you, whatever and whenever you decide to do it.

LeahC said...

I'm so sorry that you miseed the BQ mark. That really sucks that the pacer was going so fast! I've been flip flopping on whether to run with the pacers or just seems like the the BQ pacers should be *very* experienced.

This was a great post, you analyzed what might have and probabyl went wrong. You'll get there next time for sure! Good luck!

AddictedToEndorphins said...

They made that change before I ran the Mississauga Half. Our Running Room clinic had a discussion about it on our long run.

The leader said that it was one to run before, but now it's one to race, because they put the hill earlier in the race...!

Whatever you decide, just be careful!

Stephen said...

I'm only a walker, but I sure can relate to what you're talking about.

I think your right about the electrolyte thing. When you couple that with the extra demand put on your calf muscles during the first half of the race, you have a disaster just waiting to happen.

It's weird that some people can break all the physiological rules and NEVER suffer cramps. I wish I was one of those people.

I forgot that the CIM was a downhill race. The only thing worse than calf cramps are quad cramps.

Find a nice flat one.

jen said...

Hey Fran, I am one of the last to respond but I was probably thinking about you the most on Sunday! Hehe. I checked your results as soon as I could this weekend but couldn't reply till now.

I was sharing in your nervousness beforehand, and disapointment after. I'm sorry you did not get the BQ but I am incredibly proud of you and impressed with your performance. You ran so strong for many, many miles, and your finish time was impressive despite the bonk. You are an amazing runner Fran!

Your early splits said it all- you went out too fast. We all fight this every single race and it's pretty funny we all sometimes still fall victim to this bad race strategy! Seriously! But you know what went wrong and you can try again. You've got that BQ in you, Fran! You're so close!

I don't have much advice about your follow up races, I guess I'd say listen to your body and don't be afraid to drop out if something is wrong. Don't risk a serious injury! But I suppose it's worth a shot at the next TO race... why the hell not. :) But if that doesn't get you that BQ, I'll put a big vote for you to come out here and run CIM! How cool would that be, I could congratulate you in person.

Good luck in your recovery, take it easy on yourself. You did good and will do even better next time. Great job.

Fran said...

Thanks all I really appreciate the pep talk.

Hey Yumke, the Toronto full course runs right by the front of your condo, twice!