Did 9.4 miles on Sunday at a recovery pace. Wanted to take it easy after the blood donation on Saturday. I've been real busy at work these past few days and havn't done any running. will try and get out for a short run tomorrow morning just to loosen things up. I haven't been stretching and my legs muscles are starting to tightening up.
Did 5 miles recovery on Wednesday, Friday and today. Will try and maybe squeak out a 10 mile long run tomorrow.
Donated blood today. It's been well over a year since I last gave. All this marathon training had me reluctant to give up my red blood cells. I guess that's changed for the present time. Next is to try and schedule getting my wisdom teeth removed. More lost red blood cells. Oh Joy!
I've been looking at hotels for Boston in April of next year. It's never too early to start planning. Umm, why are they charging $400-$500 a night? Geez, it's going to be one expensive trip...
Did 6 miles recovery on Sunday. Wanted to do a 5 mile recovery this morning, but just wasn't motivated to get out of bed. I've been trying to plan what I want to do for the rest of the year running wise. I signed up for the Chicago marathon but I'm having second thoughts about that. I considered signing up for the Twin Cities marathon in Minnesota since it's supposed to be one of the better big city marathons around, but that filled up within the past day or so. Considerign that I've already done two marathons this year, I may forgo a fall marathon this year.
I'd still like to race a couple of shorter distances to get some PR's. My half marathon PR is about at the same pace as my marathon PR. That needs fixing. There's a Canada Day (July 1) 10k race that I'd like to do. At the race expo, last week, I saw a poster for the Pearson Runway Run which is a 5k race on one of the runways of the big city airport here in Toronto. That sounded neat, but unfortunately that filled up recently too.
Did 5 miles recovery on Wednesday and 3 miles recovery today. Will probably try and squeeze in 6 miles recovery tomorrow.
Race pics from the race last Sunday. Let's see. Here are five pics of me looking at the ground.
Fooling around in photoshop, i made this animated gif of the first four pictures so it looks like I'm running.
So the race starts. I have a little trick I do at the start of every race. As you may have noticed there are usually two timing mats at the beginning of every race. One is usually right at the start line and the second one is usually a couple of metres behind it. One is supposed to act as a backup for the other. I always try and keep my chip from activating on the first mat and making sure that it contacts the mat that is right at the start line. I've always thought that if I activate on the first mat that you lose the extra 1 or 2 seconds from your chip time cause it thinks you started several seconds before you actually get to the start line. Anyhow, while hopping on one foot over the first mat and making sure that my shoe with the chip on it contacted the second mat, I forgot to start my watch!! I was trying to go out slowly and maintain a nice easy pace, weaving around the couple of people who clearly had not seeded themselves properly. At some point, I glanced down at my watch to check my HR when I saw the flash of 0:00:00 on it. SHIT!! Pushed the start button and was cursing myself. I had this nice pace band with 41 km splits on it which was now going to be useless. I had spent so much time putting it together and making sure everything was legible. On a side note, I realized that I only look at the minutes and seconds so I removed the hour number from most of the splits. i found it worked well. Also the boxes around the alternating numbers make it really easy to read. I had set the pace band for 3:10:30 to leave a little room for error in case the last km was slightly long.
Back to the story, I passed the first km mark and hit the lap button and it read 2:55. The split for the first km should have been 4:31. Some quick little math and I figured the pace band would still be useful all I had to do was add 1:30 to the watch split or subtract 1:30 from the pace band split. This was relatively easy math to do, but this would be valid only if I had actually covered the first km at the right pace which I wasn't sure I had done. (As it turns out, I would figure out after the race based on the 8km and 25km timing mat splits that the actual adjustment time was 1:24, but I didn't know this at the time) First km was actually done in 4:19 which was a little fast. I had decided that the first little bit, I was going to try and run by HR. My little track session last Wednesday had convinced me that I could maintain Boston pace at a HR of less than 170 so i tried to keep the HR less than 170 at the start. What I hadn't accounted for was that the first few km were a little bit uphill so I let the HR climb slowly. I didn't want it to get higher than 175 though. First 3 km are on a bit of a climb , km 4 is a big downhill and km 5 is mostly flat. Right on pace.
By this point I was trying to figure out how much time I had banked and whether I should slow down. I guessed that it was around 30 seconds or so which would put in line to finish with a 3:10:00 if i maintained the proper pace from that point forward. I endeavored to try and do this as going out too fast has burned me in the past. The start was congested. The half marathoners and full racers all start at the same time so there's quite a few people to run with. One thing I had learned from last fall was that I was going to run my own race at my own pace. I wasn't going to run with anyone else or latch onto a group. If people were passing me, I would let them pass. I skipped the first aid station drinking from the 710ml gatorade bottle that I was carrying with me. Some might thing that this wasn't a good idea, but I had trained all year carrying a bottle so this was nothing new for me. Starting in km 7 we turn into where there is a nice downhill and then a nice uphill. It was at this point, I get my first taste of the crappy water they are dishing out. It's definitely not bottled water and had a nasty taste to it. Most have come from the fire hydrants. Really crappy. Hit the 8km timing mat at 35:29 which averages out to a 7:08 pace. Not too bad. A little fast, but nothing like the 6:59 pace I had pulled off at the 8km mark last fall. Pacing was going well.
It was during the little 4 km stretch that I encounter my first little concern with the placement of the markers. Some are definitely off. km 7 has a downhill but it measured as being slow. Km 8 has an uphill but it measures as being fast. km 9 is a bit of a downhill so that seems about right.
Km 10 was clearly long. Even though it was uphill there was no way I had slown down to 10 min/mile pace. This was confirmed by the next km split which was way too fast. Combined the two km measured about right. I was really concentrating on turning over at 180 cadence. I've found that it really helps to maintain your pace. Shortly before the 15km mark, the full marathoners turn off and separate from the halfers. It suddenly got a lot more lonely. After turning off, there was a woman I could see up ahead who kinda looked familiar. As I closed in on her, i realized that it was the same woman who had blown by me in the last 10km of the two marathons last fall. Hah. I was getting my revenge as I passed her.
Km 16 through to 21 were uneventfull and pretty much on pace. I did notice at this point little beads of water dripping from the brim of my cap which usually means my cap had become saturated with sweat. This is usually my way of testing if I'm putting out the right effort. The fact that it had taken over an hour to get to this point was a good sign. last fall, i think the little drops of water were starting to fall by the 3km mark. I hit the half way mark and saw the clock was around 1:35:00 gun time. My chip time for the half was actually 1:34:13 Or course I didn't really know the chip time for certain, but I estimated that I had banked about a minute of time which I could live with. First half average pace was 7:11 pace. Pretty good looking back in retrospect.
It was during km 22 and 23 that I noticed the wind for the first time. We were running in a southeastern direction and the wind was coming from the east. It wasn't a strong breeze but noticible. We then turn into a southwestern direction and the wind is at our backs. 25 km split was 1:51:46 or 7:12 pace from the start. Looking good. Shortly after the 25 km mark there's a turnaround and the wind now becomes a bit of a head wind. I didn't have much room for error so I trudge on trying to maintain pace.
I notice during km 26 through 30 that I'm passing quite a few people. I think the wind and the marathon distance was taking its toll on some others. I was checking the splits after and it's interesting to see the number of people that passed the 25km mark at about the same time as me or slightly faster that ended up finishing 5 to 10 minutes behind me. I think I had trained myself to run in the wind so it wasn't bothering me that much. It was during these kms that I dumped my gatorade bottle which was close to empty. I kinda felt like the scene in Apollo 13 where they let go of the lunar module and thank it for saving their lives. That gatorade bottle had gotten me this far and I was kinda sorry to see it go.
I had been running most of the race with a slight tilt to my head. It'll be interesting to see how the race pics look cause I really wasn't looking out for the race photographers. I think most of them will be with me looking at the ground. I generally try to be on the lookout for cameras so I can wave at them, but that didn't happen this time. Shortly before the 31 km mark, while running along admiring the fine cracks that were in the pavement, I heard my name yelled out. Whipped my head around and saw that it was a running acquaintance that I had done some long runs with who was out cheering. Nice to see a familiar face at the 30km mark.
Turning right onto lakeshore blvd heading east, we encounter the head wind. I mutter some swear words about the wind to the guy I'm passing. At least I think it was a guy. I had seen this dude (and it was a dude) at the expo the previous day as he was behind me in a line to get free frozen yogurt. HE was dressed in a pink running skirt and had a pink top. HE had has nails painted. HE had fake Boobs (i think) and HE had a masculine voice. I knew I was coming up behind him because i could hear the volunteers talking about him at the previous water station. Anyhow, this GUY was either trying to be one hell of a stunt runner or he was in the process of getting gender reassignment. I'll see if I can find a picture of him when the race pics come out. Anyhow I passed him at this point and didn't see him again.
km 34 turns off and runs by the lake. I ran this marathon back in 2006 and it was this portion that mentally defeated me. The wind back then was directly in my face and I just couldn't fight through it. Not today though. wind probably wasn't as bad and I was able to continue on.
By this point I had only taken about 2 gels which were split over 4 water stations. I should have been at 3 or 4 by this point. I don't quite remember why I hadn't taken more. I kinda just kept saying to myself, next aid station. As it would turn out, I would not take any more.
This feeling was then made worse by the next two km splits which were both slower than desired pace. Passing by the 39 km marker, I looked down at my watch and saw a horrible split. I was too afraid to look at my pace band as I was afraid of what it would show. If I had slipped behind Boston pace, I probably would not have been able to push on.
At this point, I said screw the pace band and the km markers. trying to worry about pace with misplaced markers was not going to get me anywhere. I figured I had about 15 minutes left of running to do and so I started to try and focus on pace and turnover.
I continued to hit the lap button as I passed the markers, but didn't bother to look at the split. I was going to try and finish as strong as I could. Last little bit is on this really narrow trail and to compound this, the 3 hour half marathon walkers were still on the trail. I was weaving in and out trying to pass these people cause I didn't know how much time I had to spare. I was downright sprinting right at the end. Didn't even see the clock as i passed the finish line. Did the last 1.2 km at 7:05 pace. Clicked stop on my watch and saw that it read 3:08:57.
If my 1:30 estimate was right of the time I had missed at the start, I had BQ'd. If it was 2:00, it was going to be close. It it was more than that, I was going to start crying. I wandered about the finish area trying to do the mental calculations to see if I had qualified. I was too scared to go look at the results. I went and got a massage and some food and then went to pick up my bag. The first I actually knew I had qualified was about 30 minutes after I had finished when I checked my email on my bb and saw congratulations from quinto sol and yumke. You guys knew before I did!!
Looking back, if I had bothered to check the clock as i passed the finish line, I knew I would have qualified because it would have read 3:11:09. It defintely took me longer than 9 seconds to cross the start line, but it's easy to look back at it now and see how silly it was to have been worried.
Well that's it. HR graph is as follows.
Generally I was able to keep the HR below 170 for most of the race. It was above it at the start, on a couple of the hills and right at the end, but other than that it looked pretty good, i think it was a good sustainable effort. Maximum that was reached was 178 on the hill at the 8km marker. Average for the whole race was 168. I was breathing pretty heavily for the last 2 km or so. One-One breathing pattern. Based on past experience, I can usually sustain that type of breathing for 3-4 km so i started at the right time. Some stats.
First half: 1:34:13
Second half 1:36:11
1:58 positive split.
|Avg Pace from Start.||0:07:08||0:07:11||0:07:12||0:07:16|
|Expected finish time.||3:07:10||3:08:26||3:08:40|
The course is supposed to be a net downhill, but the rolling hills don't make it feel that way. I'm quite happy with the 2 min positive split.
I've always been envious of the Marathon Guide results for races cause they tell you if the person BQ'ed. I didn't like looking at my results there cause it always reminded me that I had not, whereas others that finished close to me did. Not anymore.
I've been looking at this page every day now.
Just wanted to thank you all for following me on my quest for personal glory. as I mentioned previously, one of my goals was to run Boston before I turned 35. Well I turn 34 this year which basically meant I had to qualify this year. That's why I've been into this obsessive training these past few months. To be honest, I was starting to hate it. It felt like a second job. Having to get up early do a certain number of miles at a certain pace. Now I can kick back and enjoy the summer!
Thanks for reading!
I liked how Yumke broke his report into a pre race and actual race report so I'm going to do that as well. It started at the race-expo where I picked up my bib. Those the have partaken in Toronto mrathons know that the Running Room always has a booth where they have this spin the wheel game where you can win various things. I think they changed the wheel this year so that it was almost a certainity that the only thing you could win was a small sample tube of toothpaste and that's what the previous 5 people that spun the wheel ahead of me had won. I spun the wheel expecting to win toothpast also when it landed on a 20% off coupon. I think that was the best prize they had so things were looking good.
I picked up a copy of the IRun Magazine (there has to be an Apple trademark infringement there)which they were giving away at the expo. Ended up reading it while eating dinner that night. There's a nice little blurb on Terry Fox in there. Nice inspirational story.
Lunch on Saturday consisted of pasta and meatballs and dinner conisted of just pasta and sauce. I made sure to try and stuff myself. My weight has dropped quite significantly these past few weeks and on Saturday morning I was around 141 pounds. In the past, this would be an indication that I was dehydrated, but my weight has consistenly been like that for the past few weeks so it could have been some real weight loss (not that I have much to actually lose).
I have to say that this time around, it felt different. There really wasn't an urgency to this race. It's not like in the fall where I was really nervous the day before and even this past March when I had to fly to California. To be honest, I was almost already accepting that it wouldn't be so this time around. In fact, i had signed up for the Chicago marathon a few weeks ago as a possibility for a fall race. I wouldn't normally have done Chicago again, but I thought the flat course and good crowd support would give me the best opportunity to BQ.
My shoes for this race would be the Brooks Adrenaline 6's which is a shoe I've been using before. But these weren't your ordinary Adrenaline 6's. I picked up these neon green adrenalines quite a while ago at a discounted price. I guess people didn't like the colour. Brooks is now selling the Adrenaline 8's so I figured I had to use these things eventually cause they were getting a bit old.
The night before the race, I pinned the bib to my shirt and got my stuff ready. For nutrition, I would take 5 gels, 1 of which would be consumed before the race and the other 4 to be taking during. I also brought some salt pills in a little pill box. I also brought a bottle of gatorade which I would carry with me during the race. I was still worried a bit of salt intake. I had some stomach issues in Napa and I was basically going to be doing the same thing this time around. I did some surfing around and found an article that said that it was too much to consume an entire gel at one time and that one should only eat half a gel at a time with a couple of gulps of water. This kinda made sense so I decided I would drink from my gatorade bottle every km and then would drink only water at the aid stations and take half a gel beginning at the 45 minute mark and then every 20 minutes or so when I got to an aid station. I was bringing the salt pills along, but I wasn't sure if they were going to be useful. They contain a lot more salt then what a gel has and it's quite concentrated. I think they may have been responsible for what went down in Napa, but I ws bringing them along in case I needed them.
Went to bed at about 10pm and slept fairly well. Had set the alarm for 5am, but ended up waking naturally at 4:30. Ate a bagel with PB and jam and downed some gatorade. Took a shower got changed and was out the door shortly after 6. Oh yeah, i should probably mention that with my experience at Napa, I spent 5 minutes picking away at anything that might resemble lint on the inside and outside of my socks! Smooth as silk when I put them on!
Having learned the lesson the hard way last year which had me waiting for 45 minutes to get into the parking lot at the marathon start, I ended up avoiding the main route into the shopping mall where the race starts. Instead I took a bit of a detour and was into the parking lot within 5 mintues after having gotten off the freeway. Thank you google maps!
I had about 45 minutes to the race start, first thing to do was to obviously hit the portapotties. It was still pretty early and there wasn't much of a line-up. I jogged around a bit and would end up going again 2 more times before the start. They used to have this big open field near the start where people would do their business, but they built something there this past year. People were looking for alternatives.
I decided to not wear my foot pod for the race. As I mentioned before, i didn't want to carry around this extra thing on my foot for 26 miles and risk it throwing my stride off. I put the HR monitor on and jogged around to make sure it worked okay. I stretched a bit, downed a gel and some water and then headed to the start line.
I lined up in the 3:00 to 3:30 group and squeezed into middle. The national anthem was sung and then we were off.
Picked up my race kit today. I finally got to see the Garmin Forerunner 405 in person at the expo. Nice little thing. I was really close to buying one. That had 7 left in stock. In the end, i was able to convince myself not to endulge. They only have the 405's with a heart rate monitor. There is supposed to be a 405 that doesn't have a HRM but those aren't available in Canada yet. If they had those, I'm pretty sure I would have bought one.
I picked up a 3:15 pace band which I will stuff in my shorts pocket as a backup in case i have to bail on the BQ attempt. 3:15:00 was my original goal in Napa and I'd like to at least try and meet that. I have a 3:10:30 pace band that I made in Excel that has km splits on them (all 42 of them) as my dreal goal. I'm going to try and run even splits for the whole race even though the first half is net downhill.
I'm sorta torn on wearing the foot pod tomorrow for pacing. I think it would be useful, but I don't like the thought of wearing this extra thing on my shoe for 26 miles. I don't quite trust garmin in key pacing situations plus it's a bit of extra weight to carry around so that's out of the question (maybe i should have bought the 405...). I have decided that I will wear my HR moinitor though so hopefully that will be useful for effort feedback.
The weather is looking good. Temperatures at start of 8C and finishing at 13C. They are still predicting some headwind towards the end, but there's nothing I can do about that now. Will try and see if I can find someone to draft off of.
I included a link in the sidebar under the timer to my on-line tracking in case anyone is interested in tracking me.
See ya on the flip side.
Did 6 miles recovery run today in the morning. I forgot to mention that I did a 6 mile recovery run on Tuesday also. I also did about 1.5 miles after work today to calibrate my foot pod for 7:15 pace around the local track. It felt kinda weird cause I drove to the track so that I could run around it. I'm supposed to be tapering so I didn't want to burn extra effort jogging to and from the track. Did 2 lap warmup and then started into it. Turns out that the foot pod didn't really need calibrating to begin with. Did 4 laps while doing 7:15 pace and it measured it to be 402m, 399m 396m and 398m. Close enough.
The temperature looks good for Sunday, starting at 8C and finishing at about 14C. Weather forecast is now predicting the winds again coming from the east at 30km/hr. No rain at least. I guess I was hoping yesterday that by registering yesterday it would lock the weather in at whatever the prediction was at that time. Guess not. I'm waiting for tomorrow when I can get hourly predictions of the wind forecasts. I'm still hoping that the the 30km/hr winds are going to come later in the day and won't be around in the morning.
Okay so I signed up for the marathon on Sunday. It might be a foolish thing to have done, but I really wanted to take a shot at BQing in the spring. Yeah I know you've heard this from me before, but I'm writing this today in the type of fitness that I think I should have been in to run Napa but was derailed due to me getting sick about a month prior to that marathon.
Going to bed last night, I had pretty much decided that I wasn't going to do the full and rather would do the half. I was actually looking at the National Capital Marathon on May 25 as a possibility to try and still squeeze in another marathon in this spring. The weather forecast for this Sunday looked miserable. Rain and winds from the east of 30km/hr. The last quarter of the marathon is heading in an easterly direction so it would have meant a headwind for the last 10km or so. Not fun.
Anyhow this morning I was supposed to do 7 miles with 2 at marathon pace. But instead, I decided I would try and do the 7 miles with 2 at half marathon pace which I'm guessing was about 7min/miles. My main reason for doing this was to try and calibrate my foot pod at 7min/mile pace. I found it quite helpful for pacing at 8min/miles and thought it might be helfup for the half on Sunday. I jogged to the track and started into it trying to maintain a 1:45 lap, but what I found quite interesting was that my HR was not getting high at all and it felt really easy. I ended up doing 3.5 miles total rather than just 2 miles around the track cause I was trying to see if the HR would ever get higher. In total the HR touched 171 a couple of times, but averaged about 167-168 for most of these miles which averaged about 7:00min/mile. I did do one lap at my Boston pace near the end (between laps 11 and 12) and the HR average dropped to 166, but was actually closer to 164 right at the end of the lap. This had me somewhat encouraged since I've always used 170 as a general guide for my marathon pace HR. So this at least indicated that I might be in boston qualifying shape and had me rethinking whether i should do the marathon or not all day.
The only concern was still the crappy weather predicted for Sunday, but that seems to have cleared up for now. The weather forecast is now predicting only a 20% chance of rain and winds from the southeast of 10km/hr. Much better than the stuff they were predicitng last night. So with no regrets, I took the plunge and registered for the full about 30 minutes ago. I'm just hoping that the weather doesn't change again!
Did 13.4 miles today. Average 8 min/mile, though the later miles were closer to 7:50 pace or so. Ran this with the foot pod rather than the garmin. I ran a 13.25 mile course that I've measured using Google Earth and the foot pod measured it to be 13.27. Pretty accurate. Much better than what garmin would usually give me. I tacked on a little bit at my Boston pace at the end to bump it up to 13.4 miles. i think the garmin has been giving me a false sense of pace during training making me think I'm going faster than I actually am going. This recent training cycle, I've depending more on Google earth to measure pace after the fact than the garmin and found that it has worked well. It's a bit of a hassle to plot routes and things, but once you get a few routes plotted, it's easy to tack on new detours onto existing routes to add mileage.
Speaking of garmin, the garmin 405 has been released and the reviews have started trickling in. Looks neat!
In the past, I've been trying to do these in around 6:20 pace which is what I was aiming for today. HR spiked during the second one and I had to take an extended walking break to let it come down. Maximum HR during the first one was 182 and during the last one was 185. Then finished it off with a couple of miles trying to maintain the HR just below 160.
Friday: 5.4 mile recovery run. Average about 9:20 min/mile. Been doing my recovery runs lately in my Nike Free's and I think I"m starting to derive some benefits from them. My turnover has increased and I think my form is improving as well.
Today: 7 miles GA including 10 strides. Ran the first bit at a HR of less than 160. Averaged a little faster than 8min/mile for this portion. Strides also went without incident, though 10 of them is quite a bit. I was starting to get sloppy towards the end.
Next week is the last week of my between marathons schedule. I had previously decided I was going to do a half marathon next Sunday all out, but a part of me wants to take another crack at the marathon. I've had a solid 8 weeks so far of training which included 248 miles of running last month. The previous high I've ever gotten to was 218. I've gotten through it injury free and I definitely think my fitness is better than when I ran the marathon back in March. I had made a mental note to myself way back that if I could get my long run pace to below 8min/mile prior to next week, that the marathon would be an option. I still don't know if my Lactate Threshold is where it should be, but i think 3:10 is a realistic possibility. I'm still kinda upset that I wasn't able to PR in Napa and I'm certain i could.
Next Sunday is predicting a high of 14C which would be good but it looks like its going to be windy. The schedule this week includes a short marathon pace run on Wednesday. Will see how that goes before deciding for sure. Hopefully the forecast will change to be slightly cooler with less wind in the meantime.
Good luck to Yumke and JellyPepper who are in Cincinnati to partake in their marathon festivities tomorrow! Also congratulations to Ryan in becoming a father for the first time. He intentionally skipped out on the Boston marathon to be with his wife. Now is that dedication or what?