Friday, October 14, 2016

St. George Marathon + Recovery

Good News: Marathons are not my nemesis distance anymore. They are still bloody hard and I will still like to train for and run a strong marathon. 

Great News: I ran my fastest marathon by almost 32 minutes, ran a sub-4 hour marathon AND I qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon. 

It's taken me a while to write this post because I still have mixed emotions about the St. George Marathon which I ran on October 1st. My original purpose for running it was to use it as a training run for CIM which is my goal race and I ended up accidentally BQing. And this is why I have mixed emotions.  

I'm not 45 yet, but will be by April 16, 2018

About 3 weeks before St. George, I realized I aged into a new category to qualify for Boston Marathon and the qualifying standard was something that was definitely achievable based on my ability and fitness. My previous marathon PR was not indicative of my fitness. It was a bad race. 

Anyway, I went into St. George under-trained. I only completed 9 weeks of training for CIM at that point (with one week taper for St. George). I only had one 20 mile long run (2 weeks prior), one 16 mile, and maybe a couple of 15 miles. That was it for my long runs. 

The St. George course is a net downhill course but in actuality it is mostly rolling hills and some very long steep uphills (I drove the course the day before, which helped me decide my strategy). My strategy was to not push myself the first half, take it easy going up the hills and to save myself for the 2nd half. I'm a great downhill runner, so I knew I could be speedy without pushing myself. It was a great strategy which worked until about 18 miles where my legs said they had enough. That this was the distance they had trained for. (My average pace for the first 30k was 8:28/mile and my average pace for the last 12k was 9:30/mile). 

It was hard. I struggled. Yet, it almost feels like it was too easy to BQ. It wasn't something I had to work and train for months/years. It wasn't something I attempted to do and fail multiple times before accomplishing it. So, I feel guilty. Many of my running friends work on this goal for months if not years, hire coaches and race their hearts out multiple times before BQing. All I did was get old(er). Hmmm. 

My previous BQ standard of 3:45 would be a struggle and is not within my current fitness and ability. Maybe that should be my BHAG goal?

Anyway, I'm using 2 weeks to recover from St. George and will hop back into training for CIM next week. My legs feel great and my current 'A' goal for CIM is 3:50 and my 'B' goal is to PR and my 'C' goal is to finish and have fun. 

(Yikes! 51 days until CIM...)

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