Philly Marathon

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    • #1003
      randys
      Participant

      In 48 hours I will be running Philly. This will be my 5th marathon but its my first ‘large’ race (over 1000 runners).

      I feel more relaxed then ever! This is a ‘freebie’ race for me. I normally train for 6 months and then race one marathon. I do that twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall.

      Last month I ran Mystic and because of the horrible weather I felt I did’nt run up to my ability. I recovered really fast (I run 7 days a week and was back to running the day after Mystic). My higher milage (55-75 mpw) this year helped me recover rapidly so I decided to run another race off the same training cycle before beginning to prepare for the spring.

      Although I would love to run a BQ (need a 3:30, 46 male, PR 3:37) I will enjoy this race. I don’t feel the usual pressure that if I run a poor race it will mean 6 months of training down the drain. I intend to push hard but keep my eyes open and enjoy the experience as well.

      Its a nice feeling going into a race relaxed instead of stressed. Normally a sniffle or odd pain in the leg this close to the race would throw me into a panic. This time I’m just going to run the best race I can for that day, no pressure at all, if my best is under 3:30 then so much the better, if not there is always next May (Long Island Marathon).

      Randy

    • #12665
      Zeke
      Participant

      RandyS,

      Welcome to hillrunner. You’ll probably remember me from RunnersWorld.com where I said I didn’t think you could run 3:30 at Mystic while everyone else said you could. While this website is a lot smaller than rw.com, I think you’ll get some honest answers from a core group of guys with a lot of experience. I understand what people try to do on rw.com, but sometimes I think they try to blow too much sunshine up everyone’s ass. It’s like in society now where “everyone’s a winner”, like having 8 classes of high school football playoffs, so we can send as many people to state as possible.

      If I want someone to tell me how great I am when I run a crappy race, I’ll go to rw.com. If I want someone to tell me I suck and need to run more and stop surfing the net, I come here.

      With that said, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t get your BQ at Mystic and I wish you the best of luck at Philly. Let us know how it goes. Don’t be a stranger to the site.

    • #12666
      Double
      Participant

      Randy,

      Being relaxed can be a good sign. It can also be comforting to know there is little pressure….

      ….but, don’t forget to go through the process that may allow you to hit 3:30:59. You may be at the door step, so don’t discount your current fitness. Since the pressure is minimal, this is the ideal time to try and take a good wack at it.

      Remember:

      – the hay is in the barn, it is normal to feel lousy and have negative thoughts. Just dismiss them and move on.

      – go out exactly at 8:00 pace and hold it. Even numbers are great when you need calculations down the road. Past 15-17 miles you will feel you need to go faster to keep at 8:00 when you begin to tire. Concentrate here, because typically you don’t need to start working hard yet at all.

      – eat and get all your fluids in you 2 hours before the start. Eight ounces right before the start is fine.

      – drink a little from every aid station

      – don’t try and do too many gels because that then becomes your focus. Have one around 17 and one at 22-23 if you feel it’s necessary.

      – remember that bad patches can happen anytime. You can also get through them. Slightly back off and concentrate on mile to mile.

      – don’t become too watch conscious. Those freakin’ things can cause to much consternation. Remember 8:00 is easy to calculate.

      – don’t worry about 20 miles at all until you get there. Stay in the present, I’m a machine, I’m a world shaker, I’m gonna fly….(Rocky theme/Philly, get it?).

      – if you have to tie your shoe, go to the bathroom, et cetera, just do it and get it over with. Champions adjust.

      – remember at 23-24 miles it is East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’. Do all the over compensating you can. Run for the roses cause there ain’t no stars on a potato farm.

      – get by yourself sometime before the start and get a mental picture of the task at hand. Don’t let it overwhelm you, rather greet the bastard and run like the champion inside you wants to.

      – oh and have a lot of fun.

    • #12667
      randys
      Participant

      Zeke,

      You were right regarding BQ’ing at Mystic, but even though I missed the BQ I still feel I improved a lot over the last 6 months.

      My time in May was almost identical to my time at Mystic in October. Yet I feel my training is moving in the right direction. When I consider how much tougher this race was (hilly with poor weather conditions) compared to Long Island in May running an identical time feels like postive progress.

      So, I will run Philly as a low key race, without expectations (besides having fun), but I plan to train even harder this winter and in the spring I WILL get under 3:30.

      btw: This cycle I added a mid week medium-long run of 10 miles to my schedule. I think that was an important element missing from my last schedule. I also went from 8 long runs (18-24) to 10 long runs. I made these changes because again my problems at Mystic developed in the later miles.

      In my last 3 attempts to BQ I held the 8:00 pace for 18, 20 and now 22 miles. Each time I manage to maintain the pace longer. Under better conditions I probably could have gone 24 and by next May I think I can go the distance.

      Randy

    • #12668
      Ryan
      Keymaster

      Randy, welcome to the forums. I don’t think I’ve seen you around before, although I may be mistakened.

      You’ve already gotten good advice and what I think is a pretty good description of what you can expect from these forums. This is where you go to hear what you need to hear, not always what you want to hear.

      All I would add to what has been said is that I think being relaxed and not over nervous about your goals is huge. While you may still have some lingering fatigue from your last attempt that you won’t notice until race day, going in relaxed could easily more than make up for that. All I’d say is keep calm, intelligently roll the dice on race day, and go for the gold.

      Let us know how things work out.

    • #12669
      Zeke
      Participant

      Randy,

      Everything that Double says is right on the mark. I like the 8 min advice. Don’t go out faster, trying to bank time. And don’t be a slave to the watch. During my best marathon I checked my splits for the first 3 miles than just settled in. I had a ballpark # for halfway and I was within 30 seconds of that. I held steady for 5 more miles then let loose. In hindsight I probably should have held steady till 20 rather than 18, but I still PR’d. I also like the advice about bad patches. One year I ran Gma’s and was hurting by mile 8. I backed off for a mile and things were back to normal.

      I really like the mid-week medium-long run. I tell people, I know I’m fit when I can hammer out a 2 hour run on a Wed. night and not even think about it. I’d say continue using it in the spring, but bump it up in the 12-15 mile range. Obviously, don’t worry about it now.

      Finally, I know your times have been coming down, I just didn’t think you were quite ready for 3:30 at Mystic. It might not happen at Philly either, but you’ll get there. But I hope it does happen at Philly, then we can hang out in Boston together.

    • #12670
      randys
      Participant

      Well today was not one of my better days as a marathoner! Things started out well enough. I felt good before the start and still had the goal of 3:30 in mind (a 7 minute improvement over my PR in May and 8 minutes faster than 4 weeks ago at Mystic).

      It was strange running with so many people. My past 4 marathons had only about 400-800 runners so this race was about 10 times bigger. The first couple of miles were slow simply because of the crowds.

      Maybe I lined up too far back. While I had a goal time in mind I was running this race for the experince of running a ‘large’ marathon. I also wanted to run a race without the pressure and stress of having a bad day cost me 6 months of training.

      After the first couple of miles I managed to gradually make up some of the time lost. Thats also when things started going south for me. I was already having breathing trouble with asthma but expected my Albuteral inhaler to eventually kick in. At about this time I also began to feel sick and needed a porta-potty break really bad.

      This is something that has never happended before. I never needed a bathroom break while racing (or even in training). At worst I may take 1 quick pee break but nothing like what happended here.

      After that stop, which lasted several minutes, I felt better but my asthma was still bothering me and I knew any hopes to race were over. I decided to drop to my long run training pace and hope that I would improve physically.

      As it turns out I never actually recovered. I needed 2 more long bathroom breaks and my breathing only began to improve over the last several miles. I managed to finish in 3:55. It was my 2nd slowest marathon ever.

      Still I wanted to finish the race and while I considered dropping out during the second bathroom stop I pressed on.

      It was a new experience running through an urban setting and with so many runners. In other races after a mile, while I may not be running alone, I am running with lots of space between me and others. In this race I just about always had another runner on my shoulder. It took more planning to plan a path through the other runners and at water stations.

      Overall I had fun and got to experience something new. I would do it again but only in the same way as a follow up to an earlier ‘goal race’. I prefer smaller races when running for a time goal.

      On the other hand if I had not gotten ill I might feel different today. On a positive note because I ran slower than my normal training pace I feel today about the same as I would after any long training run.

      I can resume training for the spring (Long Island Marathon, May 2nd) almost where I would be if I had not run Philly.

      Randy

    • #12671
      Ryan
      Keymaster

      Randy, sorry to hear about the bad experience. Fortunately, it sounds like you’re handling it well and keeping the positives in mind. You had a new experience that sounds like it was a positive one, you learned a few things, and you didn’t push so hard that you set yourself too far back for this spring.

      Keep plugging away with the training and it will come.

    • #12672
      Zeke
      Participant

      Randy,

      Sorry to hear that things didn’t go that well at Philly. I’ve never run 2 marathons that closely together, mainly because I don’t think I could run competitively in the 2nd race. Learn as much as you can from this race and apply it to your future marathons.

      I think it’s time for you to give your body a rest, even if you feel recovered. Take a couple of weeks off, then build up slowly before starting your next marathon program.

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