When a PB isn’t good enough. My ING Ottawa Marathon report.

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Ed 1 14 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #1563


    As promised earlier, I said I would post a marathon report. This is my first marathon report (3rd marathon overall) so please bear with me and I will apologize in advance for the metric. From my earlier post my goals were Sub 3:50 2. 3:55 and the minimal goal of 3:59. It was a perfect day for a marathon; 10 degrees C, sunny with a bit of cool breeze. There were around 4000 people in the race. This was the first year the ING had sponsored the race.

    Summary in 100 words or less: everything went really well right up until 34k I was still on target for a 3:52 at the 32K mark, I even decided to speed up a little bit. I figured, 10K left, time to go for it. My race plan was working perfectly, I was cruising along well, taking all of the water stops, eating, everything was fine. Around 34 I was all of a sudden really starting to feel it, I would run for a km, walk for maybe 50m. I figured as a worse case, I could just keep doing that. Then about 36.5 BOOM, my legs said no more. I could not feel my thighs and my calves were literally on fire. Even at 38km if I could have run a 5:30 pace, I would still reach my 3rd goal of a sub 4. No such luck, I would run for 200 meters walk for 100m. This continued for what felt like a lifetime. As the finish neared and the crowds got bigger I did manage to run in the last km non stop. Even when I was 200m from the finish I just wanted to walk. My finish time was Gun: 4:06:55 Chip: 4:05:00 an 8 minute PB (1st one 2 years ago 4:40, 2nd one last year 4:12)

    In retrospect, I wouldn’t have changed anything about my race, I did everything as planned, my pace was very even. The problem was simple, I did NOT train enough. I needed 1 or possibly 2 more 22 mile runs. (I had 2 20 milers and 1 23 miler) According to my running log I ran 780 km before the marathon. Apparently not enough. As you all know, it is frustrating, I was out there, I knew if I didn’t turn it up I was not going to hit my goal. But I just couldn’t do it. I knew I could not turn around and do another one in a couple of weeks to avenge it. I guess that is part of the allure of the marathon.

    As for the aftermath, 5 toenails lost for sure, possibly 6. The outsides of my quads are still quite sore. Walking downstairs is still difficult. The new course was beautiful. I really enjoyed the first half very scenic. My personal favourite moment, just past the half way point you run through the heart of the city, it is downhill, the crowds lining the street where huge, they were all pounding together bright orange ING thunder sticks. It is something I will never forget, it was SO motivating. I still get shivers thinking about it.

    If any of you are looking for a great marathon to run next year, I would highly recommend it. http://www.ncm.ca The race was won by Elly Rono with a time of 2:11:47. There were a total of 10 finishers at or below 2:20:59.

    Thank you all for reading and looking forward to training for my next one.


  • #14872



    Way to go. Sorry you didn’t reach your goals, but you can’t be to disappointed with an 8 minute PR. Keep chipping away.

    You mentioned 780km of training. How long a period does that cover?

    Time for a little R&R.

  • #14873

    Ed 1

    Marathons are hard to do – thats why there are not millions of particpants even world wide out of the billions on the planet. Train harder and longer – what kind of plan did you have? Did you follow it closely? Did you train for a particular pace? Just curious. I followed the horrid begining runner training schedule on the runner’s world web site – I only missed two of the shorter runs on that schedule and I finished my first marathon in 3:35:34. The human body can do amazing things – look at those who ran the 100 MILE race. Dang. Now that’s a race. Any way way may your runs be long and strong.

    Also, I am impressed that many of you can remember times at certain distances and how you felt and when. All I remember was when I hit the physical wall – mile 23 the mental wall at mile 25. Has anyone else had two separate walls like this?

  • #14874


    Just to give you a little background on my training. I officially started training the 2nd week of January. This from an earlier post

    … For this marathon trianing I have 12 runs of over 15 miles (1-22, 3-20 and the rest between 15-18 miles). So far this year I have run 4 races: 10K in Feb, 49:17, 30K in March 2:39, 10k in April 48:43 and last weekend a half marathon 1:49:51.

    I did most my long runs around a 5:30 pace.

    One problem with my training timing was the clinic i trained with was aiming for a Mothers day marathon. My last long run (over 20 miles) ended up being 5 weeks before my marathon. I kind of got caught in the taper spirit too early. I ran a half marathon 3 weeks before, this was the last closest thing I had to a long run…

    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement…. As for R and R, i bought my first beer in several weeks yesterday… yippee!

  • #14875

    fuzzed wrote:
    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement…. As for R and R, i bought my first beer in several weeks yesterday… yippee!

    This might have been your issue. No beer just might = no carbs. I would prescribe 1 beer per mile to be run, usually ingested the night before. You will be carbo-loaded and well-hydrated (as your overwhelming need to urinate frequently after your 26 beers will indicate) and ready for a PR next time.

  • #14876

    Ed 1

    By the way a PR/PB should always be good enough if you think of marathoning through life as a journey – unless you were aiming to make the Olympics or had a shot at prize money. There are too many factors involved in marathoning to expect certain times. As Ryan once told me when I was aiming hard for a 3:30:00 at the Lakefront in Milwaukee that time the year previous would have put me in the top ten percent of finishers. I think an eye on the time is good with more of an eye on where you placed. For me finishing in the top 22% of the field in my first marathon was cool – not to mention that I was less than 5 minutes off goal. Keep training and chipping away at your time.

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