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No goals met at Htfd Marathon, but…

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Seth Harrison
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No goals met at Htfd Marathon, but… Empty No goals met at Htfd Marathon, but…

Post  Dave P Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:20 am

None of my goals were met at the Hartford Marathon, but it was still in the top 3 out of 7 marathons to date.

I’ve been trying to do two marathons a year for a couple years, but it’s just been too much. I consistently have been suffering from various ailments over those two years, but mainly it’s been over-training time & time again. No serious marathon for next spring, so I hope with a whole year for proper recovery & training, I can finally reach my potential next fall at either NYC or Newport, RI. Unless someone can convince me of a better New England 26.2 to run, those are the two possibilities. I’ve run Hartford 3 times now, so I want a change of scenery.

Unto this year’s Hartford,… as many of you now know, I was nominated & chosen for the new Elite Inspiration Team. That was a cool experience with the TV interview & all the VIP treatment. It was especially nice to wait in a porta-potty line only two people deep pre-race. I didn’t like the pre-race photo though. They called us on the EIT to the finish line for a photo at 7:30 am. Ten minutes later (20 min. to race start) still no photographer. Another guy & I started to make our way to the starting line because we were getting anxious, then we were called back. With the photo out of the way, I finally made my way through the crowd for a decent position near the start. A friend of mine who was doing the half met up with me just as they mentioned me in the EIT over the loud speaker.

It was a very crowded start. Even more so than last year I felt. I lost my running partner after only a half mile. Another mile later the half & full split, so things started to open up.

Miles 1-10
I was nervous & concerned through this time thinking about how awful my last marathons went. I was constantly comparing how I felt last year at specific points during this part of the race. I finally convinced myself that I was doing far better & I needed to relax. I was averaging just under 7:30 pace. It was nice & easy. My breathing was very relaxed. I was already passing a couple runners here & there with labored breathing & thought that they must be new to the marathon distance because they shouldn’t be breathing that hard this early in the race.

Miles 13-16
I passed half-way & still felt great. I maintained the sub 7:30 pace to mile 16.

Miles 17-21
This is where my sub-par training showed its ugly head once again. For last year’s Hartford I hit 90 miles twice & averaged 70 for 19 weeks before taper. It was far too much. This year, I hit a high of 70 once, & averaged 52 for 15 weeks before taper. It was still too much because it was too soon to train for yet another marathon. In ’09, for my PR (3:15:58) at Cape Cod, I hit 80 three times & averaged 62. The Cape Cod training was my best ever. I was nailing 10 miles at goal MP (7:05-7:15) right before taper. This year, I couldn’t get my tired/ sore legs to hit 1 mile at that goal MP during the weeks before the race. I never felt fully recovered from six weeks out until race day. I had cut back more & more. My speedwork was reduced to barely anything. I knew I wasn’t ready for my best performance, & now it showed. I slowed my pace by almost a whole minute during these next 5 miles. My legs were getting tired & sore. My breathing was starting to become labored.

Miles 22-24
I started to really suffer. I calculated in my head that if I could just maintain a 9 min pace until the end, I could at least get a BQ under the new rules (3:25.) My goal of sub 3:10, or a PR were definitely gone by now. I was amazed at how hard it was for me to hit that normally very easy pace.

Miles 25-26.2
The 3 gels, electrolyte pills, water, & Gatorade, were not enough by this point. I was getting the “tingles” again – a sure sign that my electrolytes were getting out of whack. It happens near the end of every marathon. I have experimented with various different ways to combat this & still haven’t found the solution that works for me. I think I just need to get across that finish line quicker – before the symptoms start. I walked a bit & took in more Gatorade. I really didn’t think I’d be able to run/ jog at all, but did manage to on & off during those last couple of miles to average around a 10:30 pace. Even a BQ was now gone. Incredibly, I was able to drum up a sprint to the finish, but almost completely collapsed after crossing the finish line. I didn’t want to hit the med tent yet again, so I managed my last bits of strength to stay on my feet until I could get some food in me. The tingles finally stopped & I was able to get to my wife waiting in the VIP area. I took advantage of the VIP treatment for as long as I could.

The initial results had 3:28:32, but the final results changed that to 3:30:23. I don’t understand how that happens, but it doesn’t matter much at this point. My 2nd marathon (Marine Corps ‘08) & my 2nd best time is 3:30:13. I suppose my latest finish time is not too bad, but it’s no longer a BQ, & I know it’s nowhere near what I’m really capable of. Over the next few months I’ll concentrate on speed & shorter races after a FULL recovery. Then try yet again to nail the 26.2 distance.
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Post  Michael Enright Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:18 pm

Dave - rest all the way up and get well and fully recovered. You will find the right training and the right race and you will PR once again, I am quite sure. Even with your difficulties, that's a pretty decent time for you, especially given the problems you experienced late in the training cycle, so congrats!

I was in Newport on Sunday, and went for a very early run, including a run past the start and along part of the course of the marathon they were about to start that day. I was surprised that they sure didn't seem ready for a start that was only about an hour away! But, based on prior years reports on marathonguide, I'm assuming they somehow pulled it together!
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Post  Mark B Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:01 pm

A full recovery sounds like a great idea, Dave. You clearly got as much out of your body as you could on race day, and that you were able to manage your race well enough to stay out of the med tent is a good thing. Sure, it wasn't a PR or BQ, but maybe it's a start in a process that'll get you back to where you want to be.

Until then, rest and recover. You'll figure this out. And congrats on finishing another marathon.
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Post  Jerry Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:20 pm

After recovering from this one, I would challenge you for a much lighter training cycle. Less is good, Dave.

Way to tough it out!
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Post  Diego Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:42 pm

Hmm, sorry about the race Dave. I'm not sure it was too much mileage--maybe the combo of mileage and speedwork. Perhaps HH's intermediate 2 would be a good middle ground. I also like the idea of one day off each week and a light week every 4-6 weeks.

On a side note: Michael Wardian won your race and then turned around and won my MDI Marathon the next day(2:22 and 2:34, or something like that). 52.4 miles in under 5 hours. Wow!!
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Post  Chris M Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:27 am

You stayed out of the medical tent this time which is a very good thing! Seems like a good plan to focus on short stuff for awhile and let your body fully recover and be ready before tackling marathon training again.
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Post  Dave P Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:15 am

Diego wrote:Hmm, sorry about the race Dave. I'm not sure it was too much mileage--maybe the combo of mileage and speedwork. Perhaps HH's intermediate 2 would be a good middle ground. I also like the idea of one day off each week and a light week every 4-6 weeks.

On a side note: Michael Wardian won your race and then turned around and won my MDI Marathon the next day(2:22 and 2:34, or something like that). 52.4 miles in under 5 hours. Wow!!

WOW!!! Shocked
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Post  Jim Lentz Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:31 pm

Nice job on finishing when it got so tough in the later mles! Great to hear you were able to stay out of the medical tent.
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Post  Michael Enright Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:35 pm

Dave P wrote:
Diego wrote:Hmm, sorry about the race Dave. I'm not sure it was too much mileage--maybe the combo of mileage and speedwork. Perhaps HH's intermediate 2 would be a good middle ground. I also like the idea of one day off each week and a light week every 4-6 weeks.

On a side note: Michael Wardian won your race and then turned around and won my MDI Marathon the next day(2:22 and 2:34, or something like that). 52.4 miles in under 5 hours. Wow!!

WOW!!! Shocked
Great performance by Wardian, but he was 3rd in Hartford. Solomon Too and Folisho Tuko finished 1st and 2nd.
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Post  Jack_Scaff Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:56 pm

Great effort - do recover well.
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Post  Seth Harrison Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:21 pm

You showed great spirit Dave.
It certainly does look like you overtrained and were just too fried to compete to the best of your ability. I hope you recover well and come back strong.
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Post  Alex Kubacki Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:45 am

Nice job Dave. I'm definitely running this one next year.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:19 pm

Congrats, Dave! The balance of mileage vs. our bodies is a funny thing. The mileage I've been running although not close to yours was maybe more than I could handle as well as my glute/hamstring told me before my half on Sunday. I'm lucky that I still have 2 more weeks before NY, so I'm sure I can recover in that time frame.

As for fast fall NE races, Bay State is definitely fast. Lowell is not a spectacular place, but the course is flat and it has a reputation for having a high percentage of BQs.
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Post  fostever Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:46 pm

Jerry wrote:After recovering from this one, I would challenge you for a much lighter training cycle. Less is good, Dave.

Way to tough it out!
I'm reading your evaluation and it's blaringly clear what your problem is. Overtraining, you said it yourself. Many of the best masters runners are doing a combo of crosstraining and quality NOT quantity. Not to say some can't handle it, but it's clear, you, like most of us aging athletes don't. Never-the-less, that is an inspiring performance and a solid time despite the fade at the end, way to persevere. I'd say try a peak of like 50 and an average of about 35 through 18 weeks for a low profile spring marathon (Hal's advanced maybe) and just relax and think good thoughts and don't focus on past supposedly failures, which you alluded to at the beginning. For goodness sakes you've successfully completed what, 7 marathons, that's great!!sunny
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Post  Julie Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:12 pm

Congratulations on toughing it out and finishing another marathon! I still think your time was great even if you didn't meet your goals.

I agree you could consider backing off and doing a little less aggressive training program that can let you train well without getting injured or burned out. I don't think 2 marathons a year should be too much unless you're really intensely training but really, I bet you could do really well on less mileage and then perhaps just enjoy the marathon more, too.
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