Three rest days later, I’m going to discuss what I think went wrong at Gansett last Saturday. And then I’ll shut up about it and move on.
First, though, I have to say that I’m not crying a river of tears about this race. For all of my disappointment, it was my second-fastest marathon. And if it had been a half, I certainly could have gone under 1:40 and would have had a good shot at beating my best grown-up time, which was a 1:38 at Shamrock last year.
But of course, it wasn’t a half. And the fact remains that I failed to achieve what should have been an attainable time goal of 3:35. Why not?
Not enough training miles. Plain and simple. Frustrating…this should be such an easy fix (why didn’t I just run more?) but of course that’s easier said than done. But I’m a firm believer now in relatively high mileage training (for me, 60-70 MPW). That’s the only thing I did differently from every other marathon I’ve run when I was training for CIM last fall, and I got a much better result out of it.
It’s funny: I’ve been racing and running marathons for so many years and I still have a lot to learn about what works and doesn’t work for me. I seem to have decent leg speed regardless of my training, which allows me to knock out pretty good speed workouts and 5Ks, but endurance is something I really have to work for. And those fast workouts and shorter races give me a false sense of confidence about my own fitness; being able to crank out 400s on the track isn’t going to help me much at mile 20 of a marathon. More mileage, please.
Weight gain. God damn you, beer.
Seriously, though, while I know I’m not overweight, I have gained a couple of pounds this spring and I do think it makes a difference in my racing. Even though I just ran a (fairly respectable, by most people’s standards) marathon, I feel soft and round. Like a big, fluffy pancake. With butter and syrup. Mmmm…
…FOCUS, SHELBY. Before my next marathon (which won’t be until 2013), I should definitely pay a little more attention to what’s going on with my diet.
Weather. I’m not going to complain too much about this because I heard some other people did this other marathon recently where it was, to put it mildly, MUCH hotter. But it was warm and sunny (I heard mid-70s at the finish) in Narragansett on Saturday morning, and most of the course ran along exposed roads with no shade. Obviously it wasn’t the inferno that Boston was, but nonetheless, it wasn’t ideal.
Poor race strategy/going out too fast/crashing and burning/etc. You know what? I’m not getting too upset with myself about this one. So I went out at 3:25 pace and couldn’t bring it home. You never know unless you try.
And on that note, let’s talk about the things that went right.
Small races are great. Gansett is an extremely well-organized, friendly, and fun race. There were no hassles whatsoever; I could see the start line from our hotel window when I got out of bed an hour before the (metaphorical, as it turns out, as there wasn’t one) gun went off. No dealing with parking issues or corrals or port-o-potty lines. Smooth as butter. (On pancakes…?)
No agony of da feet. I don’t think I even thought about my feet during this race, which is probably a first. My Brooks PureFlows were light and comfy and gave me zero issues.
I’m not sore. At all. Kind of weird. Maybe it was all of those walk breaks in the later miles…
I’m still taking this week completely off of running (I need the break mentally, more than anything) and then thinking about mixing up my workout routine a little for the summer. More on that later!
Final taper week details:
And OMG! I almost forgot about the OMG contest. I counted 20 correct entries. Random.org says lucky #13 is the winner, and that is Lori! Hooray for random giveaways that I write up while day-drinking. I’ll email you, Lori!