Quoting the Olympic motto is a lot of hubris, but I’m happy I was finally faster again today. 18 months ago I would have scoffed at a 3:31:47, but after a 2018 of some setbacks and slowness (a couple of marathons just over 3:45), it was nice to feel like I am heading in the right direction again. I didn’t put in what I’d consider “marathon training” miles this winter, but I have been building some aerobic fitness with some low and slow training. I’m also a little (cough) over my ideal weight at the moment. Mmm. Donuts.
Keys to (relative success today):
1. I went out with the 3:30 pacer. They always start slow to warm up. That was perfect.
2. I got ahead of the pacer after about mile 5 when Nelson picked me up for a couple miles into and through my old neighborhood. Running with a friend is always a mental boost!
3. After a couple miles with Nelson he dropped to get on with his day. From that point, I concentrated on keeping my heart rate in the aerobic zone – no redlining on hills!
4. In the last 8-10 miles, I focused more on 3:2 breathing. HR becomes unreliable due to “drift.” Exhibit A:
5. The 3:30 pacer passed me with about 3 miles to go – I didn’t chase him. I did have enough left to accelerate the last mile.
I ran within my current estimated fitness level. I slowed – about 2 minutes off of an even split. I knew a BQ wasn’t in the cards, so that kept me from overreaching. Zero nausea. No cramping. No bonk. I’d attribute that to a conscious effort to stay aerobic as much as possible during the race, along with slowly trickling in some carbs with Gatorade at aid stations from mile 5-20.
I”ll be working on trending faster again!