Published October 13th, 2010
You know the elation you feel when your training, pre-race nutrition and race-day strategy coalesce into the perfect race? Well, that feeling eluded me in Victoria this past Sunday. Mind you, I was still able to pull a BQ out of my sorry arse, but it sure twasn’t pretty. Even though this was my 44th marathon, the experience proved you just can’t take the distance for granted. Get too cocky and you risk getting chewed up, spit out and left on the curb licking your wounds.
For those in race report overload I’ll cut to the chase: I finished in 3:57:40; not the PR I was hoping for (needed to beat 3:54:34), but good enough to be invited to the 2012 Boston party should finances allow.
I was determined to follow a more regimented training schedule for this race, at least as regimented as a Marathon Maniac could be. My goal was to PR, but I also considered going for a 3:50. After my BQ at Seattle Rock ‘n Roll (3:55:42) at the end of June I ran “only” one other marathon — Missoula on July 11. I was pleasantly surprised with my time — 4:04 — given it was only two weeks after Seattle. (I probably could have run a sub 4 if it weren’t for two bathroom breaks). I vowed to concentrate on speed and shorter races for the rest of the summer.
Most of my longer runs for the remainder of July and August were in the 9- to 13-mile range, however, I did run/hike two 25-milers and ran/walked a couple of 19-milers. (The first two were on the White River 50-mile course, a mountainous single track. The latter two were on carriage roads in Maine; while I was able to run the first 10 miles of each run, the heat and humidity slowed me to a slog during the last half. So I don’t consider any of these long runs to be quality runs, although they did give me time on my feet).
My August mileage was also very low — 136 — compared to the 175-200 miles I had been averaging. However, I PR’d in a half marathon in early August, shaving almost 5 minutes (ran it in 1:48:52). I was encouraged to see McMillan predicted a 3:49:36 marathon time based on the half, but I also knew that’d be a stretch. I also raced a 10K in mid-August (got 3rd in my age group) and was on a competitive women’s team for Hood-to-Coast (we placed 4th in our division). Still, I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me to reach my goal, including upping my mileage and getting in more long runs.
My first race in September was a trail 25K which I took very easy. I followed that up with a road half the next weekend; I was on track for yet another PR through mile 9, but the rain and headwind got the better of me. Still, my 1:50:03 time indicated a PR was not out of the question at Victoria. I also got in two 20-milers, another half and a couple of 12-milers, finishing up the month with just over 180 miles.