Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Post-Race Thoughts

Thank you so much for all of your awesome comments on Sunday's race. You have all been so supportive and just knowing there are so many people out there rooting for me means a lot.

I recovered remarkably well and had to consciously force myself to slow myself down during yesterday's 6-miler over lunch. My legs feel great, I didn't end up with any blisters or chafing and my only gripe is one tender toenail. It feels fine in my running shoes, but is not happy in my work shoes. Sock feet at the office today!

Speaking of shoes, I ended up wearing my old ones on Sunday. There were a few minor annoyances with the new pair (though I am now convinced they are fine) and I didn't want to take a chance for 18.6 miles. My last pair carried me through the Disney Marathon, a half marathon PR and finally the 30K, which was quite possibly the best race of my life. They've now been shelved and I'm hoping this new pair will bring many good things.

With a significant PR in both the half marathon and 30K distances this month, it's time to work towards the hat trick - a strong marathon on May 16th.

I went into this race hoping to use it as a guide to determine a realistic marathon goal. My "A" goal was 4-hour marathon pace of 5:40/KM or 9:09/mi and I finished with an average of 5:25/KM or 8:43/mi feeling great with a significant negative split on a challenging course and without tapering. So what does this mean?

A sub-4:00 marathon is well within reach.

Since 4:00 has seemed like such a pipe dream goal for the last two years, I'm having some trouble wrapping my mind around it. The above stats and conditions would in fact dictate that I could possibly finish quite a bit faster than 4:00 (on a good day), but with a current PR of 4:26:02, I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.



That being said, I have underestimated my ability for both of my last two races... but a marathon is not to be taken lightly.

Sorry if this post is a bit discombobulated - there are so many thoughts swirling around in my mind!

With four long runs remaining, it's a bit early to start thinking about my race plan and official goal(s), but I would appreciate any ideas and feedback from those of you who have been following my progress.

Thanks for reading my ramblings!

30 comments:

Lily on the Road said...

It is NOT too early to start planning your race strategy. (which of course can always be adjusted). If you don't have a plan you aren't that committed.

Just like arriving at the airport, asking for a ticket and not having a destination in mind....think about it.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Ha, you're afraid of making the Running Gods mad..... Just go out there and run to your ability, which is awesome. Believe in your training and yourself...........

Morgan said...

I just realized after seeing this post that I missed your race recap. Sorry I've been seriously distracted, will go read in a moment.

First things first, I don't think it's ever too early to think about your race plan, this way here you have a few weeks to mull over it and put the finishing touches.

Here are my thoughts or rather what my race plan was for both marathons and both turned out exactly as I had hoped and then some;

Pick a goal time. A realistic goal time. Commit to it, sign up for the pace group if only to get a pace band and don't stray from the mile paces.

Decide when you'll do inventory; i.e. Plan ahead of time if you might want to push it near the end.

At Chicago I realized I had more than a 4:15 in me so I left the pace group at the half and just ran. I finished 4:08 and on top of the world.

At Gasparilla the pace group gunned it to make up the lost time from Mile 1 and my little group committed to running the goal time/pace rather than stick with the pack nomatterwhat. We stayed within a 10 second buffer zone of a 4 hour marathon. Coach EK and I talked it over and decided ahead of time that at Mile 18 I would assess how I was feeling and decide if I wanted to pick it up. (I wasn't ready yet, I knew I wouldn't be able to substain it.) Then again between Mile 21-23... At 22 I went for it, held it and negative split the remaining miles. 3:56!

I have absolutely no regrets about either race. I feel like I ran them well and smart, for me anyway. You need to evaluate your previous marathons, focus on when you hit walls and how you fare with holding consistant paces and go with your gut.

I know you have a sub 4 in you! Good luck! xoxo

misszippy said...

Always good to have goals! I would suggest setting yourself up with an A, B, and C goals, maybe each 5-10 minutes apart. Then you can see where you are as the race progresses and see what you can shoot for.

Rick said...

Great job in the race! We've organized an adult running camp to take place this July in Vermont and we think you and your followers may be interested! Can you send me an e-mail and I will give you the details? bonnetteproductions@gmail.com. Check out our website- www.werun2win.com. Thanks!! -Emily

trialsoftraining said...

I think with the right speedwork (which you already do), a little strength training, and the right taper between now & the race day - you could have that A+ (sub-4) goal marathon in the books! :) You're very right, a marathon is a whole 'nother league, not to be taken lightly. But you're a strong mental and physical runner, you've toed the 26.2 miles more than once, and you know what it takes going into the race!

on another note - those {old} shoes really did their work! 3 big races on their treads and still busting out PRs!! :) awesome!

trialsoftraining said...

I think with the right speedwork (which you already do), a little strength training, and the right taper between now & the race day - you could have that A+ (sub-4) goal marathon in the books! :) You're very right, a marathon is a whole 'nother league, not to be taken lightly. But you're a strong mental and physical runner, you've toed the 26.2 miles more than once, and you know what it takes going into the race!

on another note - those {old} shoes really did their work! 3 big races on their treads and still busting out PRs!! :) awesome!

teacherwoman said...

I think you are well on your way to a 4:00 marathon! Keep up with the positive thoughts and you're training should go just great!

I Run for Fun said...

You are so ready for a sub-4:00 marathon. And maybe have a "secret" goal of sub 3:50? You have trained so well, so stay injury free and keep doing what you are doing...and you can definitely do it!

H-woman said...

It sounds like a 4:00 marathon is totally within your reach! Stay healthy and strong and it will be yours.

Good job on Sunday's race. You probably missed most of the rain. Drenched at 24K does not make the last 6K fun!

H =)

Heather said...

You definitely have a sub-4:00 in you, you have been running so well in both training and races. I'm excited to see you reach your goals in May!

lilmeg said...

*jumps up and down cheering*

I'll warn you in advance, I might not have access to the internet to cheer, but I'll have people text me how you are doing and you can guarantee I'll be stalking you from the honeymoon!!!

If you question your abilities, know that there are a million of us who can be confident for you. You've got this. Your training has been stellar. Time to execute! I'm so excited for you.

Anne said...

Sounds like you know exactly what you want to do...now go ahead and "Just do it" ;) :)

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Without goals we get no where. I believe a way sub 4 hr marathon is in you. Go get that 26 min+ PR!

sneakersister said...

Marlene, I KNOW you can do it!

J said...

I think the 30k was a great confidence booster for you because a marathon is a long way and mentally can be challenging! I think that you will do great in your next marathon! You have so much experience and know what to expect and your training has been going great!

N.D. said...

You are doing awesome. I definitely believe sub 4 hours is going to be rocked by you!

Fair Weather Runner said...

first off. CONGRATS on your race. you are SO tearing it up lately. so happy for you! also, i've been thinking a lot about my upcoming 'm' and according to all my other race paces my marathon time should be under 4 hours. however, after last year's 5 hour debacle, i'm at a loss as to what to even shoot for, not a 4 hour for sure. maybe just finishing again. but i think i'm going to try for a pace group and see how that goes. anyway, all of that ramble about me (sorry) to say i'm with you, and i'm excited to see what you decide. cause i'm at a total loss! these marathons, so tricky.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

ohh the hat trick, you make is sound so skateboarder cool. I am awful at figure out what my real goal should be..i pick one that sounds nice :) However, finally having a training plan I think I'm probably going to be more accurate this time

Jess said...

There's no harm in aiming high!

EndorphinBuzz said...

You know you have it in you, go out there and squeeze that sub 4 hour performance out!

I'd say run a comfortable fast pace and do not look at your watch or pay too much attention to the mile markers. Easier said than done.

ajh said...

I think you can do it although I have no specific advice. Have you plugged your recent race times into McMillians?

Bethany + Ryan said...

Knowing you can do it is half the battle. Believing you can do it is the other half. Def plan to negative split in ur marathon. I think sub 4:00 is certainly in reach!! Whether u try for that or not is entirely up to you. No one will think anything bad if u choose to play it safe. Baby steps work too. My 3rd marathon was 40 minutes faster than my 2nd. My 5th marathon was 21 minutes fater than my 4th marathon. My 14th marathon was 1 hour and 29 minutes faster than my first! It's possible! You can totally get under 4! But u need to decide and believe it!!! You totally got it girl!!

珍雅 said...

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.............................................

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

LOVE IT.. you put it out there that means you know you can do it and you WILL do it..

I am HOPING to go from a 4:11 to 3:40... which is 30 minutes... HELLO!!

So hey dream big or go home! Leave it on the pavement in May and have fun in June??? What do you think?

Jamie said...

Never too early to start planning! Figure out your personal goals and aim high(I think a sub-4 is definitely without a question in reach!) Then go with how you feel May 16th! Race day you'll know if you can push it or hang tight with the 4 hour group :)

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

I think we all underestimated our abilities. This is something I need to work on. Voice my goals than then make it happen!!

Denise said...

OMG...have you not been reading your own posts?? you are SO ready for a sub 4!! you've been doing so great lately. i can't wait till may 16th to say i told you so!!

lindsay said...

earth to marlene... you totally have a sub-4 in you. but, don't let yourself get too worked up about it! (like i do sometimes, hehe) have faith, it'll happen. :)

Runner Leana said...

Marlene, it sounds like it is most definitely within reach. You've blown past your expectations at all of your races this year, I know you can do it! Your strong 30K was an excellent indication of it!