Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Martian Marathon After-Thoughts

Thank you so much for all of your comments and support. Sometimes I wonder if I would be this passionate about running if I didn't get to share all of it with this amazing community. It was extremely difficult keeping this a secret from all of you, but so worth it when I finally got to spill the beans!

Now that it's been a few days (and yes, I am still wearing that PR glow!), here are some after-thoughts...

  • The Toronto Marathon Disaster of October 2010 shook me hard. While I moved on and realized that everyone has bad days, that experience continued to haunt me, making me question my training and abilities. Having that race go so horribly wrong was a lot of the reason I decided to incorporate a "training run" marathon before my next 'A' race. I needed to get my confidence back and shake off some demons in a serious way. Now it's nothing more than a blip on the radar - and how appropriate that I crushed the original goal that I had set for myself back in October. That's what I call redemption.

  • Something that helped me get through the disappointment and defeat last year was a quote from The Running Laminator that I picked up from Runner's Rambles"I am just waiting for the perfect race to let my secret out." It stuck with me and I remembered it frequently, anxious for my turn to have that perfect race. I think it's safe to say I've let the secret out! Having a day like this - "the perfect race" - makes all the bad days worth it!

  • As I've mentioned, my plan for Martian was to run a comfortable first half and goal MRP for the second half. I've hesitated to put my official goal for May 15th out there in the universe, or even admit it to myself. It seemed like such an over-ambitious giant leap, despite what my training has indicated. Martian gave me the opportunity to validate that training and provided a stepping stone to that ultimate goal. If you've been paying attention, you know exactly what it is.

  • I've been feeling remarkably good since the race, and actually went for a short recovery run the next morning, which is a definite first. I took Monday off as I always do, and went for another easy run this morning feeling pretty much "normal." This only confirms that I did not overdo it on Saturday, even though I ran so much faster than anticipated. Hubs and I have a "couples physio" appointment tonight so the muscles will be getting a little extra TLC.

  • Some of you have commented on the lack of taper leading to such a successful marathon, and this is definitely something that is on my mind. Early on in this training cycle, I had already decided that I would be tapering differently this time around (for the A race). In the past I believe I have tapered too much and now I am even more sure of this realization.

  • There's no question that approaching the race as a training run and keeping it low-key helped a great deal with race day nerves. It was refreshing to fall asleep easily the night before, wake up feeling calm rested, line up at the start line without my heart pounding out of my chest. Of course, there is no question that I am going to have a big goal for my A race, and I'm going to be nervous. I will just have to do my best to channel this experience and remain focused and (relatively) calm. Starting slowly was a significant factor as well, and I will be taking this under serious consideration.

  • I still can't believe I ran a 3:46 marathon!!!!


Thanks again for all your support - and for still being my friends even though I was a big fat secret-keeper!

35 comments:

Joanna said...

Sometimes secrets are ok! I'm curious what your taper strategy will be going into the A race. I'm pretty sure I'm uncomfortable with the standard, very long taper, and I'd like to at least consider options for shortening it. Can I ask what you're thinking of doing? And congrats again on that time! You nailed it!!

Aneta said...

u r a natural born runner...surprise!

i know u work had and do all the right things, but running is in ur genes! congrats again.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Still a little bummed that I wasn't in on the Secret....but if it means that my buddy had an AMAZING race to redemption and to confidence for your A race then I guess I can forgive..

I am DEBATING how many miles to run this weekend.. 13 doesn't seem enough.. Thoughts?? Email me

teacherwoman said...

It sounds like you rocked it! Nice work, girl!

Morgan said...

I'm not surprised one bit. :)

As for taper, I usually only do a two week taper and have always felt like this was more than enough. My last 22 miler was schedule for two week before Cleveland, followed by a 10-13 miler and then Cleveland.

At the end of the day there is no right or wrong way to taper, you have to do what feels good and works for you. I'll gladly send you my training plan for Cleveland if you want to see how my Coach mapped out the last few weeks.

Emz said...

Way to go!

We all CAN believe you ran it and are sure you will only keep on chipping away at that PR!!

Awesome.

Amy said...

Marlene, I might be wrong, but haven't you taken an HOUR off of your first marathon time? AMAZING!

My running group started taper LAST week. I can't handle that, especially after the time I took off running with an injury. I just don't feel I've put enough miles in yet so I'm trying a two week taper this time around. Good luck with whatever you decide for your A race!

Meg said...

So much to say about this post!

I am experimenting with a new taper this time around as well. Can you email me a quickie and let me know what you did for the last two weeks? I'm just super curious! :) email: lingfam@cox.net Thank you!!

Also, I LOVE THAT QUOTE and I'm going to not-so-secretly-steal it. THANK YOU Lam and Co.
Congrats again, you are still glowing!!

macnic said...

Congrats again! Sounds like you won't be that far behind my half finish on May 15th!

misszippy said...

So awesome! I hope it gives you the confidence boost you need. Makes all the difference!

Jamie said...

Redemption runs are the best. Congrats again! I'm so glad you are recovering well and found your racing confidence once again!

Aron said...

SOOO glad you were able to get your redemption from that race. This will definitely help you out come May 15th... and yes I definitely know what your goal is ;) I think you are going to crush it!

Allison said...

Congrats again on your new PR. Things really seem to be clicking for you right now and I'm glad that this redemption race gave you the confidence boost you need heading into your last few weeks of training.

Jessie said...

I am feeling pretty much the same way about how my half turned out! You are a rock star! Cant wait for the recap for your "A" race!

ShutUpandRun said...

Wow some great realizations. I have to wonder how much being "relaxed" play into the whole thing. No pressure, no expectations. 3:46 is amazing!

Denise said...

i think being relaxed is a big part of successful racing. i'm so glad you pulled this off and proved to yourself that you got a lot more in you!! can't wait till you tear up your goal race!

Teamarcia said...

I'm with Morgan, totally not surprised one bit by a 346 from you.
remember even the crappy runs serve a valuable purpose.
Interesting about a shorter taper. Lots swear by them.

dietitianontherun.com said...

I hope you come back to read this before Mississauga, and remind yourself what you're truly capable of!! You'll get that goal, no doubt, and for your muscles' and hard works' sake - do NOT let those nerves take over! Clearly they only play mind games, because BAM - what happens when you relax and race like you know how?! 3:46, that's what :)

Glow on, and keep your secrets whenever you want. We won't hold it against you ;)

dietitianontherun.com said...

Oh, P.S. I've always thought the marathon taper is WAY too long. I did a 2-week taper before Denver RnR last year and even felt like that was almost pushing it...We don't taper for Long Runs, and those are always successful. Other than racing on fresh legs, I think the distance-taper is overrated for some people!

lilmeg said...

GOOSEBUMPS reading this!

Nicole said...

I am still SOOO happy & proud for/of you! Your an amazing runner & i am too starting to wonder about all this taperness....

ajh said...

You must be a good friend because friends can keep secrets!!!

J said...

Keeping the race low key definitely helped I think! I am just so happy for you! You have been running great and I hope you keep getting faster and faster! I am interested about this limited taper thing!

yumke said...

Rest quickly, recovery smartly, get back on program and kick some ass.

I was thinking today that you are going through a phase in your running I know well. Savour it. This is fruits of your labour, not some freak of nature.

Calm mind is the only way to take any race, you're quickly becoming a veteran racer, and your experience is showing!

Congrats!

Karen said...

Congrats on your new PR! It's funny that you ran the Martian Marathon, that was my husband's first marathon, back in 2003. I hope to get a chance to run that one someday. Small races rock!

Laura said...

I totally believe it...you are running so strong.
I don't agree with my group's taper..so I may be doing some rogue running if possible....

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

ve to steal this one from you....."I am just waiting for the perfect race to let my secret out." I LOVE THIS!

No more secrets now. That was your one and only pass :)

fancy nancy said...

We all have believed in you for a while now...it is so good that you believe it too! You are an amazing runner!

Interesting thoughts on the taper. I haven't tapered for my last two half marathons and have run my fastest two to date. Hmmmm!

destination262 said...

I feel the same way about my running most of the time. I'm almost more excited about my accomplishments because I get to share them with such a great community of people who are just as excited!! We are all so proud of you!!! :)

lindsay said...

I am part of the 7-Day Taper church. It's a branch from 7th Day Adventist. 12-ish miles the weekend before, and easy runs with strides week-of. I feel lethargic with a two+ week taper.

Definitely pamper yourself this week. Better to have a light, easy week to recover than risk screwing something before 5/15!

Umm. Who said I was still your friend? Maybe if you give me another kick-butt workout...

Jess said...

The lack of a taper is interesting. I've been reading about more and more runners who are throwing tapers out the window and enjoying greater race success. It's kinda scary to tamper with, though, especially with a marathon.

Jill said...

Takes awhile for these things to sink in, I was in the exact same spot when I got my first BQ (which happened to be your exact time. We're twins :)). Way to go girl, so happy for yoU!!! :)

MCM Mama said...

Great job and I know you are totally going to hit your goal at the next marathon. (And I'm pretty sure I know what that goal is.)

Hoping to run Philly and meet you in the fall...

Richelle said...

The hard times usually teach us more than the more triumphant times. You rocked the Martian Marathon and I can't wait to read about Mississauga!

Julie D. said...

crap!! why am i crying? dang it. Marlene, i am so happy for you!! Being that I had that crappy marathon along with you, followed by injury...I too, am praying for a future 'perfect' race. But here is the thing, you deserve this pay off...you have worked your tail off...and it is showing. I know exactly your goal and I have all the confidence in the world that you will KILL it. You are a huge inspiration to me to work HARD and in doing so, it will bring great reward. Congrats, again!!! Grab that big goal and CLAIM it because you can totally do it.