Friday, May 13, 2011

That's a wrap: training stats, race goals & more

It's hard to find the words to summarize this training cycle. Let's start with the numbers.

[excluding race week]

# weeks: 18

# runs: 117

total distance: 1547.9 KM (961.8 mi)

average run distance: 13.2 KM (8.2mi)

total time: 5 days, 23 hours, 31 minutes

average pace: 5:34/KM (8:57/mi)

average overall weekly mileage: 86.0 KM (53.4 mi)

weekly avg. excl. recovery/taper (13 weeks): 92.8 KM (57.7 mi)

highest weekly mileage: 105 KM/65.2mi (Week 16)

highest monthly mileage: 415.3 KM/258.07 mi (April)

# runs 30K (18.6mi) or more: 11

# runs 32K (20mi) or more: 8

longest run: 42.2KM/26.2mi (Martian Marathon)

races: 6 - one 5K (PR), one 10K (PR), two half marathons (one PR), one 30K, one marathon (PR)


I took both my training volume and intensity to a new level this time around, gradually building on the fitness I gained and lessons I learned from my last two training cycles - one of which resulted in a triumphant sub-4 (28 minute PR) at Mississauga last May, and the other in a very disappointing day at the Toronto Marathon in October.

I had a couple of months to shake it off and I used the time to work on my diet and lose some weight. I was running without a plan and doing a lot of cross-training, but I found that faster paces started coming very easily. I went into this training cycle a stronger and smarter runner than ever before, but I also had my doubts. As I started tackling the carefully-crafted training plan that hubs created for me, I eventually learned that all I could do was take it one run at a time and see where the training took me.

With a lot of support from three of the best coaches I could ever ask for (see below), I faced my demons and worked through my doubts, successfully completing my workouts/mileage and gradually building back my confidence.

I couldn't have done it without these guys, who have been instrumental in helping me maintain my physical and (more importantly!) mental strength for the past 18 weeks.

Coach Don - Don instructs the marathon clinic at my local store, of which I am a repeat participant. Don has always gone above and beyond the call of duty, providing one-on-one coaching and somehow keeping track of all 70+ of us in the group. More than that, he takes a genuine interest in our training and success and you just can't put a price on that. Coach Don ran most of the Mississauga Marathon with me last year, and helped me hold on tight to that sub-4:00 goal when it started slipping away. While he won't be running by my side two steps ahead of me on Sunday, he has given me so much advice and support this year that he will be with me in more ways than one.

Ron (you know him as "Dr. Pain") - Ron has been our physiotherapist since early last fall. In that time we've developed a relationship extending beyond doctor-patient; he has become a coach, a mentor and a friend. Ron played a big role in helping me pick up the pieces after my marathon last October, and has since kept me grounded and focused through the ups and downs of training. I like to joke that he provides just as much therapy as physio. The best thing about Ron is that he works with some of our top Canadian athletes, and yet he makes me feel just as worthy as they are.

Mark (you know him as "Hubs") - What can I say about my ultimate coach, my life partner and my best friend? Not only do I have a husband who patiently and pain-stakingly crafts custom training plans for me [I'm picky!], but he is often more invested in my own training and success than his own. I feel so fortunate that we have discovered a passion to share so completely, one that has only strengthened our bond. We may not always run together, nor are we always on the same schedule, but we do always share the triumphs and the struggles that come along with it. I wouldn't couldn't do this without him. The best part is, hubs is faster than me - so he is always waiting for me at the finish line.

I consider myself so fortunate to have these guys in my life. They make the good times even more worthwhile, and the tough times more manageable. I don't think for one second that I would be where I am today without their influence. All three of them have always believed in me more than I believe in myself... but I'm starting to come around. :)

Time to talk goals...


When I started believing that a BQ could potentially be within reach, I thought it should remain a "secret" goal; that I wouldn't put it out there but instead publicize a more conservative goal. I eventually realized that I was hesitant to share my true goal because I was afraid if failing. In many ways, I was afraid to even admit that goal to myself because I didn't want to let myself down.

My training and tune-up races dictate that I can run a 3:40. But I know all too well that anything can happen over 26.2 miles and things don't always turn out the way they are supposed to.

That being said, sometimes you just have to put it all on the line - so many of you have shown me how to do that, and now it's my turn.

My goal: 3:40 (BQ)

All that's left now is the starting line, the finish line, and 26.2 miles of rain and wind in between.

Of course this post would not be complete without a note on the weather. It is not looking good - lots of rain and 40 kph (25 mph) winds. It sucks, but we get what we get on race day. As Aron ever so wisely pointed out, sometimes we'll have perfect weather but our body or mind won't show up. One thing I can say for sure is that I will show up on Sunday and give it everything I have.


Live tracking at www.sportstats.ca: bib # 1125!

49 comments:

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

So neat to look at all your training by the numbers like that. Good luck reaching that sub 3:40 goal!!!
:)

runninglawyer said...

Good for you for putting it all out there! Good luck this weekend!

Indi said...

Good Luck!!

J said...

GOOD LUCK GIRL!! You are going to do great no matter what the weather!! You have run through snowstorms and wind storms before and ran so well! I know you can do it!! Ill be thinking about you all weekend!

Her Name Is Rio said...

Yes! Put it out there...make it happen. Good luck, Marlene!

Michelle said...

Marlene! I have tears of joy for you already! Just remember all that you have accomplished during this training cycle. Amazing. Be calm, know you are ready and remember, we are all rooting for you! Can hardly wait to hear the rest!!!! With much love & support!

Morgan said...

I am so excited for you girl. I'm actually tearing up just reading this. I hope you kick the winds ass and not only get that BQ but even with time to spare. I KNOW you have this in you. Do not falter, do not let that which you can't control (the weather) alter your plans. If you want it that bad then nothing will be able to stop you. Believe in the awesome that is Marlene.

Shit now I'm crying. I really wanted to be able to share this moment with you remotely from Cleveland but that just wasn't in the cards so I'll be cheering my effing brains out for you instead. Love you girl... now shake it off and go make awesome happen!

Allison said...

Good luck on Sunday! I hope the weather cooperates for you, but I know that even if it doesn't you are still going to have a great day. Plus you have trained through the worst winter has to offer so I'm sure you are ready for anything Mother Nature throws at you.

Joanna said...

GOOD LUCK!! And I LOVE this training cycle recap. I might have to borrow that. :)

Can't wait for the recap!

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

I am going to be a tracking maniac this weekend. you know are #3 on my tracking list.

Will I get anything done?... ;)

BELIEVE IN YOUR GIFT!!! Now go and get your BQ!

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Love this post! You have accomplished so much this cycle. Nothing is going to hold you back on race day! Good luck! Can't wait to stalk you!

macnic said...

Awesome! I can't wait to see you do it!

amy said...

A little rain/wind has nothing on the training and mindset you have! Your goal will prevail! Go, 3:40!!!

Jamie said...

You are going to tear up the course! Good luck this weekend and I'll be thinking of you while I'm out there miles away :).

Amy said...

GOOD LUCK MARLENE! You have got this. You have worked so hard and are such an inspiration with your dedication to your training. I will be thinking of you on Sunday and can't wait to be tracking you at Boston next April!

Kayla said...

Good luck this weekend!! You are going to rock it!

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise said...

i just got the chills! it's here, it's finally here!!! i'm so excited to track you on sunday. what time does it start?

loved the part about coach hubs.

Daniella said...

wishing you all the best from Zurich, Switzerland! Go for it!

Daniela

Robin said...

I'm tired just reading that training cycle. You're goal is very attainable...I thought you'd be aiming for a 3:30...so for sure think a 3:40 is possible...

Have a great race, you certainly have worked for it. All the best.

Aneta said...

awwww marlene. what a great recap of ur training.(i got a little teary eyed when u talked about mark). let me first tell u that i think u r hard core. I cannot believe u how much of a running machine u have turned into.
i will u all the best on Sunday. i know u will run a strong race! U will BQ!

good luck and run hard!

Forward Foot Strides said...

You will kick bum!

dietitianontherun.com said...

What you've done over the past 17 weeks is nothing short of amazing. You took that basetraining and brought yourself to a whole new level of fitness, endurance and strength! Those three guys are pretty special to have around (not that I'd know, but for YOU, heh), and even better is that you, the athlete, put in the work that you knew was worth it!

Rain, wind, or shine, you'll be ready for Sunday! I can't wait to cheer you on - go get those 26.2!

Still Running said...

You've trained in worse weather than what they're predicting. You can do it!

Kerrie T. said...

I have CHILLS!

kristen said...

Damn you rain and wind!!! Good luck Marlene- maybe just knowing that you'll be showing up ready to rock it will scare off the weather.

Go do it!

ATTrio said...

Good Luck! You can do it =)

Carly said...

That is an awesome goal and you can totally do that! I love your training recap.

Richelle said...

I was right! :)

Marlene, you've had such an impressive training cycle. You've worked your body so hard and it has only responded in good ways for you... new PRs and lots of strength and speed. I can't wait to find out how you did at Mississauga!

Don't worry about the weather. I achieved my much-desired PR yesterday at the TC 1 Mile in drizzly rain. You'll be just fine!

All the best to you! :)

Jess said...

Best of luck! I think you'll do great!

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

Awesome training recap! Glad you set that goal high and made it public. You can do it!

Run Jess Run said...

Good luck, girl! Go after that BQ!

ajh said...

You will kill it!

stoppingfordaisies.com said...

That's great... good luck!!

Marky Mark said...

Good luck and I believe! One way to think of the crappy forecast is that you would never expect to hit your goal time in conditions that aren't your best-so the pressure is off, give it your all, take pleasure in another victory lap, and see what happens. I will be checking your time from the comfort of my warm couch and feeling jealous that I'm not out there meeting that challenge.

Anne said...

Good luck...you can do this Marlene!!!!

Nicole said...

Remember this on sunday.... the only good race pace is sucide pace and today looks like a good day to die!

kick ass marlene! i will be thinking of you all day and awaiting your finish time. you GOT THIS!!!! :) see you @ the finish!

xoxo

Jill said...

3:40 here you come, you got it girl!!!!!!!!

swyers said...

I will be thinking about you Sunday! Good luck!

Cory Reese said...

Uh-mazing! You are super ready to take it on! Those numbers are awesome.

X-Country2 said...

Gooooooood luck!!!

RoadBunner said...

Good luck, Marlene!!! I'll be thinking of you. BELIEVE!!

Julie D. said...

You are amazing, Marlene. I'm so proud of you and all you have put into this training cycle, mentally and physically. If anyone can attack a bad weather hand it is YOU!! The weather gods have never been nice to you but I'm praying that it will go your way on Sunday. No matter what, you have put your heart and soul 110 percent into this and that is more than many do. Im confident that you will far surpass a 3:40 but no matter what you are a ROCKSTAR in my book and an inspiration to me to get after my goals with focus and determination!! GOOD LUCK!!!

N.D. said...

you've got this IN. THE. BAG. Good luck!

Black Knight said...

Good luck on the marathon!

Anne said...

OMG!! You rocked that BQ out of the ballpark!! I am so excited for you I've got tears in my eyes! YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!

Marky Mark said...

WWWWWOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW to you both!

tink said...

good luck, you will rock it i'm sure!!! so definitly earned it. cant wait to hear an update!
http://beboldrunwild.blogspot.com/

Forward Foot Strides said...

Marlene!!! You must be walking on air right now!!!! (Obviously I've been stalking you on sportstats.)

Truly inspiring, congrats. :-)