Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Marathon #3

So it looks like my blog has turned itself into my marathon blog since that's what I last posted about. Hmmmm...So in most marathon training programs, you build up your mileage each week on your long runs. So one week you run 14 miles, the next 15, the next 16, the next 18, etc. Then about three weeks before the marathon you might run 20 or 22 miles and then you taper, or run shorter distances the couple of weeks before the big day.

This marathon has been really different for me. During the weeks, I've run short distances because I've needed to get into work on time and haven't got there as early as I should have. Every Saturday when I should be out doing long runs, something has come up, including some unexpected travel, presentations for work, stress, not feeling well, you name it. So throughout the time I should have been running long, I wasn't. I knew I had the marathon coming up because I signed up a long time back, and I was starting to stress about what I was going to do and how I was going to finish.

One day at church, Brother Gudmundson was talking about this program he had done some research on and said he really believes in it. So I thought I had nothing to lose... I did a little research on my own about the method and tried to figure out how to do it right. The method is Jeff Galloway's Run-Walk program. I also listened to the Extra Mile Podcast: Galloway Edition as I was doing a couple of long roadtrips and finished them on some of my runs.

So my long run training program consisted of one 13-mile run one month before the marathon, a 19-mile run the next week, a 13-mile run the next week, and a 6-mile run the week before. And that is all. I do not recommend this training plan at all, but that's all I was able to do to prep for this one.

Friday night I ate dinner with friends, and I had plenty of beans and rice in my salad to keep me going through the run. I also drank a lot of water to at least start out hydrated. I went to bed and slept pretty well - of course a very short night because I got up at 2:45 a.m. so I could eat my oatmeal with banana before we had to leave. We caught the 4:00 a.m. bus and it took us up to Wallsburg, UT. It was certainly a lot warmer than last year, which was nice while we were waiting for it to start.

I had in my mind that I would be lucky if I could finish in 5 1/2 hours because of my lack of training. I was looking more to 5 hours and 45 minutes. So finally I started running at a 2 minute run/1 minute walk ratio. It was funny because I passed several people who had their beepers going off doing the same run-walk thing that I was doing. By mile 4, I took off all my extra layers  of clothes because I was all warmed up. Throughout the first part of the race, I really felt good. I felt like I could be consistent. I remember the different parts of the course and how I was feeling at those same spots last year. Honestly, I felt so much better this year.

As I came down the canyon, I was at 2 hours and 30 minutes at the half-way point, which is exactly where I was on my training runs. I did stop there long enough to hit a port-a-potty, and then I kept on going. I really could remember walking long stretches along there last year, but I felt really good going through there this time. About 4 miles away from the finish (so Mile 22), I started calculating in my head, that if I kept going and kept a decent pace, I could actually finish just over 5 hours. So I had some good adrenaline kick in. I also adjusted my run-walk ratio to a 1 minute run, 1 minute walk. I kept going. Along the way, I ate half of a lime-flavored gel and kept going. I also ate half a banana and a few orange wedges, but that was all. Pretty soon, I could see the finish. I honestly felt so much stronger this year than last! I couldn't believe it.

So I crossed the finish line at 5 hours and 7 minutes after I crossed the starting line. I honestly felt really good! The friends I run with (they all run faster than I do), so I guessed they would be at the massage line, and they were. So we all got massages, and it felt okay. I wasn't terribly impressed with mine, but oh well, beggars can't be choosers. I cut14 minutes off my time from last year and about 20 minutes off my time from the Top of Utah marathon that I did in September. And I trained way less than I should have. So that gives me some hope that I can be faster for the next one...Another one? yes! We signed up for the inaugural run of Big Cottonwood Canyon in September. I'd like to cut some significant time, but I know that is going to take a significant number of Saturdays. I hope my life will calm down a little bit now, so I can train.