It has been a while since I posted on this page. Few things kept getting in the way - buildup for marathon in Philly, family time and work - the usual mix for every age grouper. So instead of stressing about another thing I decided to keep the blog on the back burner until I can get back to it. My apology to all readers that missed my regular posts. I can not make any promises other than that I'll keep posting as my other responsibilities and hobbies allow.
This year I kept Philly Marathon on my schedule as A-race with proper build-up and taper just like last year. The build-up was very good coming out of the tri season we switched to a lot more and longer running. Most of my training runs were spot on and I had lots of confidence going into Philly. I did have a great race, but marathon still kicked my bottom. I have not made as huge mistake as I did last year, but I still paced the first half little too fast and had a prime experience of hitting the wall in Manayunk. Luckily I was not reduced to walking and could still keep running all the way back to the museum to the finish line. Only my pace was not as fast as I wanted it. I still got a huge PR - over 20 minutes which I'm quite happy with. My finish time was 3:33 and change which is few minutes shy of my goal. I could probably break down the race for you, but it is not very interesting - fast first few miles (not by much, but still above where I should have been running) and then gradual slow down until mile 18. From there on lots of mental games and pushing through pain to get to the finish - sprinting up the hill was really only a 9:30 pace which was just a result of the carb depletion and dehydration. The usual marathon story. So marathon stays on my list of things to master, but not next year. More about that later.
Besides small 5k Turkey Trot I ran just a week after marathon (ran not raced) I did race the regular 5 mile Christmas City Classic in Bethlehem which is a nice local race with many runners dressed-up in Christmas costumes. Very nice event if you live near Bethlehem PA. I ran the entire race by feel with few glances on my watch to check immediate pace. I did mess-up my calibration on purpose so the pace was showing about 30 seconds per mile slower than what I was running. I used this strategy in previous races to push my pace in triathlon and it works as well in running race. I improved my last years time by about 50 seconds which is a nice improvement of 10 seconds per mile. Not bad. My running definitely improved this year and still has some way to go.
As I finished Philly and started to think about next season I decided that it is not going to be Ironman distance season just yet. I feel like the long stuff makes me slower - the buildup for marathon was good, but I really felt like I lost my speed (the one I had during the top events in the season - just around the Anthracite Tri and Quakerman Half). In one local very small 5k I was unable to run faster than 6:55-7:00 which is my 10k race pace. This is understandable since we did not work on this system as much prior to that race and only got into intervals in the marathon buildup. So after some very short thinking I told Craig and Erica that next season my focus will be on Half and Olympic distance and that I want to really work on my speed in all three disciplines - especially run. With that I picked two A-races - IM 70.3 Rhode Island and Savageman half. The rest of the season includes some build-up run races like Superbowl 10k in Feb, local duathlon in April, Lehigh Valley Half Marathon, IM 70.3 Eagleman, and few local Olympic races. So instead long steady stuff I'm getting ready for short fast training sessions with lots of pain, hard track sessions that I enjoyed so much (even if I complained) and fun shorter racing. I'm really looking forward to it.
I hope you all have great holidays and happy New Year. Keep safe while training and racing.