I have been thinking about diving into the Hamilton Marathon on November 1st for a little while now as many FMCT Falcons are hitting the starting line. Many are looking for their Boston Qualifying time so they are in full training mode. With duathlon my main focus, I did not want to get out of my run/bike/run training before the end of the season, a few weeks back now, so I am now just really putting in the runs I need if I want to go sub 3 hours.
I pulled off a great training guide from the web that is petty aggresive. I looked at the first 12 weeks of the program and figured my previous training was relatively on par, except for the longer runs.
This Friday, I was suppose to put in a 10 mile (16k) run at marathon race pace, which is around 4:15 per kilometre for me. On that day, at work, I simply stretched my arms over my head and felt a huge burn go through my neck area. I must have pinched a nerve and I was in some discomfort. I ended up swimming at lunch, after a very warm shower to loosen up my back and neck, and put in a solid effort in the pool. Once I got home, though, things were back to stiff and I had little mobility.
Knowing a run, especially of that distance and pace, was out of the question that night, I concentrated on fixing the pain. With the help of my wife, we worked on the area with some heat, massage and "The Stick" roller. The next morning, I felt much better and wanted to get the run in, even though I had planned to do the 30k long run with the Falcons Sunday morning.
Just after lunch, once the kids were down for their naps, I took off on my 16k run. I hit the asphalt trails of Meadowvale and was clicking very well and running about 10 seconds/km quicker than the pace I needed. Being that I have not pushed very long distances since the spring, I decided to stay at this pace in case I started to lose it near the end of the run. Thankfully, I was able to run through my final kilometre expectations and post a nice 16k run at 4:06/km pace. Now it was time to stretch a bunch and get a recovery plan in place to run 30k the next morning.
When I woke up Sunday, my body felt very good so I was pretty sure I would get through the run at a slow pace even though 16k was the longest effort since May. I hooked up with the group at the Brampton Running Room and asked what the pace would be on the lead group with Brian and Marko. Brian said 4:45 to 5:00 so I felt OK with that. Well, it did not take long before we were laying down a bunch of 4:20's out in the country side on the west side of Brampton. With the three of us feeding off each other, I now knew the pace was not going to come down so I buckled in for the long haul.
I kept up with the other two quicker runners right up to the last few k's when I could tell I was starting to get to a point where my knees were feeling the stress of the extra distance. As we pull along the last portion of the run, we were about to make our last loop when I decided that I better pull up and let them finish the final 2k without me. They have been following the program pretty much since the start so there was no need for me to over do my first long run and risk injury. We blazed through the 28.5k that I ran in 2:05 or 4:23/k pace, just a little quicker than expected.
What do you expect with three competitive guys out for a long run. HAHA
Great run fellas!
Well, now I have 5 full weeks left of training and I feel that I am right in line with the program thanks to my multisport training. I know the final 10k of the marathon is where I give back a lot of time to the clock so I really need to come up with a game plan to avoid going out overly quick similar to 2007 when I was 1:28 at the half and feeling awesome before posting a disappointing 3:09 finishing time. The weather was not kind that day but I still should be able to muscle through the final section in a more respectable pace.