On Sunday October 19 I completed my 6th marathon with a personal best time of 3:22:14 which I am very proud of and yet I feel as though my main goal of a Boston Qualifying Time has was not accomplished missing yet another great opportunity to run that prestigious race. Here’s a recap of how things went…
Pre Race Training – After a near perfect marathon build, weeks of getting up at
4:30 am, running 6 days a week and covering more than 1600 km I had my mind set on accomplishing a 3:08:30 – 3:12 Marathon. I knew full well that 3:12 would not get me into Boston but would inch me a lot closer to going under 3:10 in a spring marathon which would qualify me for 2016.
A big part of my training and build success came when I sought out Rick Mannen to be my running coach. I had heard a lot about Rick and what he was doing with Krista Duchene and other local runners so I knew through his expertise I would be in good hands and would see a ton of success. I was right on track accumulating PB’s in 5k, 10k, and the Half Marathon. Each of those races I took significant time off of my previous records but would it be enough over 42.2km. I knew that for me to run a BQ time on Sunday that I would be taking almost 18 min off of my previous PB.
I had everything in place setting me up for a great weekend of racing. I booked a hotel right across from the finish line, prepared my own pre race meal to eat at the hotel to avoid any diet changes and ensured I was well hydrated and full of carbs. I woke up race morning after having the best night sleep pre race I had ever had. As I was preparing to head out to warm up I kept thinking that everything was coming to easy for me, something was bound to go wrong because it felt like all of the pieces to the puzzle were in place.
I left the hotel to warm up and quickly realized that one key piece was not in place. It was cold and it was taking some time to really warm up. I had been nursing a tight hip flexor already and the cold was certainly not helping with that muscle.
For the race I decided to go sleeveless, without music and not carrying my cell phone which was a big deal seeing that I carried my phone and music on all training runs but noticed a loss in focus on tempo runs as I wondered why my phone would place that song…needless to say a day to enjoy the cheering crowds and volunteers as I raced by them.
The horn sounded and my plan was to stick with the 3:10 pace bunny until 36 at which point I would push on ahead of him and finish sub 3:10. 3-4 km into the race I did not see the pacer at all and then around 5k he was in my sight and I tried sticking with him but my watch was clocking him at 4:09/km which was 20 seconds to fast so I slowed down to maintain my 4:28 pace. This proved to be a wise decision as I later learned the pace bunny was walking at the 36k mark.
Through the checkpoints 10k, 21.1k, 30k I was close to my mark. By 30k I was just less than 2 min behind my goal but at 30k had a PB for that distance. I knew that the last 12k I was going to have to push but also knew the last 10 would be wind in the face so I did not want to burn all that energy and have nothing left with 10k to go.
At 32km we entered the Beaches area on Queen Street and my race took a “turn” for the worse. As I was preparing to make the awkward turn and head back towards the city I planted right in the TTC track and to avoid twisting my ankle I somehow tweaked my hip and aggravated the hip flexor that had been nagging me for the past month. Unfortunately that minor tweak sent a wonderful shooting pain down into my ankle and it was very hard to recover mentally and physically from that point on. I tried getting my speed back to at least sub 5:00/km but struggled and ran 3 consecutive km at 5:20-5:25/km losing 3 min but still on pace to finish 3:15 which would have been great.
32-38 km markers were very tough for me and I was able to finally with the cheering crowds get to sub 5:00/km down the home stretch and across the line but my race was literally finished at the 32k mark as I could not get mentally geared in again.
This is the 3rd consecutive marathon that I have had now where something has gone wrong in my plan but in all of them I have finished so this is a good thing.
After speaking with my coach last night I was encouraged that each marathon is a new lesson learned and as we begin to put plans in place for the spring I am excited to start working towards that Boston goal.
I love the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon, I’ve run it 3 times now and it is a tough course. The first half of the marathon is a real treat. Thousands of people cheering you on but the last half is a mental game. The crowds are sparse and it’s harder to be carried through the toughest km with their cheering.
For now…it’s time to rest and in a week or so I’ll lace up those skates and start scoring some goals with my Monday morning buddies but until then it’s nurse this nagging hip and rest the weary legs and start shopping for spring races.
My cheering squad was waiting for me at 20k
Coming to the finish..looking strong…but looks are deceiving…
My 4th Waterfront Medal – 3 gold, 1 silver.