Posted: 20/10/2014 at 15:47
Bike It, condolences, but you've got the right attitude of onwards and upwards.
moof, nice pb. I was just telling someone that I could die a happy man with a sub 3 under my belt.
Race report: Humboldt Redwoods Marathon, October 19.
Capsule summary: small, friendly marathon in the redwoods of Northern California. Very scenic and more rolling than expected. Not a PB course because of the roll and the fact that the tall trees played havoc with the garmin signal, resulting in wildly inaccurate pace cues.
I ran 3:37, which seems on the face of it to be unworthy in this thread. However, I was pleased because it was a "comeback from injury" run for me (average 15 mpw in the month prior; a few weeks of no running before that because of a hip flexor).
This was an odd race for me because I had no goal going into it. (Other than, "don't re-injure yourself", I suppose.) I couldn't race it on such low recent mileage and *no* long runs in the months prior. (I think 10 was my longest!) I had considered going around at 10:20s with my brother-in-law, but that seemed like it would hurt me.
Although I'd been toying with the idea of a run/walk experiment, on the start line I decided to treat it like an easy LSD. The first half was pretty steady around 8:20. That felt good, with no obvious hip pain, so when the second half turned slowly grindingly uphill, I wound it up with 8:03 average for the 3rd quarter. (I always feel a tiny bit bad about it, but I find it very motivating to pass people in the latter half. And since I started slow, there were plenty of people to pass.) The last quarter was mostly downhill; my hip was feeling good; my hamstrings were aching and occasionally threatening cramp, but I was pretty sure I could survive, so brought it up to 7:48 average. When doubts started to creep in, I started counting to 12 (every third step), which does wonders to clear my mind.
So, my second-worst time. But I'm feeling good about it nonetheless.
I experimented with carb loading, an it seemed to work pretty well. Instead of the more traditional "couple of days of higher carbs" (~7 g of carbs per kilo of bodyweight) that I've done in the past, I did a short hard workout the morning before and then launched into what felt like constant eating (10-12g/kilo). It didn't feel bad during the day, but by the end, I was a bit gassy and felt like I'd eaten, well, 700g of carbs. To answer Lorenzo's question earlier about spreading out all that excess, I think (but am no expert) that you need to push most of the carbs in after you've activated the storage mechanism by sprinting. So no joy in spreading the carbs from the night before, probably. Race day felt perfect, stomach-wise and energy level-wise. I'll repeat this process for my next race.