Still pumped about the race on Sunday. The biggest factor in this marathon was the amount of energy available in the last 6 miles. This has to be the increase in mileage. Last year was a huge jump in mileage and this years decision to try running without any rest days all helped. I hadn't really planned on attempting a running streak, it just kinda happened. I was tempted to let it go during the final week of taper, but actually looked forward to getting out and running. I even like the track.
Lots of credit to the guys I've been running with this training cycle. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought a 3:05 for a marathon was possible. Sure, I've plugged my fastest 5k or 5 mile time in McMillans Running Calculator and it spits out a 3:05. But, these guys actually had me believing it was possible. I've trained with various groups over the years, RAW and Solano groups in Texas, Atlanta guys, EB here in Murfreesboro and lately the herd here in Murfreesboro. Phooey on the lonely long distance runner, go out and run with a group. Someone is going to pull or push you along and just as importantly you'll be doing the same.
The plan behind this training cycle was from McMillan. I just tagged along with the fast guys and tried to do the workouts they were doing. I modified the times for the speed stuff. Most runs I would just warmup with them and then they'd be gone. Two workouts really stand out as different than other programs in the past, the fast finish long run and the minute on, minute off. I've done marathon pace runs in other programs, but these workouts were faster paced and not as long. The minute on was tough but doable and at first the minute recovery seems like plenty. That workout really made me feel stronger and helped to gauge efforts on the track. Training log on Running2Win.com with all of the gory details. Also, did six long runs of 20+ miles.
We knew going into training for the pig that we'd have hills. The fast guys incorporated a hilly course into every long run we did. This was tough, especially on the fast finish workouts. But, its a great feeling to know that you can maintain marathon pace effort with the hills. Speedy and FM went to Percy Warner park and doubled it once. I skipped that workout, those hills were to steep and seem to beat me up to much. In hindsight, I should have probably have done that workout. It'd have been a solo effort, though.
Hydration and Fueling
Dehydration has been the toughest thing for me to figure out in the 13 years I've been doing these marathons. I can't stomach gatorade. I drink plain water on training runs and take succeed caps. One big benefit of the increase in mileage is the way the body adapts. I don't need to take in as much water on the daily runs, but it makes all of the difference in the quality of the long run. I've experimented with different gels and ended up using the Powergel brand just because it's the most readily available. I've always carried my own. Tried the gel flask in the past, but found the individual gel packets work the best for me. In training I took the gels every 45 minutes, starting after 8-10 miles. On race day, the plan was one at the start and then one every 5 miles. Forgot to take the first gel at the start. It didn't seem to make a difference, though I did take an extra gel at mile 23? So, the gel every 5 miles seemed to work effectively.
Sub 3:00 marathon
Never thought I'd be thinking about a sub 3:00 marathon. Seems doable now. This cycle probably had me in shape to make that attempt. I really thought it was doable after cresting the climb at mile 8 of the pig. Reality sunk in pretty quickly around mile 13 when that pace was just a little to quick. I wore the Garmin so I watched my pace, but didn't really adjust my pace based on that, but more on effort. I'd really like to make a sub 3:00 attempt this fall. The guys in the herd will probably be training for a fall marathon, that'll help.