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Two days post marathon shakeout run
I’m definitely less destroyed than I was last year after the marathon. Probably has something to do with the 532 miles I ran in the 4 months leading into this one versus the 364 I ran last year.
Yesterday I went for an easy run at lunch. Take that 3.5 day estimate recovery adviser! The first 10 minutes were uncomfortable. The middle 10 were actually pretty nice. The last 10 were uncomfortable/painful. All easy aerobic though. Just very unhappy quads.
This morning after the first few steps out of bed I feel good. Nothing is overly sore any more.
Tonight RBN1 is going to go meet up with a group of skiers she signed up to join this winter for training. She is going to roller blade with them. I’m going to tag along and do my own thing. Good practice for what will likely happen every other week this winter. She will go with the group and get technique lessons and do some workout while I will be in the same place doing my own thing. Given the location, probably some marathon paced/tempo paced long intervals. I’m excited. 143 days until the Birkie.
ps. Don’t tell anyone, but I am arguing very intently against myself about switching my half marathon entry to the full on the 11th.
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Birkie Trail Marathon 2014 - Race Report
Well that was a tough day. I posted some GOALS, and it is a good thing I set a fail safe goal, although I only partially achieved that even as I’ll write about shortly.
A little pre-race selfie with my marathon rookie. It certainly was a gorgeous day to start. The sun was shining and the leaves were turning in the north woods of Wisconsin. The temps were around 60 at the start, which is probably about as warm as I wanted it to be at the finish, but sadly that was not to be.
The pre-race tent and gathering was a bunch of fun. We met up with some other CyclovaXC peeps and then saw a few other folks I know from the ski scene. Short bathroom lines, people all trail run garbed up, good times.
One of the photographers got a shot of me smiling shortly after the start. I’ve gone maybe 100 yards at that point. Just a few more to go.
That first 1.75 miles definitely got you warmed up in a hurry. You basically climb straight from the line to the main Birkie trail, 250 feet net elevation gain, about 300 feet of climbing total. I was already pushing my HR a little higher than I thought good so when I hit the Birkie trail I tried to get into a nice stride and relax a bit.
I ended up falling in behind another runner and eventually we were power walking a hill next to each other and started a conversation. About two minutes in and we had determined that we skied against each other in high school. I knew who he was, though I had never talked to him nor could I have picked him out of a line-up. I’m not sure if he recalled racing me or not. He was a year older and a rung better.
Anyhow, we ended up running the next 12 miles or so together. It was fun and enjoyable to race and chat. I did think I may have been pushing it a tad bit. I haven’t raced this distance enough to know what is too much. I know I can get my HR up there skiing and keep it there for a while.
At about mile 14 we hit the second stretch of single track and my new friend was feeling good and accelerated into it. I had enjoyed the previous stretch and managed to stay with him but this time I quickly realized I was in trouble. In post race analysis I see my HR averaged 177 during that half mile. That is 5 bpm over threshold pace (hour long race). Previously I had been in the 160s which is above aerobic, but below threshold. No mans land. At just over two hours into a going to be close to four hour race, that 170+ was dumb. I got caught up in the moment and should have just let him go. I did at the end of that half mile but the damage had been done.
The next 3ish miles back out on the ski trails I struggled to recover somewhat. Another 200+ feet of climbing and an average HR of 170 wasn’t it. Then we hit the final length of single track and I finally bonked, and bonked hard.
I had been trying to eat and drink enough like I had practiced during my long runs. Unfortunately my long runs were a little easier and I wasn’t doing well digesting with this pace and heat. So I pushed it too hard and then wasn’t getting my nutrition. That length of single track was about 3.3 miles and had almost 400 feet of climbing in it. That was hard. I tried to keep running anything that wasn’t uphill but I was struggling and there were stretches that were a struggle to put one foot in front of the other. This was a stretch of the trail I seriously underestimated.
Before I continue with the meltdown, I have to say I want to ride this single track really badly. It looked like an absolute blast to ride. With the fall colors and sun it was absolutely gorgeous out there. There were times I wished I could have just stopped, enjoyed the view and taken some pictures.
One thing I haven’t mentioned to this point is the “miles to go” signs. I had pieced together a GPS map for the race from various garmin connect workouts from strangers and my own since the race didn’t publish a very detailed map. My estimate had the race at 23.6 miles, but the organizer told me they had rolled the course and it was pretty close. Well, we ran past 17 to go, and then the next sign was 15 to go. And no, I didn’t zone out and miss it. So I was afraid that we were going to get to say 1 mile to go, and there would actually be 2. While I should feel a little cheated it wasn’t actually 26.2, this course was seriously hard and I don’t feel cheated at all. Anyhow, the signs turned out to be about right.
Once off that last single track there was just over 3 miles to go, and it was predominately down hill. We met back up with the 1/2 marathon course and I went from being alone in the woods to the course getting kind of crowded. Then as we descended back to the field I got caught up in the 6k race.
It was all I could do to keep running and all of these people that had run 1/2 what I had, or an 1/7th of what I had were blowing past me. That included my high school ski coach who was running the half. He looked like death, listing to the side, but he still just ran away from me.
In the end I hobbled into the finish. 24.5 miles (short a bit there…) in 4:03:07. Yup, despite a short course I missed all of my time goals. As for finishing, enjoying the day, etc. Well I did sort of. It turned out I was all sorts of messed up for several hours afterwards. Nausea, headaches, flushed, cold, etc. It wasn’t until my beautiful chauffeur had driven me halfway home that I started feeling human again.
OK, with all that negativity I just spewed, you would think I might be all sorts of bent out of shape a day later. Nope, not at all. Yeah, I think I could have raced a little smarter and maybe done better. So what. Despite missing those goals and feeling like death for a few hours I still enjoyed myself. I still got out on the trails. I still got to hang with friends. I still got to see an amazing woman finish her first marathon. I get to run more if I want. I get to start ski training seriously. Seriously, it is all good.
I’m sore today. Not OMG sore like I was last year. I got a major case of runner’s knee after last years marathon. Once in motion today I actually feel pretty good. Two weeks from yesterday is the Gandy Marathon. I’m signed up for the flatest 1/2 marathon you might ever find. The two guys in orange on the left are the organizers. They said I could change to the full still if I wanted… I said no. For now.
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Wow! I assumed tumblr ate that last post. I tried to post it last night. The marathon is over now. Hard! A more complete summary later.
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We are crashing at my buddies’ mom’s place. It is incredibly inspiring. Those are all her awards. Many years of kicking ass and taking awards.
It is going to be a tad warmer than desired tomorrow. High of 78. Probably about 55 at the start. Just need to run fast to be done before it gets to warm.
Gotta roll out the door in just over 8 hours. Time to check out.
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Carbo loading and tapering. Just a short 30 minute spin on the road bike to blow off the stink of being inside all day. Jeez it is getting dark early. Thought I had more time. Glad I put the blindly light on.
Made Alfredo with sautéed onions, garlic, mushrooms, peas, and ham. A little Parmesan and then just some canned sauce. Good stuff.
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T-4 days until the Birkie Trail Marathon
Time to document some goals. Someone posted about being hesitant to put time goals down in fear that a failure to achieve the stated goal would diminish the accomplishment. I get that. And it shouldn’t. Running a marathon should always be an accomplishment. It is a long ass ways and if you can get to the finish line you should still appreciate everything it took to get you there.
That said, I do have time goals and I will be disappointed if I don’t achieve them. Crushed? Nah. It isn’t the end of anything if I don’t meet them. I’ll just have to try again. Besides, this is a trail marathon, on a new course, time goals aren’t really the thing for trail races, but too bad.
OK, goals. Last year when I ran this race on very poor marathon training (only signed up like 8 weeks in advance just because I wanted the jacket for doing it and the ski race), I shocked myself when I came within 4 minutes of marathon PR. The course is different this year, but I’ve trained better so…
C2 - No Regrets Goal - Finish, uninjured, enjoy the day with friends. Like I said, finishing the marathon is an accomplishment, but ski season is nearly here so I want to not be hurt as my baseline here.
C1 - Good - Better than last year, 3:59:05. Different course, but better trained. I think I can do this.
B - Completely satisfied - Marathon PR 3:55:13, Grandmas Marathon 1999, scrawny know nothing 19 year old. Yeah, I want to kick his ass on a trail marathon. That was the real goal here.
A - Ecstatic - 3:49:15. Really just picking a roundish pace (8:45/mile) and calculating a time. The male 30-39 age group is too competitive to go for placing or anything like that. I guess this one really should be more open ended. If I finish feeling like I killed it and really raced it, I’ll call it good.
BOGO at Walgreens
Guys, protect those nips!
RBN1 just bought me a roll of this for this weekends trail marathon. She told me she loved me and she loved my nipples. Definitely feeling the love today!
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While those are stock images, they represent the two types of animals I tried to give RBN1 on our run today. She didn’t want them… I think I need to work on my gift giving a little more. We also saw a few dead rodents and what was obviously a burrow/den of some sort, though we couldn’t tell who it belonged to.
We did a 12 mile, mostly trail run, mostly together. I say mostly together because I took the lead and she followed. Generally not very far behind. She was definitely holding her own today. I did hustle back the last two miles as I had places to be with the boys today.
I think I’m going to need some more rest days before the marathon… in 7 days. My legs still ache in general. I had a great run on Thursday night where I had an effortless cruise in the low 8’s. Then Friday I was grumping the whole way for high 8’s with a HR 8 bpm higher.
Not much training to be done now so I should just rest up for the marathon on Saturday.
General Training Update
Things always get a little screwy when I hit my big activity fall. While I have been targeting the Birkie Trail Marathon for a PR, I’m also out to have fun with my other activities and as such, pure marathon training has hit a road bump.
Two weekends ago I was doing the 221 mile Gravel Conspiracy so the week leading up to it I had one L3 roller ski and two easy runs. 8 whole miles of running 4 weeks out from the marathon. But a total of 19 hours of aerobic activity.
Then last weekend was the Sasquatch Dash 25k. So I wanted to do reasonably well there which meant recovery from the GC and taper for that. I had one easy bike ride, and one easy run before the dash and one short roller ski after. 20 miles of running 3 weeks out. Only a total of 5 hours of aerobic activity.
This week I had a roller ski time trail on Wednesday I wanted to do well at and I’m just generally kind of tired. My legs hurt running and I’m kinda tired. The time trial went OK given my efforts lately. On two 5k efforts I was 13 and 9 seconds slower than in July. Most everyone else was about that much faster. Eh.
I’m just over 5 hours for the week. I really feel like I should roller ski for a while tomorrow, but I’m not sure. I need to figure out my plan for week here.
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Went on a night hike with RBN1 last night at Interstate Park. It was a gorgeous night to be out.
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