Monday, February 18, 2013

8 weeks until Boston Marathon 2013 - Training update & Frostbite 5 miler race report

 Today marks the 8 week mark, eight short weeks until we toe the line in Hopkinton!  This past Saturday was my first race of the year, actually first race since LAST OCTOBER!  Wow how time flies.  

I joined a sold out field of 1600 runners for the Frostbite 5 miler.  This is a well run race, challenging course and always a stacked field of runners.  It was also my first "test" of the 2013 Boston Marathon training block.  The temps were in the low 30's with 8-10 mile / hour winds.  Last year I ran a phenomenal race here, and looking back peaked WAY too early.  This year I toed the line without running a single speed session, as I talked about in the last post, I'm try to focus on threshold and marathon pace running since that is what you need to run 26.2 miles.
And they're off!
We took off, breezing through a mostly downhill first mile.  I hit it at about 5:10 which is just a few seconds off of last year.  My legs were feeling good, I was sitting in about 12th overall.  As we hit the rolling hills and reached the 3rd mile marker, the legs didn't feel too bad but from a cardio / heart rate standpoint I was pegged.  Two guys pulled up next to me and I tried to hang on, but I was definitely feeling the lack of top end speed I need to hold 5:30 miles.  

Most of the last 1.5 miles was slightly uphill which is where I typically run well, and I did put some ground on the couple of guys in front of me, but to no avail.  We hit the slight decline with about a 1/4 mile to go and my old legs had NO turnover!  
Looking for that finish line....
 I hit the line at 27:40, slightly disappointed.  I finished 14th overall, 1st in the 35-39 age group.  The only comfort I took in that was that I was the first "old guy", the next youngest guy in front of me was 5 years younger!  I was about 30 seconds slower than last year, but reflecting back I'm in a totally different point than I was last year this time.  I'm on my way up to the peak, taking the smarter, safer route this year.  Hopefully a better place when Patriots Day rolls around. 

 And speaking of Patriots Day.  T minus eight weeks and counting.  It always amazes me how fast the last 8 weeks goes.  I had a great week of training last week, a 4 x 2 mile threshold interval workout which I was able to hit sub 5:50 average for each effort, the race on Saturday, then one of those "you'll remember this workout during your marathon" runs yesterday.  A COLD, WINDY run which I started out running the first 8 miles at about 8 minute pace with Lauren, then dropped the pace to 6:55-7:05 for the last 12 miles.  I know 6:55-7:05 isn't marathon pace, but in the wind and on the sloppy trail it sure was marathon pace effort, especially the day after racing!

I'm encouraged that I'm on the right track.  My weekly mileage has been in the mid 50's for the last few weeks, and that's on just 4 runs a week which is allowing me to get good recovery both active (easy spins on the trainer) and passive (some extra sleep).  I plugged my race time into my favorite calculator and it's "confirming" that I'm on track, predicting a 2:42 marathon (my goal is to break 2:50 and hopefully PR, sub 2:47). 

I'll likely only get one quality workout in this week, base it off of marathon pace.  This coming weekend I'll be pacing the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa, for a grand total of more than 30 miles over two days of racing!

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