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A Conundrum....In a good way I suppose -- Shamrock 1/2 Marathon


ocrunnergirl

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I received a registration to the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon as a Christmas gift in December, 2019. 

Two double COVID cancellations led me to finally being able to run it this year! 

I planned on running it as a training run for Boston 26.2. Boston is in 3.5 weeks and this is scaring the heck out of me! You see training has been going anything but smoothly. I've pretty much been dealing with one nagging injury after another since May of 2021. Calf strain, aggravated hamstrings and calcification on one heel as well as some achilles issues. Ugh.

My base running mileage in December was pretty much zero -- tops 10 mpw. I deferred Rehoboth, but then Jenster cancelled at the last minute so I grabbed her bib and fully intended on dropping at the 6 mile mark. Yea, well, I didn't. I started slow and felt really great at mile 6. I was talking to friends and random strangers. Decided to keep going. Once I hit the dirt trail (where most people slow down) I sped up and finished sub 2.

This sub 2 let me see that my CrossFit and cycling that I had been doing had kept me in really good shape.

I started going to a chiro who has been Graston-ing the sh!t out of my achilles and heel (hurts terribly) and doing some active release on my hamstrings.

In mid December I started up with Hal Higdon's advanced marathon plan that I had followed for my BQ marathon. Yeah .... basically 10 mpw to 40 mpw... I've only been able to hit a few of the weeks at prescribed volume. Surprise, surprise.

I adapted to running 3 miles Monday, 10 miles Tuesday, 3-5 miles Wednesday, a tiny bit of speed on Thursday, long run Saturday and then swim and cycle on Sunday. I also have been doing CrossFit Monday - Thursday. That schedule worked for the most part until I took part in the CrossFit Open. The CrossFit open is a 3 week online competition -- 2/28-3/14). The top 10% in each AG move on to the next round of competition. I finished in the 84th percentile while managing to keep my running volume going and not getting injured. Win-win!

I had a 20 miler scheduled for 3/12. I was still really sore from the CrossFit competition so I pushed the 20 miler to Monday, 3/14 (6 days before Shamrock). I split the run into 2 x 10s. I ran 10 on my treadmill before work and then 10 on the trails after work. It was a slog. Not going to lie. 20 miles at approximately 10:00 pace.

So that brings us to Shamrock. I took a 1 day taper ... ie. rest day on Saturday.

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I planned on running the race with a friend. He wanted to run sub 2. He had raced the 8k the day before and is coming back from injury. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to run a sub 2, but thought I'd give it a go.

Found my running group for a picture before the race.

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Bob and I lined up in corral #2 and both said we wanted to start out easy. The race gun went off and we were on our way.

After about a mile I said to Bob that it seemed like we were running much faster than the 9:10 pace on our watches. He agreed and said it felt more like an 8:30. I was so relieved that he felt it was hard too! We agreed to back off a bit, but once I start pushing it is SUPER hard for me to pull it back. I was somewhere in between this is not going to be a good day!! and GAS PEDAL!!

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As hard as I tried to reign it in I was pulling ahead of Bob. I pulled over to wait at the mile 3 water stop. We chatted a second, but then I was gone. Shoulda hung a sign out "Gone racing!' As much as my mind was telling my legs to slow down, my legs kept pushing.

We went through a military base. It seemed like forever! I was keeping my eyes on the lookout for a port a potty. Finally as we exited the military base there was one at mile 9. I dashed in, but probably lost 90 seconds.

After that I just picked it up. i would look at my watch and was shocked at the low 8s I was seeing. At mile 10 I just wanted to be done. I thought maybe I'll just walk, but of course that didn't happen. I did let myself walk through the aid stations.

As we rounded the corners and were heading into the final mile I just decided to see what I had left. Mile 13 -- 7:53, 13.1 -- 7:41.

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I have NEVER run a 7:xx in a half marathon.

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Final time with 30 seconds waiting for friend, 90 second bathroom break, 20 miles on Monday and zero taper -- 1:53:27.

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So my conundrum -- what the hell pace do I try to run at Boston?? My base mileage is nowhere I would like it to be, but my overall amount of exercise is super high.

If I take the 2 minutes off for the bathroom break and waiting for my friend a VDOT calculator says 8:48 -- 3:50:53. Does that seem reasonable? Or 9:09 for a 4:00?

I just don't know??

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Edited by ocrunnergirl

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I suggest you sprint from the start whilst carrying a log on your shoulders

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23 minutes ago, NavEng said:

I suggest you sprint from the start whilst carrying a log on your shoulders

Ummm seems as logical as anything else I've done. 😏

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This is an easy one, since it's Boston. Early miles are going to be fast no matter what, so plan for it that way. First 10k at 8:48, 9:00s from there to the hills, then see what's left after Heartbreak.

Hope to see you there that weekend. We'll be working bib pickup Sunday morning.

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10 minutes ago, Dave said:

This is an easy one, since it's Boston. Early miles are going to be fast no matter what, so plan for it that way. First 10k at 8:48, 9:00s from there to the hills, then see what's left after Heartbreak.

Hope to see you there that weekend. We'll be working bib pickup Sunday morning.

That does seem reasonable! Thanks! i will look for you!

 

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Dropping Bob seems to be the way to go.  The post-Bob splits are beautiful!  I think you will surprise yourself at Boston. 

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10 minutes ago, Slow_Running said:

Dropping Bob seems to be the way to go.  The post-Bob splits are beautiful!  I think you will surprise yourself at Boston. 

It was not intentional. I was going to try to behave so I didn’t injure myself for Boston. No self control. Lol

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All I can say is respect the marathon, especially since it sounds like you haven't put in a lot of miles.

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1 hour ago, Run2BFit said:

All I can say is respect the marathon, especially since it sounds like you haven't put in a lot of miles.

I think I do respect the marathon and that is why I have a conundrum. I have done all of the long runs. In order to stay injury free I’ve done cross training as a sub. If I didn’t have 2 solid halves I certainly would be thinking about going much slower. 

 

1 hour ago, Run2BFit said:

All I can say is respect the marathon, especially since it sounds like you haven't put in a lot of miles.

 

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BTW, 8:48 is going to feel awfully slow. You know that, right?

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No one has ever said, "gee, I wish I'd started that marathon faster." Start slower and crank it down later if you feel good. For me personally, overall volume is the most influential factor on my marathon performance, so I'd be very conservative early on if I was in your shoes.

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