25 Oct 2012
Trip to the well
I waited for my thoughts and feelings to settle before writing about my marathon experience. Although my result wasn’t what I hoped for, I did okay, considering the tough conditions. Given where I was two years ago, I am grateful just to have another chance to train and run competitively.
The first 30K of the race was comfortable, thanks to terrific help from pacer Andre Lefort. At 35K, I was still on form to run 2:38 and was lucky that pacers Brandon Laan and Thomas Omwenga hopped in to take over from there. Soon after, things started to get desperate. At about 38K, my legs began to cramp, though I was still on pace to challenge the masters record of 2:39:35. At this point, my legs seized up, making the final 4K a slow and painful journey. The only way I could keep my legs moving was to bend forward at the waist, as if ready to faceplant. My pace dropped substantially in those final few kilometres. I knew with 2K to go, the record wouldn’t be mine that day and I would have to will myself to finish.
I have admitted in the past, that I’ve never truly ‘gone to the well’ in a race or workout. I have always admired those who could cross a finish line with absolutely nothing left. Not only did I go to the well in this race, I hurled myself into it! No wonder I have avoided going there for so long.
I ended up running 2:42 – a decent result for my first marathon at the age of 44. I was the first masters and second Canadian female to cross the line and the eighth woman overall. I have Coach Trent to thank for getting me to race day confident and well prepared. We have no doubt that under better conditions, I would have achieved my goal.
Reflection and Looking Ahead
I have decided I would like to try another marathon. I have yet to determine if I will run a spring race, or will wait until the fall. There is no urgency to decide. I need to see how I recover from this go-round and how my running feels once I return to a regular schedule.
Trent and I met last weekend to debrief and review the year. We looked closely at my marathon-specific training and assessed how I responded and what could be improved upon. We agreed I tolerated increases in mileage well and that we could do a little more here without tipping the scales. It’s also clear I would benefit from extending a few essential tempo sessions.
I have just finished two weeks of rest and will now gradually get back into a running schedule and eventually get back into training. It’s been rather good having some quiet and restful time to myself and to not have to be so disciplined with nearly every aspect of my life. I have been eating a lot of chocolate!