I'm asked often about burnout or off season. My canned, funny reply is that I'm afraid to stop or take a break, because at 51, I'm not sure I could start up again! There is some truth to this, since I am experiencing needed longer recovery time and slower start ups of a particular workout or race. My mornings have to begin about an hour before hitting the road or the pool or whatever instead of waking up only 20-30 mins before hitting it. That's ok. The real reason for not stopping is my constant need for goal setting and moving forward.
After my Kona qualifying Ironman Arizona this past November, I worked immediately with my coach, Nick White with Carmichael Training Systems (www.trainright.com) to get my running going for my 12th consecutive Rock and Roll full marathon. Nick is great, working my training around to accommodate my obsessions and race goals. I enjoy the timing and organization of this annual event and it keeps me easily focused on staying in shape during the difficult Holiday season. (What other time of year does fudge and Christmas cookies and tamales make their to my kitchen?)
The only major change this time around was to build on my Ironman training base (including a 3:33 marathon) and do more added longer intervals in my shorter and longer runs. I had no problem throwing out a good finish that would or could include another PR. Last January's time was my fastest marathon ever at 2:58:44.
This race came fast and quick! Before I new it, I threw myself into the ARR Desert Classic 30k on December 21st in 2:06:25 with not real nutrition support and a 2 min PR from the year prior.
I continue to bike (a lot of trainer - I hate riding in the cold! - big baby here!) and swim consistently but there is a major focus on my run.
I enjoyed working the expo this past weekend for Sole Sports Running Zone (www.solesportsrunning.com) at the Garmin Booth. (Garmin.com). I also returned as the National Anthem singer for the marathon as well as the newly added 5k on Saturday morning. I also was offered a slot by Competitor Group to run the 5k as well.
I had a 20 min run slated for Saturday anyway, so I decided to do it after completing the Star Spangled Banner. I felt fresh and loose (to coin a phrase) and went out pretty fast. I tried not to push too hard with prescribed 4x20 second pick ups. Well, those pick ups were a little longer, like 5 mins. I thought I would jog out the last mile but the rabbits in front of me seemed accessible and I went for them. I came in at 20:11. Oh well, no big deal! Right?
Marathon race morning had me up at 5am and my normal pre race breakfast of MyOatmeal (www.myoatmeal.com) and black coffee. I was at the warm zone by 6:15am. I arrived at the starting line stage for a pre run interview for the runners and Channel 10 and then lined up with familiar faces and friends, Brian, Monica and Adam Folts, Andy Krebs and David Tindall.
The Folts family have now moved into a new tier of top overall finishers (out of my league) so Andy, David and I decided to work towards a sub 3 hour finish together. And we were off!
There was no wind and the weather was beautiful. Not cold and really, not too warm. I decided to look a little more like a runner this year in my new ONE Elite (www.onemultisport.org) singlet and nike running shorts. The only problem would be carrying my own PowerBar gels. No Tri singlet back pockets! I decided to keep two held in my arm warmers, two more in my running gloves, and one in a back pocket in my shorts. I also keep a capsule of MDrive (www.MDrive.com) ATP Energy booster for the last hour of the race. All hydration I take from the course alternating from water and Gatorade every other aid station. I take 5 gels on a marathon course. One every half hour. I thought I would lose the arm warmers and gloves as I used the gels but I kept them on the entire race. The time flew by (relatively speaking) staying with Andy and David for most of the day. I did have short times or fatigue but they would past and as long as I found myself between 1:27 and 1:28 at the 13.1 mark, the. I would be on track. I find this course difficult to negative split due to the challenging rolling hills after mile 23. Clipping away at 6:40 and 6:45 miles before during the more flat miles allows me to live with a 6:55 mile split or even worse and still make my Sub3 goal. That's exactly what happens. After the out and back on Indian School Rd and the left turn and long straight away on 48th street all the way to Van Buren, you are ready to be done. This is where Andy shines, and he started to pull away. David and I stayed together and he excelled in Van Buren while many Elite runners were blowing up. I let David go at mile 25 knowing I still had 10 minutes for 1.2 miles. I was going to come in under 3 hours but was it going to be a PR? It would be close. At my level of fitness and age, these gains and PRs are precious and the margin is very thin!
I picked it up as I heard the crowd and even saw 6:38 pace on my Garmin 910XT as I turned into the finish chute. Time: 2:58:14. A 30 second PR!
I am very pleased with the weekend and my run including the age group (50-54 male) win. 38/2578 overall. 34/1452 male. The 5k didn't kill my PR chances and the weather, organization and people made his all a success!
I am so grateful to my sponsors, One Multipsort and my ONE Elite Team! I am so please and proud to represent the best Club and Team ever!
To all our sponsors like Destination Kona (www.dktristore.com) for my nutrition and race support needs like my new 2XU (www.2XU.com) race performance compression sleeves!
Here's to a transition now to Triathlon including LifeTimeTri Marquee, Ironamn St. George 70.3 and of course, Kona Baby!
Until next time! Stay Consistent!