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Friday, March 4, 2016

Thoughts on RnR NOLA

Now that the race is in the rear-view mirror, I can think more clearly about training and racing. I imagine we all wonder what we should have done differently leading up to a race, so I'll start there.

1. What I could have improved on in training: 
- The biggest thing I should have done in training is upped my mileage. I averaged 30mpw thanks to a few weeks off, and that is just not enough. I should have avoided runner's knee, of course, but since I didn't, I was in a mileage hole. I prefer averaging 40-45 mpw with several weeks well over 50 (hopefully some 55 or 60). Besides injury, I didn't run long enough during the week. I should have been doing 10-12 midweek every week.
- My long runs never exceeded 20. I'm much more comfortable if I've run 21 or 22.
- My speed work was way too short for marathon training. Most of our workouts were just 3 to 5 miles, often including warm-up!
- I spent so much time doing hip strengthening that I neglected full-body strength and core work. I need to get back on that.
I'm back there somewhere (on the right)
2. What went well in training: 
- I was consistent about my physical therapy exercises, and my hips were mostly happy. They felt the worst in December, right after the Ol' Man River half, but they feel pretty good now.
- I did yoga post-long-run every week, for the first time.
- I obeyed all the recovery rules, ran on soft-surfaces once a week, stretched, and did form drills twice a week.
3. The race: What worked:
- I started slow (for once).
- Clothing choices were all good: it was warm, and I wore a white singlet. No chafing or wardrobe malfunctions.
- I'm really ok with my time. I think it's my fifth fastest marathon - that's not too terrible, right? I mean, I had a lot of fitness to regain. And my goal was a 3:20, so I beat that.
- Although post-race my stomach cramps were outrageous, I didn't have a lot of stomach problems mid-race.

4. The race: What was a Titanic-magnitude disaster:
- Really, nothing was a complete disaster. But hitting the wall is terrible. Running over 8-minute miles is terrible. Thinking you're sprinting when you're hardly moving is terrible. I definitely felt my time off and my low mileage here.
- I definitely messed up with my fuel: My choice of Glukos on course left me with 20% fewer calories than planned and 30% less sodium.
- Two women passed me in the last 6 miles (and I passed two others, but still).
5. What's next:
- I took all week off except a shake-out and stretch with Varsity on Monday. I will probably run Monday night....maybe.
- The Crescent City Classic 10k is just 3 weeks away! Far too close to the marathon to do much in preparation, but it's always a fun race. Hopefully I will feel good when I get back to running and a sort build-up will go well.


  1. I notice that you don't use KT tape for your Runner's Knee. I've been using it since it sidelined me about a year ago, and it has helped tremendously.

    1. No, I haven't tried it - and I have some KT tape, too. Hopefully this just continues to improve and I won't need tape, but if I am still having problems when I get back to running, I will try it.

  2. 5th fastest marathon after all you've been through is nothing to sneeze at. I hope this is the start of lots of good things racewise. :)

  3. I think mine was maybe my 8th fastest? I was planning for 5th fastest, but things fell apart.

  4. I think you did a great job and wouldn't sweat it. Marathons are hard, and 26.2 miles is a long time for everything to go your way. You went through a lot being injured and not training as much as you wanted and still had a very respectable time- you should be really proud of that. Congratulations!

  5. All in all, I think it was a strong comeback for you! A 3:18 is pretty badass for an average of 30 mpw. I'm super impressed. I'm averaging close to 60 mpw and my goal is 3:19, and that's a stretch goal for me, to be honest. I'm old!

    1. You can easily run 3:19 - our half marathon times are identical!

  6. It's always good to look back and analyze what went well and what you could have/should have done differently. But all that said, I think you should still be super impressed with your time given this was your first race back after major surgeries!!