Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuning up for the Chicago taper

Wow, where has the time gone? There are just over 3 weeks until the Chicago Marathon. I have a plan to nail about 68-69 miles this week and then it's taper time for the 4th time in 2009.

I am starting to build some confidence that I am on the cusp of another sub-3 hour marathon in Chicago.

I ran the Batavia Half Madness 1/2 Marathon about 10 days ago. I wanted a sub 1:25. I came up slightly short. However, I will say that I was happy to have finished as strong as I did.

I ran a 1:25:48, which lines up with a 3:00 marathon. It was a PR by about 50 seconds. I placed 3rd in my age group and 18th overall out of just under 1,000 runners (see results here). OK, so I was little pissed as I struggled to hold 6:30's. You can check out my splits here.

In retrospect, I could have pulled out the excuse monkey and had him say the humidity was very high that day (over 90%), that my weight was up (nearly 170 lbs) and I had a poor diet the night before (thanks to me caving into my neighbor's invite for dinner, since my family was out of town... ribs, chicken, cookies, etc) and that it was the last, tiring run of a 70-mile week (which it was).

But I didn't let the excuse monkey out of his cage. I chalked it up to more work to do.

Since then, I have been running pretty strongly. However, I will say that I have put in a ton of treadmill mileage due to my schedule and my all-weekend daddy duties. It's great fun to nail an 18-mile treadmill run (w/ 15 miles at 6:49/mi pace) while watching my daughter nap on a video monitor right next to me.

I am hitting the workouts. The indicators are there. I am right on the fringe of another PR. I would have felt better had I ran a 1:24 at that half, but I honestly think it wasn't my best day.

Regardless of what happens, it will be my best year of marathoning.... ever.


SallyRR said...

Congrats on completing three marathons this year, and good luck on Chicago. I've noticed that several of your recent races haven't matched up with your treadmill training, i.e. you can run a sub 38 10K or 15 miles at goal pace on your treadmill but outdoor races haven't resulted in similar times. We know you can do a sub 3:00, you proved it earlier this year, but you've also put probably 500 miles on your treadmill since then. You may want to check the calibration on your treadmill, if it is off, you could unknowningly be undertraining which could hurt your race performance. Take a look at this site: Alternatively, consider doing speedwork on a track or USATF certified course and for longer goal pace runs do these outside at least once a month, just to experience real world conditions.

monicac2 said...

Your performances are amazing, but I really love your confidence. It's inspiring!

Ryan said...

SallyRR, thanks for the feedback. I will look at the site and explore the calibration question. It's a valid point. The treadmill training is not my #1 preference. However, it's extremely convenient as it saves me a ton of time ; and definitely "keeps me honest" on the pace & interval workouts. If my tread is off, it is offset by the fact that I would not get in the mileage and the workout intensity outside due to limited time/schedule implications.

jokach said...

Wow, 18 miles on a treadmill, thats great .. I could never handle the treadmill for that long.

Good luck in Chicago, you've trained hard and deserve that sub-3 hour time..

jen said...

I think it sounds like you are in spectacular shape! Don't sweat a few seconds, you'll nail it in Chicago I just know it. Keep up the great work!! :)