I just reread the recaps for my first half and full marathons and it’s amazing how far I’ve come. That made a good experience feel that much better.
First, I must say that I am absolutely thrilled with my finish, as I mentioned. That was my prime goal, finish on a positive note or in other words, run a good race.
Second, I have to refer back to my big PR goal post. It’s been a big year. With those 10 minutes I checked the last distance off the list. It’s not often that a runner is able to notch PRs at the 5k, 8k, 10k, hlaf marathon and marathon distances. I didn’t make my reach goals for the half or full but that’s why they’re called “reach” goals.
Now to what went right. I already mentioned this in my recap. I didn’t stress about time. It baffles my mind that not looking at the clock helped me run a faster time. I know that the added stress and increased effort (to meet that arbitrary pace goal) would have left me very few energy reserves to draw on in the final miles.
I also stuck with my fueling and (modified) hydration plan. I’ve mentioned in previous recaps that inadequate hydration probably kept me from a better time. Even though the weather was cooler (which helped me tremendously), I hydrated frequently before I started getting dehydration warming signs.
Looking ahead, there are several things that I can do to improve. My half marathon times have consistently predicted stronger marathon results than I’ve achieved.
First, I want to focus on the long (and longer midweek) runs. Looking back, I feel like I short-changed my long run training for various reasons.
Second, I need to focus my training. The cycle that ended with TCM on October 5th started way back in April when I started ramping up my workouts to prep for Y2Y. It was also too fragmented; I had a few too many goals. These goals weren’t bad. They just distracted my training. I may run a few races before Rome but just as training.
Third, I want to become fitter overall, not just in running. My knee scare taught me that I can’t neglect strength training and expect my body to hold up under high (for me) mileage training. I plan to take a legitimate off-season to work on improving single leg balance, hip strength, glute strength and etc. I’d also like to create a plan that I can incorporate daily even after marathon training begins again.
Fourth, in a similar vein, I want to work on cleaning up my diet. You get out of something that which you put into it. I put a lot of delicious but not super nutritious food into my body over the last several months. It may take a little more time than cooking a frozen pizza from Costco but I think the results will be worth it.
I’m putting this all out there for accountability purposes. I’ve said it. Now, I need to go do it. Next stop on the BQ journey? Rome!