I should have known it was a bad omen when I saw the freshly dead deer on Interstate 43 twenty miles outside Green Bay. A second warning sign in retrospect could have been when the race director told us that the course was mismeasured last year, 0.15 miles over.
Anyway, so as to not bury the lede, despite some six months of planning & training, I didn’t finish the Green Bay Marathon today. At mile 18 we were told to stop – at 19.8 I finally did.
As far as the part of the race I was able to run – the first half went pretty well. It wasn’t hot at the start, I ran with the 3:35 pace group for the first 10 miles (I was 1:22:23 through 10, an 8:14 split). It was about at the split from the half marathoners at 12 that I started noticing the heat. Much of the first 12 was on shaded residential streets – the miles after the split were more exposed & the sun was brutal. I haven’t trained much in the heat – we simply haven’t had any weather like this.
By 13.1, I was running an 8:18 split and had lost my 3:35 pace group. By 15 I was passed by the 3:40 group and my splits had soared over 9:00. I don’t remember much between 15 & 18. The course here was beautiful along the Fox River Trail – more shade but not enough. Really what we needed was cloud cover.
So, canceled, black-flagged, whatever, the call was made by the medical director. Probably for the best. But I’m still somewhat irritated with the ass-covering posturing by the race director in the news today. You didn’t run out of water? Fantastic, glad to see you getting those liability talking points squared away. You want a pat on the back for not running out of water?? Tone-deafness to the disappointment of so many who could have finished but were blocked from doing so, and complaining in the press about those who chose to continue? That’s tacky.
I can’t help but contrast this to what I saw last month when volunteering at the Boston Marathon. That day was hotter, that race started later, and runners adapted as needed, run/ walking as needed. Not that this should be our metric but no one died in Boston, and no one pulled the plug two and a half hours in.
I guess I’m just irritated with the whole situation whether or not it was the right call. Worse, I was highly annoyed to finally get to the finish and find that I couldn’t work my way into the runner’s chute to get bananas, etc. And on finding the food tent – water for $1?? With all due respect, fuck whoever made that decision. It should not be easier to get cold beer than to get cold water, yet there we were. And insult to injury, the band was also canceled, so after listening to 30 minutes of droned race results, there was no entertainment. Upon trying to leave I waited another hour for a hotel shuttle.
Despite my disappointment, I’d like to end this on somewhat of a positive note. Every volunteer on the course was noticeably helpful & supportive. And the rest of the people I’ve met in Wisconsin so far could not have been nicer. The race shirt is quite nice, and I was thankfully able to get a medal (that obviously I don’t deserve). And lastly, since I didn’t finish & can’t check Wisconsin off my list, I’ll happily come back for another race. Just, next time, it’ll be Madison.
Song of the week from an early mile (~3), Foster the People, Pumped up Kicks.
A week from today I’ll be up in Wisconsin, running the Green Bay Marathon. Much like my post one week prior to the New Orleans Marathon, I’m feeling rather happy to be done with the last long run. Better yet, unlike back then I’m thankfully not recovering from any sort of illness. My current problems are all mental (and/or generic joint achy-breakiness). I was taking at look at my training log – I love that it’s so easy to export this to CSV format from daily mile! Anyway in the time since January 16th, the day I started my 18 week training cycle, I’ve run 723.4 miles, roughly 42.5 per week. This is a bump of 60 miles over the pre-New Orleans cycle, which should translate into greater fitness later in the race when the going gets tough. And as the plot to the right should show, I’m still making some gains in the speed department.
Let’s google race news! Unfortunately it looks like the mayor of Green Bay (Jim Schmitt) has twisted his ankle and is dropping out. Well that sucks. And registration is down this year due to our not finishing in Lambeau Field. Huh. We really need some positive news here. Ok here’s something about volunteers helping some disabled folks in the race. That’ll do.
Song of the week, Slow Show by The National. I’ve listened to this song entirely too many times.
Two weeks til the Green Bay Marathon. I’m technically supposed to be tapering but it didn’t really happen this week. Next week will be slower & shorter.
Accommodations for the Bayshore Marathon, the second race of my upcoming trip have been finalized. Against rational judgement I’ll be camping the night before as all hotels within an hour of Traverse City are either sold out or charging $200 a night. Instead I’ll sleep on some dirt & still try to wake up by 5am.
Song of the week, Make Some Noise by the Beastie Boy. Here’s the 30 minute version. RIP MCA.
You can sign up now for text or email updates for the upcoming Green Bay Marathon here. My bib number will be 879, a good solid nice & low number. It’s not a prime (being divisible by 3) but 877 and 881 are, so 879 is nicely bracketed.
Tracking for Bayshore isn’t available yet.
I’ve been playing with this McMillan race calculator thing tonight, plugging in my recent races. From each of those times it calculates an estimated marathon time for me, all of which are considerably (20-25 minutes) faster than my goal time of 3:50. So maybe I’m sandbagging a bit. I ran a 7:23 split for my last half-marathon, maybe it’s not unrealistic to think that I could stick an 8:23 in Green Bay for a 3:40 race. Particularly now that I’ve got the power of GPS on my side.
Also a postscript, unrelated to anything I usually talk about on here, but I heard from KKV that Mikey’s safely out of surgery with a positive prognosis from his docs. So very very happy to hear that, and happy to be seeing both of them in two weeks!
Pain free week here, good news. At 48 miles, this has been my highest mileage week since late February, three weeks prior to New Orleans (conincidentally, Green Bay is three weeks from today). I think I’m in better position now than I was then – my long run this week came in under 20 miles (19.3) but the split was 8:22, ~0:20/mile under the longs I mentioned in that previous post.
My goal for Green Bay is to run a 3:50 marathon, an 8:46 split. This would be a PR for me by ~5 minutes. If my first 19 miles are anything like yesterday’s run, I’ll be under that. My long term goal for the rest of the year is to work down to a 3:40 marathon, or an 8:23 split. That’d still be 25 minutes too slow to be a Boston Qualifying time, but that’s a problem for another time.
Speaking of yesterday’s run – this was the first time I’ve ever used the Minuteman Bikeway. I picked this up at Alewife and ran to the far terminus in Bedford. What a fantastic resource this is. I can’t believe I’ve never done this before. It’s so much easier to make good time when there are pedestrian underpasses and overpasses. And safer too, to not have to contend with sharing infrastructure with cars.
Also, to mix things up I swapped out the entirety of my (17.7 hour!) long run mix for an older mix I used to train for San Francisco in 2009, so my song of the week isn’t something I’ve heard in a while. This clicked on as I crossed from Bedford to Burlington yesterday morning, and is the only song I know of that namechecks Boston, Kansas City & Shreveport. Also, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, which I’ll pass through on May 19th. Me and Johnny, traveling the world.
T-minus 4 weeks to the Green Bay Marathon. And in 4 weeks & 6 days, Bayshore in Traverse City. After a super-crappy long run last weekend I was apprehensive about my knee but I slowed down my pace a bit and all critical ligaments hung together for 42 miles this week.
The last five of those were today at the Ring Around the Neck in Marblehead, a fun five mile race that would have been gorgeous, had it been yesterday. Instead we had a cold rain, gnarly wind to go with some pretty decent hills. Due to the weather there were fewer people in this race than expected, far fewer than my previous five miler (the Super Sunday 5 in Cambridge). I think this sparsity worked to my advantage and I was able to find my pace quickly and set a new PR at 34:32 (chip time). I’m pretty happy with how things turned out.
Song of the week is a go-to for endorphin boost, Now We Can See by The Thermals.
Second week in a row with some troubles on my long run. Last week I was pretty sure I just ran out of fuel – this week the outside of my left knee was bothering me to such a degree that I stopped my run at mile 15.6 (of a planned 18.4) & walked the rest of the way home. I’m going to pull back a bit & rest a bit more next week (not on miles so much, but on midweek pace) and run a shorter sub-race pace long run next weekend & see if I can get this back under control.
In ‘better news’ – ran my first ever 5K with hondo & YJP (&, for that matter, LZ) as part of the BAA pre-marathon festivities. 5K, a tricky distance and actually somewhat difficult to run at an anaerobic threshold. Not as difficult as an 80+ degree marathon, which is what VK will be doing tomorrow.
Five weeks until Green Bay. Song of the week is Piano Fire from Sparklehorse.
Kind of a difficult running week, finishing up 12 of 18 for the Green Bay Marathon. I did the 20 mile long run I mentioned missing last week on Saturday but I think I didn’t fuel properly because I crashed into the pretty-damned-real-feeling-for-a-metaphor brick wall three quarters of the way through. Hondo says you have to take the good with the bad and expect the occasional bad long run along the way but there’s got to be something more scientific than that I can do to prevent this from happening in a race. More fluids, more sleep, more Gu, less booze (if that’s even possible). I don’t know. I’ll try again next weekend. Really the only good part of the 20 was the buck I found blowing along Memorial Drive between miles 12 & 13.
Looking at the week as a whole though, I was really quite happy with my tempo run on Wednesday, where I hit 8.6 miles in just under an hour, a sub-7:00 split. This is the longest run I’ve sustained this pace. My goal for the next few Wednesdays is to repeat this effort until it comes easier.
Next Sunday is the BAA 5K which I’m pretty sure I can pop a PR without crashing, considering I’ve never raced that distance before. And day after that, it’s our elite fluids volunteer gig for the big show, the Boston Marathon. Somehow, someway, VK’s almost to his fundraising target – we’re looking forward to cheering him on, if we can figure out which side of the course both he and we will be on.
Song of the week, one of my favorites and a new arrival on the marathon long run mix, Grandaddy, A.M. 180.
I stayed up stupid late last night after KU squeaked out a win over OSU in the Final Four, and that (plus excessive vegan nachos, and being sick) made for a less than full speed long run today. Regardless, 41 miles for the week. The Green Bay Marathon is 7 weeks from today which means I should probably be figuring out where my pre-race 20s will be mixed in – now that I think about it I probably should have done one today. This is week 11 of 18 for Green Bay – I did three 20′s before New Orleans on weeks 11, 13 & 15. So yeah, looks like I’m off schedule.
In shorter distance news, the BAA 5K is two weeks from today, and the day after that, our Boston Marathon volunteer team will be working at the 35k elite fluid station. I don’t know exactly what that entails yet but I’ll assume it’s one of the most essential & sexy job assignments possible.
Song of the week (from the 2010 Foss Fest interlude double album mix) is Essex Green, The Late Great Cassiopeia. Excellent song to kick home to.
I’ve been sick this weekend which has put a kink in my training schedule but I managed to get 14.4 done yesterday and hit my 40 mile goal for the week, albeit with a bit less energy than I would like. Still, done is done. Green Bay is 8 weeks from today.
The one small regret of the week is that I didn’t get up to Maine to run the Eastern States 20 this morning, but given how I’m feeling it just wasn’t realistic. Hopefully I’ll get to do that next year. Instead I slept in crazy late then met up with Nate & Lucy to watch KU beat Roy & co to advance to the final four!
Song of the week is from a 2010 mixcorps album, Kate Nash, Foundations.
The rest of Team HB & I rolled down to Quincy this morning for my first crack at the Half of Quincy. Interesting course, starts out along the water, runs up through a gorgeous neighborhood in Squantum, around Marina Bay a bit before winding it’s way through under the interstate back to the start. I felt pretty pent up at the start and ran much of the first mile on the sidewalk to dodge the crowd. My goal had been 8:00 splits but after the first few miles I decided to stick with 7:30, a pace I’ve been using for my Wednesday hour runs. I managed to hang with that number for the majority of the race (mile 10 clocked in a 8:00 but the final mile was back down to 7:19) to finish with a 1:36:50, a PR for me. My previous best at this distance was many years ago in the 2003 BAA Half, running for Team DFCI long before I worked there or started doing cancer research.
One thing SMHB & I noticed about this time – if you double it you get 3:13:40, less than the 3:15:00 qualifying time for the Boston Marathon in my age range. So one (generous) way of looking at it is to say I’m halfway there.
Anyway, many thanks to my support squad who came down and saw me on the course twice. They definitely make me run faster. Hopefully this time won’t stand for another 9 years.
Also of note, today marks the halfway point (week 9 of 18) in my preparation for the Green Bay Marathon. I’m not planning to run a 3:15 there, but say a 3:50, that could be doable.
One week post-New Orleans, it’s almost like it never even happened. Life rolls on, the legs recover and the small wounds heal. I put in 44 1/2 new miles this week as I continue to prepare for the next-next that is the Green Bay Marathon (ten short weeks from today). Next weekend I’ve decided to run a previously unknown-to-me race, the Half of Quincy. I’m fully expecting to finish behind a not inconsequential number of hungover leprechauns.
Song of the week, You’re My Flame by Zero 7. Lots of tracks from this particular mix cropping up in my headphones lately.
Today marks the end of week 12 of 18 for training for New Orleans Marathon training, as well as week 1 of 18 for Green Bay (woo! for overlapping). This morning was also the Boston Prep 16 Miler in Derry, NH. I was (and I guess, am, or am trying to be) happy with my times today – despite a (“moderately challenging“) hilly course the first 13.1 was the fastest gun time (1:48:31) I’ve run in a half-marathon since… 2004? And my total 16 mile time was a PR (I have a local 16 mile route I run and my time today was ~2 minutes faster than my best there). Honestly the only thing that is bothering me is that I placed 47/50 in my age/sex division (M30-39) – this is disheartening. I know I really should be assessing myself against myself but it’s hard to look at the rest of the times and realize how slow I am in comparison with a competitive, motivated field.
But the Patriots won & are heading to the Super Bowl again so who am I to complain. All in all, all is well.
Song of the day is from Florence & the Machine – this came up randomly and kicked me across the last half mile.