Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No Speed Demon Here

I ran really slowly on Saturday.

I completed my fourth marathon in what was my slowest time yet. I completed the Diamond Valley Lake Marathon in a whopping 4:44:25.

My previous marathons - 4:23:38 (in February), 4:37:51 (in July) and 4:42:26 (last February). I ran my first marathon two minutes faster than I did number four.

I was actually on pace for a better time. At Mile 20, I was around 3:33, so had I just maintained 10-minute miles, I would have come in somewhere north of 4:30. But I faded badly the last six miles. Now, I did meet my goal of maintaining my mental strength but my body was just slow and out of gas.

Why did I finish with my slowest time?

It's tough to pinpoint one reason but I have my theories.

Weekly Mileage: I was averaging right around 30 miles a week during my training for Surf City and in the nine weeks between marathons, I probably got in less than that. I need to increase my mileage to at least 40 miles a week when I begin training hard again.

Droppin' LBs: I could stand to lose a few pounds. Less weight to carry around means less strain on the body. Simple math.

Anti-velocitation: Are you familiar with the term "velocitation?" Well, that's when you unknowingly increase your speeds you drive for a long time through a place with the same scenery. So if you drive through the desert, for instance, and you gradually get faster and faster but you don't realize it until you look at the speedometer and say 'Whoa, am I really going 90 right now?' Since there were so few runners on the course, and the scenery was pretty much the same for the last six miles, I may have gradually slowed down without having realized it.

Two In Nine Weeks: I ran two marathons nine weeks apart (!) and that may have taken its toll on me. I told a veteran marathoner friend that I was planning on running two marathons in nine weeks and he suggested to run the first one for time and the second one for fun. He may have known from experience (he's run 61 marathons) that the second one probably was going to be rough on me.


Now, I will say this, that I am proud of my marathon, proud of knocking out number four. And I hate to tease yet another post but I wrote something on this, on how time isn't the most important thing for me.

Having said that, I still want to chew on this part of the DVL Marathon, so I can try and avoid such potential pitfalls in the future.

The truth, after all, is in there somewhere.


Jim ... 50after40 said...

Marathons 2-6 were all slower than my first. I felt like I was going backwards, and it really had me scratching my head. Part of it was because I was starting WAY too fast in each race. But it was mostly because I wasn't getting enough mileage in. I gradually started increasing my training mileage and I can tell you that's the one thing that changed my finishing times the most. I added longer long runs too.

I found with the additional mileage, I felt stronger at the end of races and I didn't hit the wall like before. It took a lot more time to train, but it has really paid off.

Don't know if this helps, but this really worked for me.

Blanda Amania said...

I'm pretty sure I need up my miles and drop some lbs too if I want to do better on #2, though I'm not sure if I'd ever "race" a marathon. Think it's pretty awesome that you've done 4 already! I think my goal will always be enjoy it whether it's a quick or slow one. :)