Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday 10 miles. Las Vegas Marathon.

I am officially entered in the Las Vegas Marathon..

am) 6 miles very easy jogging. My calves feel good and I only have a slight sensation in my quads. IT bands feel tight but nothing uncomfortable.

N) 4 miles on the AMT trainer. Then 20:00 of core lifts with super easy leg work with recovery focus. Dry sauna for 30:00 with massage.

Brett asked for a race report, I don't like long race reports... it's generally not that interesting to me. But a quick one is doable. I started with my first mile in 5:53 and kept it ridiculously easy. I was in maybe 30th place after the first mile? At one point I saw a sign that directed the half marathon runners to the left and the marathon runners to the right... everyone went left but me. I looked back and saw no one. I led until about mile 14? I can't really remember. All I do remember is my calf getting tight, then my quads start to get sore then my IT bands start to malfunction. At about mile 16 or 17 I was still in 3rd by only ~20" but my IT bands were quickly failing. The pace felt simple and I was comfortable energy and effort wise. At mile 20 my right foot started to burn, not like a blister but rather like what I would imagine a broken bone would feel. I started to curl my toes under in order to prevent the ball of my foot from hitting the ground but that was only a very mild relief. Then for the next several miles I would stop when the burn would turn to sharp stabbing.. then I would start once it eased. I remember stopping 4 times for sure. The last couple miles it sort of just went numb but I was still limping. I passed a few guys in the last mile that had passed me before. My energy was high, legs felt somewhat fresh outside of the muscle damage... only little fatigue. There you go.. I felt good on my run this morning which says more.
KC was an experiment and a training race- I have to keep that in perspective and not ask "what if". I learned where I have weaknesses and can learn from it.

The Denver Marathon was yesterday. An elite American James McGowan placed 5th in 2:34 in ideal weather conditions. He's a sub 2:22 guy and ran the trials last year. I ran that course in miserable conditions in 2:30 after giving up. My point? It's certainly not to put down Mr. McGowan... if I didn't think he was a stud I wouldn't be using him as an example! Rather it's to put my own running in perspective. Of course it's silly to compare- but there is relevance here- even if it's just in regards to my own confidence. I'm a head case.. I know this. My brain is holding me back. At least knowing this I can maybe figure out how to change my mentality. I was negative going in to KC, was ok for much of the race, and am now doing very good. It's a process.


RunColo said...


Curious as to why you didn't quit the race when your feet/IT started hurting?

I know that it's hard to ever give up, but being that it wasn't your "A" race you could have injured something making you unable to run Vegas. Just curious?

One thing I've noticed about elite runners is they are smart about knowing when to give up if they feel they are endangered of getting injuried. At Denver yesterday, I saw one of the Kenyans pull out of the race at mile marker two, it looked like he rolled his ankle. But I'm thinking to myself how bad is his pain or if he just realized since he couldn't perform at a high level, why even bother, save it for another day.

Wassdoc said...

The last comment and your response touched on something I realized late last night. You went through the half way point in under 1:15. It was the hilliest and hardest part of the course! The concept of negative splits doesn't just have to relate to time, but effort. I wondered if you were in first place at the halfway mark. It seems that the answer to that was an emphatic yes. You also were paying attention to time during the first half of the race on a course you weren't truly familiar with. It sounds like this was a course to negative split, and you did the opposite. I'm beginning to wonder if your perceived exertion in the first half of a marathon is just not tuned in properly, i.e., you need to be satisfied with it feeling even easier (and a little slower). I think the pounding you gave your legs for 13 miles will serve you well in 8 weeks!

Brett said...

Thx Tim. I was kind of figuring you were actually leading for quite a while based on your 1/2 way split and the finishing times.

Being a headcase is one thing, having the kinds of issues you had the second 1/2 is another.

ace said...

I think training and racing are very efficient tools for self discovery and actualization. As I read your post, before I got to the end of it I found myself wondering, not what was going on physically, but mentally and emotionally -- with these two aspects manifesting physically.

I suppose I'm leaving this comment because of the hauntingly similar feel this post has to some experiences I've had. And possibly because of some of the decisions I've been making with regard to my own training/racing and the emotional/mental/physical (and possibly spiritual) connection these components all share.

Lately I've been asking questions like "What do I think I would lose if I actually started realizing my potential?"

I remember reading about how Mark Allen would tell his body to adapt to the training loads as he fell asleep. By the same token I also remember him saying in an interview finding the place within himself that had held back at Ironman and at other places in his life was more a spiritual journey than a quest for winning.

Reflecting on your post and the things it obviously brings up for me, I'm reminded of the importance of the journey we undertake with our bodies in tow and how maybe it isn't our minds or our bodies that decide, but our hearts. So maybe the question I should be asking is, "Where is my heart in all of this?"

At any rate, I really appreciate your blog and your intelligent journey.

Train and race well.

Lucho said...

Ace- You're awesome.."I'm reminded of the importance of the journey we undertake with our bodies in tow and how maybe it isn't our minds or our bodies that decide, but our hearts. So maybe the question I should be asking is, "Where is my heart in all of this?"" Very insightful and something to ponder. As I've fallen short of my potential so often you make me ask if I truly do want to be a sub 2:20 marathoner. I enjoy the journey far more. The days on end of solid workouts, high mileage, great workouts... I have always known that I enjoyed training more than racing. I hope you too can figure out the path that's the most satisfying.

Runcolo- I tried to drop out after about the 3rd stop. Once my neuroma flamed up though (the reason I had to stop)my quads stopped getting beat up because my pace was so easy. The neuroma doesn't really get "hurt more".. it's an inflamed nerve that runs betweens your toes and gets pinched by the metatarsals, injury wasn't really in my mind. I wanted to stop simply because I wasn't enjoying the race at all. At mile 20 though, the only way back is to walk or jog.. so I jogged. Like I said though- once my foot went numb I was able to cruise in. I think elites (not me) should quit when their day isn't going well. For the Kenyan at Denver- he now can go to another race and hopefully feed his family.
I am glad that I didn't quit though..

Mike- "I'm beginning to wonder if your perceived exertion in the first half of a marathon is just not tuned in properly, i.e., you need to be satisfied with it feeling even easier (and a little slower)".. I think if I was trying to win the race on Saturday.. you're correct. I would have been much better off starting slower. The race was a time trial for me though, and although I failed at reaching my goal, I think I gave the correct try. If I had been "on" I would have reached my goal which was to run under 2:30 by negative splitting. Placing was always an after thought. I think you're on to something though. I learned from Alan that the top guys go through ~10 miles not feeling so fresh. They have the ability sustain their "speed" much better than I do though. Alan told me long ago that basic endurance is not the key to racing a marathon, it's the ability to hold a fast pace for a long time. The context was in high mileage VS. moderate (but faster) high mileage. He has always said that I run too much too slow. His weeks were always in the 90-110 mile range on average.. but he ran fast A LOT! It's sure does look good to put up 130 mile weeks.. but in all reality it's probably mostly fluffy miles. The thing I try to convey to my athletes (and I should listen to myself!).. is that once you are able to comfortably complete the goal distance.. then endurance is not the limiting factor. It's covering the distance quickly. That all just sort of "spilled" out of my head just now... thanks for making me remember! Maybe 80-100 mile weeks but killing it would be better. Damn.. I need a coach ;)

BRFOOT said...

Hey, if nothing else you were the only one smart enough to follow the signs. Just race dumb people. That ought to be easy God knows we have enough of those running around.:)
Ace hit the nail on the head!!

wende said...

Tim, have you ever read the poem "Ithaka"? Its my favorite and maybe some of it pertains to what you're talking about, maybe not....look it up online and see what you think...there are several different versions, but it basically talks about the journey vs. the destination. Even if it doesn't apply, you should read it just because it is so nice.

Luke Chapman said...

Just like to say that I really enjoy following your blog. Always interesting comments on training and its entertaining as well.

I've found myself in the same situation as yourself, having trouble with my head. What I've found has helped me heaps is using hypnosis and NLP (neurolingustic programming).

I'm not sure what your pre-conceived ideas about these things are, but they work! They're basically tools for training your brain (sub-conscious to be exact).

I've had my best races when I've used hypnosis to get my mind to think positively and not self-sabotage myself. The Aust Inst of Sport use heaps of these techniques, and they put 40% of their effort into training the mind.

I'd imagine there are plenty of people in Boulder that can do this. You can also find some good courses on the web that are reasonably cheap. I would advise listening to them first, to ensure you dont put anything into your head you dont want.

These things are tools for your mind. I hope this helps.