Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Taper, numbers, strategy-for today anyway.....

OK-marathon babble....Be prepared for BORING numbers and thoughts and therefore, no need to comment. No humorous ramblings or pictures of erect rocks. Processing running aloud once again.....

I'll repost my "subject to change" unorthodox marathon taper plan that I posted, then pulled. It's not overly specific but I'm not overly specific at this point either and complete open to modifications. As can be seen I am HUGELY slashing my miles. I'm trusting that my body will perform better off of rest at this point. Still having some unexplained nerve/ankle whatever issues (that I'm not stressing about) and less is more....


Week 3- 56 miles
M-11 miles@8:30 with my sister (slow but I ran a 10K the day before)
T-15 miles@8:04
W-OFF-body/ankle said rest
T-OFF again-did not want to rest but talked myself into it-damn aging body....
F-20-first 10 avg. 8:11/second 10 avg. 7:48 but felt HORRIBLE-final 4 were run on the air conditioned gym treadmill
S-2 mile slow warmup with Joe before his race
S-8 miles (8:18,7:58,7:52, 6:34(800recovery@8:32)6:37(800recovery@8:34)6:35, 8:20

Week 2-projected 37 miles
M-4 miles 7:54
T-6 steady
T-6 total with one mile track race and probably a fartlek of sorts for the rest.
F-5 easy
S-6 progressive
S-10 miles 2X3 miles at MP

Week 1-projected- 14 miles before race (40.2 with race)

M-5 easy
T-6 with 4X800
T-3 progressing to final mile quite fast (I need to finish my last mile before a race fast)
S-Race-26.2 miles:)

I also came across this lovely piece of info while googling yesterday. Damn google....
Grandmas is tougher than Twin Cities and apparently Boston is a super fast race??? Hmmmm???

On to strategy....

I've run two marathons. You can't practice a marathon per se so I have two sets of data to analyze and decide what kind of approach I want to take this time around.

First-Twin Cities Marathon in October of 2009

Crappy speedwork in this training cycle but trained for the distance. I had a ballpark goal of 3:40 to BQ. I STUDIED this course like a book and literally knew every detail. Rolling hills throughout with a steady 2 mile climb from 21-23 (quite a b*tch actually). This is a BEAUTIFUL course-a must run!!

Big time negative split this race with a VERY SLOW start. I finished STRONG! My super awesome sisters were spectating at mile 20 at the ALARC wall. I was feeling good enough at this point to actually moonwalk under the wall for their benefit:) I love the feeling I had running this race. I felt stronger every mile. That being said, I may have left too much in the tank...

Second-Boston Marathon
Better training and more specific goal of 3:20. I still wanted the slow start but knew I couldn't go as slow as Twin Cities and make up the time knowing the difficulty of the back half of the Boston Course. I attempted an 8:00 mile one and came a little under but still felt confident that I had taken it slow enough. I feel like I ran a completely steady pace throughout the rest of this race. My splits vary with the course elevation but even effort straight across. I didn't negative split but my 2 halves were only 39 seconds different. I felt truly FANTASTIC the first half of this race and especially fantastic about mile 15. By mile 23 I did not feel so fantastic....I actually stopped at a water stop to regroup which is the first and only time I stopped running in both marathons. I still felt like I could finish on pace although not nearly as good as my first marathon.

So, my plan for sure will be to stick to my guns and start this race slow. It has proven to work for me TWICE to ease into the race and I need to be disciplined enough to do this. I can start mile 1 25 seconds slower than goal pace if I want and still only have to increase pace by one second per mile....

At this point, I'm not overly stressed about this race (Grandma's). I haven't even begun to study the course. I seem to not be overwhelmed with pressure as I'm not spending $6000 on the trip like last time. Because of my age I need 3:45 to BQ (3:40 with the 5 minute cushion which I WANT) Of course anything can happen on race day, but I am without a doubt capable of this. I think by evaluating my training, my ability lies around 3:15 but that is based on runs done primarily in sub 50 degree weather with very little humidity. My current thoughts (that will last for 1 hour) are to pace around 3:20 for the first half and take off if I feel good from there....I intend to BAG myself in the last couple of miles...

So, there you have episode one of my taper ramblings. Episode 2 with a COMPLETELY different gameplan will be posted tomorrow:)


Shawn said...

I'm still laughing at the previous post...you will kick A$$...enjoy it!!!

XLMIC said...


you have clearly put a whole lot of thought and prep into this plan... i have no doubt that you will meet your goals and expectations :)

Julie D. said...

Good luck Jenn!! I love posts like this because it helps me analyze my training, although at a different level. :)

Jill said...

Can't wait for installment #2. Will there be door prizes?

Cory Reese said...

I'm seriously impressed with your ability to hold a steady pace for the whole 26.2. That's awesome!

Small Town Runner said...

First off, WHERE did you find that little chart at the top? Don't let it scare you! I am downloading it, though!!

Secondly, it is amazing how great you felt in your first marathon! Seriously, the last mile was under 7 minutes?? Wow.. And the Boston race...well, not so much in the tank at the end because you HAULED it the whole way.

I am praying for cool weather at the right time, and slight tailwind...but you have the rest covered!!!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Wow, you teach me so much! This helps me a ton! I wish I would have read this post BEFORE my marathon. ha. I still don't know if the slow start part would have stuck in my head...ha ha. Wow, your first marathon...you definitely had it in you to be way faster if you were doing the moonwalk at that point. ha! And sub 7 for that last mile...holy shit!

And studying the course...this might have been helpful too...I might just do this for my next one...;)

I'm off to read this a few more times and analyze your data here again! Oh yeah, and yeah, no chip timing. :)

Lisa said...

Sounds like a great plan! It's so interesting to read how people analyze their races and determine their race plans. Good luck and have fun!

kristen said...

I LOVE that picture of you shooting. Everythign about it is awsome. That there is smoke surrounding you, that you look like your shooting into a kids playground (very redneck!), and that you are just casually slung over the chair. You probably just put your smore down to shoot a few times and then went back to toasting your marshmellow. Too funny. Your a woman after my own heart for sure!

I'm not going to pretent I read any of the numbers. I didn't. But I also thought Grandma's was supposed to be easier than Boston? WTF? Interesting chart.

A very experienced marathoner once told me, "start out slower than you think you should - you can always speed up later, but you'll never be able to get those first few miles back if you go out too fast"

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Haha @ erect rocks!

Okay, you know numbers and racing Jenn! Wow!! You do your prep work and perform. And, you are such a stellar runner!! WOWOWOWOW!

I'm looking forward to episode 2!!!

Aron said...

Ahhhhh you are going to ROCK it! Love all the taper craziness :)

Candice @ I Have Run said...

LOVE the taper ramblings!

You wil do awesome, no matter what your strategy ends up being on race day. Can't wait for the post-race posts =)

Allison said...

You're going to do great! Go girl!!

On a sidenote... I'm totally excited for me, as I plan to run the apparently VERY fast Tucson in December (That's because it's practically an all downhill marathon). Woo hoo!!

Suzy said...

Interesting info on the marathons. I've always wanted to run Grandmas. I am running the one listed right below Boston...but I'm going more for 5 hrs. :) You'll have a good taper. Start slow and go from there. GL!

Nicole Wagner said...

yeah, I am stunned at your splits in your first marathon. nothing short of amazing!