Sunday, September 26, 2010

STWM Sept 26,2010

STWM 3:29:06 a BQ and a PB


Allot of small details came together making it a magical day. The story starts August 21 , my first ITT. They say that you should be able to run ITT at around your Martahon Pace , I was 3:45:25 and then later in August I did the Bayshore 1/2 in 1:45:21 ...I was looking for 1:39:XX. These two races really rattled my mental and I was doubting that I would be able to do a Sub 3:30 Full late in September. After ITT I had the first, what I suspected may be a serious injury to my left Knee. I couldn't run more then a K without a sudden extreme pain that caused me to hobble for a half a K or so. If I run through the pain it seems to dissipate and after I run a few Ks its much better but always reminds me that something is up. Two weeks ago I did the Haliburton 50 Mile race , not exactly a good tape for STWM. Haliburton was horrible, going out it was 40K of breaking on all the downhills. I totally trashed my legs , coming back it was 40K of walking every downhill and there was allot of hills! So I really had no idea what to expect at STWM today.

Went to bed at 8pm Saturday night , I was wound and had a tough time falling asleep. Woke up at midnight after a few hours of sleep , 2 hours before the alarm was to go off. Laid there for 30 minutes but I the mind was in high gear so I proceeded to make a pot of Coffee and jump in the Hot Tub for an hour. After my soak I had my routine breakfast OJ, Oatmeal and an English Muffin with PB. I had a bit of a headache and a sore throat so I downed 2 Advil before leaving home at 2:30 am.

I was just short of two hours to the Parking Garage at Nathan Philips. The car was almost directly under the Finish Line .... best $12.00 spent on parking , ever! Now I was off to pick up my race kit at the Econo Lodge , Gerrard and Jarvis ...about 1.5K. Walking up Young was a real eye opener, all the usual night actives! I was limping but it seemed to improve the further I walked, I was concerned. Back at the Car I suited up and then made my way to the Marriott to join 100 Canadian Running Magazines Marathon Questers participants . Race registration was $90.00 and for $100.00 I could join the Marathon Quest and get a second T and a VIP area at the finish. It was really nice meeting new faces from across the country. Some really fast folks and first timers. The heated , well appointed room with washroom facilities made us feel like the Elites. We all headed to the start together around 7:00 am.

Seeded myself in the second corral not far from the 3:20 , 3:15 pace Bunnies ...didn't see 3:30. Bumped into Frank from Durham , he was running the half with a 1:45 goal, never saw him again after we started. 5 minutes before the Gun went I did my first Gel. There was allot of traffic the first few Ks but I managed to negotiate my way through the crowd maintaining close to my goal pace of 5:00/K. Didn't Gel , take any water and just concentrated on maintaining the rhythm that would carry me the rest of the day. My plan was to Gel at 8K then every 4K after that. I remember reading an RM post " if the gel gives you a boost then you waited too long to take it". I gelled again at 12K, 16K then did 4 Eload at 18K followed by a Gel at 20K. I was only drinking water when I Gelled , 2 gulps to get it down then 1 gulp a short time later...never in excess, just enough. Going through the aide station I grabbed Glass after Glass after Glass after Glass dumping it into my water bottle barley breaking stride. 21.1K in I was feeling good, very good and started to think about making my goal time. I have done this before in my 3 previous Full Marathons only crash and burn a short time later. Changed my thoughts to the task at hand or anything other then the finish. Gelled again at 24K and 28K , legs were feeling heavy and I remember the words of John from the Saugeen Tri Club " run faster, burn the lactate build up" so I would pick it up for a bit until things felt better then settle back to the 5min pace. Throughout the race I was watching my instantaneous pace vs avg due to the inaccuracy of the GPS Downtown and around the Gardiner. There was the odd person passing me and I was going by someone every now and again. The 32nd K I fell off pace a bit and I thought that the day was done! There were some hill through the Beaches, not big but on tired legs you knew it wasn't flat. The Beaches also had the biggest , loudest most supportive bunch of folks on cheering us on. I was going to do more Eload around 30K but had forgot and I started to cramp. I was between aide stations and barely had enough waster to get the 4 Eload Caps down! I gelled again at 32K , after refilling the water and this picked me up and I was back on pace again. In spite of all the gels I had done I think I was starring to go behind on the Glycogen! Past 33K I managed to hold pace but it was becoming a much greater effort. 9K to go and I was ahead by a minute or so and holding pace. Thinking about the end was OK now ... the sub 3:30 was still obtainable , the thought keep me on pace. Reaching 36K it was time to Gel again but there was only 1 left. I didn't want to go the final 6.2K without more Carbs so I delayed the Gel and took it at the 37K mark. With 5K to go I still had a minute or so in the bank. Checked the instantaneous pace it it was 5:10 ...didn't panic or try to pick it up just though to myself that 5:10 pace should be enough. I am not sure what happened but I was able to pick it up for the last 5K, just enough to bank a wee bit of time and I was passing quite a few runners ...I remember getting "the look", it felt fantastic. With a little over a K to go Helen the Haliburton RD rushed out to greet me ...another pickup moment. With less then a half K to go I heard City Hall Clock striking 11:00 am . I counted BONG , BONG , BONG. I knew that signaled the 3:30 Gun Time and figured it was going to be really really close as I knew I was about 2 minutes behind the Gun. I had thoughts of Holly S*&% , I might miss my BQ by seconds! So I screamed up Bay Street , Garmin said the last 600m was a 4:11 pace! Crossing the mat the gun time was 3:30:56 and I stopped my Garmin at 3:29...I knew I had achieved my goal! I wasn't sure how I would react but I really started getting choked up. I would be OK for a moment then it would hit me again, and again and again!

Made my way back to the Marriott and exchanged tales , good and bad with the other Marathon Questers. There was a 23 year old Women that just ran her first Marathon and BQ with a 3:03 time ... impressive! Had some water then headed to my car , grabbed the Cell and asked Carrie if she had ever been to Boston!

The following is a list of little things that made the BQ and PB possible. If any of the pieces below were altered I would be writing a different report.....

  • The weather 8C to 13C , a litte Sun and little Cloud and touch of a Breeze
  • Nurition , almost nailed it 900 Calories.
  • Electrolytes, almost nailed it too 8 Eload Caps
  • Pace, resisted the temptation to bank time. Greatest temptation between 15 and 18K until we lost the 1/2 Marathoners.
  • Left Knee issues made for about a 30% reduction in my Sept Mileage. I was forced to taper.
  • This RM post with a special thanks going out to MichaelMC.
  • Kinga Miklos " Running Ultras will make you faster". Running Ultras seemed to be making me slower. After 80K of Hell in Haliburton 42.2 on pavement was a walk in the park.
  • Blowing up in the Mississauga Full in May...what was I thinking!
  • Suffering through some really lousy Ultras this . I sucked at Sulphur, Creemore and Haliburton. Each one taught me valuable lessons when it comes to Fuel , Electrolytes and dressing for Sun Exposure.
  • Being a part of the Canadian Running Magazines " Marathon Quest". I felt an obligation to be successful. We were provided a training program that I didn't follow because I was running just about all the OUS races. When everyone was starting to taper I did 80K of Haliburton with a bad Knee. I really didn't want to be the poster child ..." How not to train for a Marathon"...great motivator.


Doonst said...

Just awesome Ron. Not surprised though, you paid your dues. So was that 9 gels???

Marky Mark said...


chris mcpeake said...

Congrats on the BQ.

Robin said...

Fantastic, what a great race report. Congrats on your PB and your BQ!! Amazing

Robin (RobinandAmelia)

Frank Vander Meulen said...

Way to go Ron! It was great to see you, and thanks for the encouragement at the starting line!