You Have to Respect the Distance

Well, I finished my season with a disappointing marathon result on Sunday - a 3:56 time for 42.2km. This was supposed to be my revenge from May when I just missed that boston qualifying time, but instead I got my butt kicked for good reason.

The past 6 weeks since my ironman, I had put up some reasonable training based on a very abbreviated program. However, the intensity levels had dropped and life at home and work was getting extremely busy. This had the impact of putting me at race day, undertrained, less sleep than desired, and not as much attention paid to nutrition as should have been the case.

But hey, I had ran a marathon this year on arguably less base fitness and I had just put up an ironman, so I should have been reasonably well prepared.
The day was near perfect, while cold for sitting or standing outside, it was certainly almost perfect weather for running in. There was modest winds, but nothing that would throw me off my game. The crowd was large but not as large as I was expecting, there was lots of room on the course to get past people, aid stations weren't difficult to access.
The race course is excellent for residents of toronto. You get to run straight down yonge st and then up university to the finish, which i think is quite unique. My race plan was to go out slower than mississauga, where the first half was done in 1:38, this time I took it out much more slowly with a 1:48, hoping I could bring it home in 1:43. This would be a qualifying time for boston. The difference was that in mississauga, I was still feeling good at the half way point, whereas on sunday my legs had begun to complain already. Mind games had begun, should i just veer north on university and finish the half (+ 3kms) or turn south and gut it out. Well i chose the door on the left. Thus began my 20kms of shuffling to get myself to the finish line. There was nothing particularly pretty, nothing really eventful, it is just a slow agonizing run, when you know you dont have it in your legs.

Coming up university is a great finishing chute, with lots of people to cheer you on. I just couldn't get into it given I was so far back of my goal. The reality was that i had packed in my goal at university and wellington st the first time I had passed through.

The reality is that you cant fake this distance for a race. There is no capability to run on fumes, to go 100% and collapse, you have to manage it from start to finish. The management begins in the training and has to last right to race day if you hope to achieve your goals. It didnt happen for me and hence I paid the price. I limped to the finish line yesterday and still limping today.

Race season has closed, 2 marathons, 1 ironman, 5 triathlons and 5 cycling races in the record books. Upon reflection a very good year despite a few disappointments.

Wait until next year.

qb

Views: 11

Comment by Kerri on October 19, 2009 at 9:36pm
Despite the fact that you are disappointed by the outcome, I have to say that I have re-read the last paragraph more than once - and am just sitting here in pure awe - you have accomplished so much this year QB - just first class all the way! I for one can't WAIT to read about next season's accomplishments! Cheers! Kerri
Comment by qb on October 19, 2009 at 10:33pm
Thanks for the thoughts Patryk and Kerri. No doubt that this season has been successful in many different ways and it is tough to peak for several different races. That is part of the learning process - physically and mentally. I have enjoyed the year and look forward to putting things together next year and cheering both of you on during race day. I think the BCC and BTC will be a force to be reckoned with next year.
Comment by John Reynolds on October 21, 2009 at 3:12pm
It took me 33 years of running to qualify for Boston and I finally made it using Dr Jack Daniel's training program (great book, highly technical and geared to the level of the individual). Of course I slowed down less than the times and finally caught up to them the day after my 60 th birthday. You had an incredible year but I think maybe it was too much to do and also qulalify. The accumulated effects may have been too much. Set it up as your priority next year and do the other things after achieving that goal. Good luck, you obvioulsy have the background to do it.
Comment by DY on October 22, 2009 at 8:18am
Your commitment to Racing amongst juggling family duties/responsibilities and work is astounding. I just hope that if I end up having 3 kids and a wife, I could manage half your 2009 season.

Good on you and much respect!

Dan.
Comment by qb on October 22, 2009 at 10:03am
Thanks All, your kind and insightful comments are greatly appreciated. DY, the season is a testament to Dianne's capability to hold our life together, as my kids say "Dad, when mom goes away for a few days why do we need a laundry list of people to take care of us, but when you go away for a couple of days all we need is Mom?" From the mouths of babes!!

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