4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Checking in With Two Weeks to Go

with 4 comments

Rhode Races Marathon is coming up in less than 2 short weeks, and I’m feeling really ready.  I’ve had mostly great runs, and have put in more miles before this race than any marathon prior.  I overdid it in the last 2 weeks and then had a bad run on Saturday, but with a day off yesterday, bounced back with a great 4.6 mile run tonight.

Way back on Jan 16, I posted my 15 week training plan.  I have to say, I have executed it perfectly.  Here is a recap of my plan and what I accomplished:

  1. weekend of 1/23 – Manhattan Half (completed very strong race.  Last 3 miles at 8:40 pace)
  2. weekend of 1/30 – 15 miles (completed 15.8 miles)
  3. weekend of 2/6 – TBD, default being 10 miles.  Maybe long bike ride? (completed 10.3 miles)
  4. weekend of 2/13 – on vacation (nothing!)
  5. weekend of 2/20 – on vacation (completed Cherry Tree 10 mile race – PR – strong race)
  6. weekend of 2/27 – long run 18 miles (completed 17.5 miles)
  7. weekend of 3/6 – Coogan’s 5k race (completed race – PR)
  8. weekend of 3/13 – TBD, default being 10 miles.  Maybe long bike ride? (completed 10 mile run)
  9. weekend of 3/20 – long run – 20 miles (completed 20 mile run)
  10. weekend of 3/27 – March Madness Biathlon (completed race – PR)
  11. weekend of 4/3 – 131 New York Half Marathon (completed race – little unhappy with pace, but really not bad)
  12. weekend of 4/10 – last long run – 21 miles (completed 22.1 mile run)
  13. weekend of 4/17 – start of taper – 10-13 miles (supposed to do 10 miles, but bagged it after hard efforts earlier in week)
  14. weekend of 4/24 – taper
  15. weekend of 5/1 – BIG RACE

So with the exception of a less than stellar 13.1 New York half marathon, and skipping my first taper run this past weekend, I completed all my planned runs, and was satisfied with virtually all of them.  I even executed my plan of running lots of miles, and running hard, in the last 2 weeks before my taper.  This period culminated in an awesome run in Oakland, CA last Thursday, where I ventured up into the hills of Piedmont, behind Lake Merritt.  380 feet of elevation gain in less than 2 miles, and then the same feet of elevation loss in 1.5 miles.  Check out the elevation chart below, including the 5 and 6% grades on the up and down.  After that, still had 3 miles to go on tired legs.  Was a great training session.

Oakland Run Elevation

Looking forward to a nice 2 week taper, and then hopefully a strong run.  I am extremely hopeful that I can beat 4:30, but not so hopeful I can match the 4:22 I ran in Austin last year.  That was a special race, but my 4:22 was more directly related to the 250 feet of elevation loss, and wind at my back, in the last 8 miles, than anything else.  I think those factors subtracted 5 minutes from my time.  I’ll have to work that much harder to make those 5 minutes on a course that doesn’t have the same kind of downhills.  There is a chance, and I’m looking forward to the challenge…


Written by SCL

April 19, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Posted in Rhode Races, running

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4 Responses

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  1. Good luck at Rhode Races Marathon!


    April 20, 2010 at 6:19 am

  2. every race can’t be perfect, the news it looks like most of your training has been going well. I think you’re in store for a good race in Providence.


    April 20, 2010 at 8:08 am

  3. Had to stop by & check your blog out – I saw your blog title on someone’s page & loved it, being a solid 4:30’r myself 😉


    April 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm

  4. I wish I’d done the Coogan’s race. I heard it was really fun!

    Good luck next weekend. Hope we both get some nice race weather.


    April 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm

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