4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

21 Days to the Chicago Marathon

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21 days to the Chicago Marathon!  And today I marked it by running 20 miles, my last long run before the big day.  Today was the 18 mile NYC Marathon Tune-Up race in Central Park.  I added 2 miles to the start of the race to get to 20.

No sugar-coating here, the run was rough.  I simply started having a rough time on the 2nd loop of the park, and then did a lot of walking in the 3rd loop.  The 18 mile race portion was finished in 3:15:54, although you won’t find it in the official results because I forgot to attach my D-tag! DOH!  This is the 4th time I’ve run this race, and my 2nd slowest.  It was more than 21 minutes slower than last year.  There were very good reasons why my time was slower, and so I completely accept the outcome:

  1. Last year was cooler and a little rainy, my favorite conditions
  2. Adding 2 miles to the start of the race means I was not starting completely fresh, and my performance thus started tailing off 2 miles sooner than it has in prior efforts
  3. On Friday night, I slept oddly on my left side, and my left shoulder and lower back were very stiff on Saturday and still not back to normal today.  As a result, my shoulders were a bit on the sore side, and my lower back barked a little bit, especially late in the race

I will simply hope for better on race day.  I do have to say though, last year I nailed this race and did better than I thought possible.  It ended up being the highlight/peak of my season, as my 10k race a few weeks later, and my NYC Marathon were disappointing.  Peaked too early.  I had a similar issue in 2007, a strong tune-up, and a less than stellar marathon.  So this time, rather than peaking too early, I plan to peak at just the right moment, on 10-10-10!

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Written by SCL

September 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm

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