This is Luke's thread so apologize for the hijacking.Guys in the half ran really impressive yesterday...Justin Young got an OTQ as well (and Pat Rizzo had a solid one). The guys running 61-62 are really amazing. Heck, I was behind Sara Hall most of the first 6 miles... running 5:15-5:18 pace...thought she'd hold on run 1:09:high for sure. You're right with my training though. I messed up. Not enough marathon specific stuff and didn't get the muscle fibers adapted to faster/turnover/flatter running for sustained miles (i.e. I did a pathetic 2 x 3 mile workout in Boulder 3 weeks ago and struggled to hit 5:15-5:10 pace). In reality I should have been going 3 x 3 miles at 5:00 pace and 6-7 x 1 mile at 4:55-4:50 pace. Just didn't have time to recover after Cal and 5:15/mile pace never felt relaxed like it used to (esp. at altitude). Also for the record, guys like Smyth and Gray don't do the really long-ultra-mountain stuff (yet)...only runnable 50km trails and half marathon trail races. It'll be interesting to see how guys like Laney and Tollefsen do at the trails...although hopefully they had enough time to recover from UTMB/CCC respectively and get in marathon specific road/track work. The long climbing ultras really slow the stride rate and makes you build up your leg muscles for climbing/descending mountains. I'm kicking myself for failing to OTQ this time around, but honestly if I couldn't get it done in 4 tries over the past 10 months I don't deserve to be there. Congrats to all the qualifiers and best of luck with their last 4 weeks of training heading into the Trials.
Based on Sage's training, one could tell he wasn't going to qualify. He kept cutting his workouts short, always saying "saving it for the race." Once you shift into that mentality, you are done. You are over-thinking. You need to stress the body past the point of comfort in training.
My 2nd thought (although Smyth ran 63:00 today) is that MUT racing slows the stride by generating too much power and vertical velocity. His stride has gotten slower but stronger and to get his propulsion forward, he needed more time on the flats at fast paces. At least now he can focus on what he is great - MUT racing and throw down some epic races.