Name: Columbus Marathon
Date: October 17th, 2021
Distance: 26.2 miles
Location: Columbus, OH
Goal Description Completed?
A Have Fun Yes
B Sub 2:50 Yes
C Sub 3 Yes
Before the race I had been staying at a local hotel that had only a European styled breakfast for $20. So I asked for a microwave and bought clearance blueberry bagels from Kroger. Waking up at 3:30 am with coffee mixed with instant espresso, I began my routine of a bagel covered with Greek yogurt and a banana. The days prior I had been eating a lot more calories and things that had worked for me previously. This consisted of my aunt‘s tres leche cake (which I had half the sheet cake of) and many other things. The day before the race; I kept it simple with rice and a sweet potato.
The walk to the corals was cold, and not even playing Blackpink on repeat in my earbuds could get me focused enough to stay warm and in the zone. I made it to the a coral and met with friends who had equal pacing goals for the 13.1. With a countdown, excessive amounts of caffeine, and a dream I took off.
Training for this race leading up to the week prior consisted of mostly three things.
One, Consistency. I had consistently ran 90-100 miles a week for nearly four months on end before. The only times I didn’t were because of down weeks for an anticipated time up race, vacation, or car issues where I actually ranked because I had to run commute to and from different places.
Two, two workouts a week. My coach had during the buildup and buildups before stuck with a Wednesday and Saturday workout. Wednesday was speed that was above our goal paces and typically consisted of sets of x minutes on x minutes off (easy running pace). Saturday’s we’re longer tempo work and long runs ranging from 18-23 miles. Sundays we’re double run days of usually 14 miles with an optional double in peak buildup. This was done because as an educator, I need to use my weekends as my biggest bang for my buck. Otherwise I’d only double on Wednesdays and Thursdays before school in the mornings and after school to run.
Three, nutritional practice. I never took water during my previous marathon and had trouble taking it 1 gels every 30 minutes. So training this time and trying not to be underweight had me consume copious amounts of calories even when not necessary. Averaging 3-4000 calories a day and 1-2 gels on most easy runs (usually 12 miles a day) I was able to stomach and handle anything.
The plan was texted to me by my coach the evening of the race. I never once question him and what he says to do because he is not only my coach but my mentor and best friend. Our plan was to warm up into the race with the first 4-6 miles around 6:35 pace. Slowly, we’d work our way down and go for a negative split.
“If your legs are feeling realllly good we can always shoot to PR the 10k, in the last 10k :)”
I ended up PRing in every distance from the Marathon down to the 5k.
Marathon - 2:47:57
Half Marathon - 1:22:02
10k - 37:49
5k - 18:38
Miles 0-4 = 6:35
Miles 4-13 = 6:30
Miles 13-20 = 6:25
Miles 20-25 = f**king rip it
Mile 25-26 = Sub 6
Mile 26-Finish = ?
Miles 0-4 - I ended up catching up with a good friend of mine I met online and at the marathon the last time it was in person. He was running the half as a gut check in training for his goal of going sub 3, so I knew he was trying to stay around 6:30 pace. I told him he could go ahead of me and try to go around that from the start but he decided to stay with me instead. Going from the gun, the adrenaline was high and I knew from the last time to go out front because the back of the A coral can get tight with people running around each other. The first four miles with fairly flat with only about 90 feet of elevation combined. We talked a lot. I missed him.
Miles 4-13 - I took a gel at every 4 miles after the 6 mile mark and took water before or after each gel roughly. These miles were mostly flat or downhill with each mile having 10-45 feet of elevation change. We were able to keep our breathing in check and talk to each other. Constantly telling each other the splits on our Garmin and to slow down, we crept into the upper or mid 6:20s and that wasn’t part of the plan. He was running strong and I was really happy to see him. He finished the half with a last mile about 6:06 and finished the final .1 even faster going a hair above 1:25. He’s going to go sub 3. I was able to keep myself in check with him and keep according to plan.
Miles 13-20 - This is the part of the Columbus marathon that really gets difficult, because it gets incredibly lonely. Everyone either breaks to the left and finishes the half or stays right, and not many people are trying to run sub 2:50. I found myself tucked with another MIT (Marathoner in Training) coach/athlete and was able to keep with them. Right on target and tackling some rolling hills for 6:28-6:20 pace. Mile 19 I knew would be the hardest because the year before it was up a steady incline and hill. The route was different than
Before but the incline still the same. Besides going up 83 feet one mile and into a head wind I was able to scrape together a 6:44 and keep my head on. I think the energy and excitement I got from seeing a friend I hadn’t seen in two years ride her bicycle past me at 18 and say hi really made me happy. I missed my friend kept going.
Miles 20-25 - This is where I knew I would be okay. A majority of the race from here on out is downhill and we were no longer going straight into a headwind. With that in mind, I picked away at my pace like my coach told me I could and kept it in the 6:10s. Taking my final gel, a caffeinated maurton at mile 22 and smiling. Like buddy the elf says, “I love smiling, smiling’s my favorite!”
Mile 25-26;26-26.2 - I just went faster and knew if I pushed maybe I could get under 2:48. I saw the seconds ticking on the clock and went for a dead sprint. I had taken a coaching seminar for 12 weeks free online and knew that the body’s energy systems can produce about 30 seconds - 1 minute of instantaneous energy to dead sprint and exceed anaerobic and aerobic capacities. Basically enough to kick the final part of the race. So if I just went for it with the finish line in sight maybe I can not throw up and finish strong.
Immediately after I tried to catch my breath and not dry heave on the volunteers who wrapped me in a warm blanket. I got water and couldn’t really eat because I felt so sick. I made my way to my parents and friends who I got to hug and then proceeded to eat at my favorite pancake restaurant. Then, I got very drunk at my friend’s apartment and had the best beers of my life and talked with new friends. Now, I’m getting sober at the airport after eating a chicken Caesar salad and a cliff bar. I’ll be at work after getting home at 1 am at 8 am and trying to figure out how to not fall asleep during the day.
All in all I am very pleased with this training cycle and ready to take a couple day break until I can get some easy jogging in. My goals for the next couple months and build up to Boston will be to retain fitness, lose a bit of flab and gain some muscle. Lay off the alcohol and get some consistency with things outside of running. I’m sure we’ll be running 100 mile weeks again and I’m cool with that. I just need a short week break or two of no structure and chill .5-1 hour a day easy runs before getting to a real schedule again.
Some future running related goals
Sub 2:45 marathon
Sub 6 50 miler
Finish 24 hours of a backyard ultra
Non running related goals
Complete Tales of the Arise
Finish reading all of One Piece