Today was another key milestone for Team Rogue training for CIM, our second race prep. This was a step up in intensity from our first race prep in September and involved 2 sets of 10 miles at marathon goal pace (MGP). I really don’t know what I was thinking or feeling going into this race prep. I’ve been concentrating on everything except for running lately (work, new business idea, getting engaged 🙂 Coming into the race prep I have to admit I wasn’t mentally engaged, really haven’t been for a while this season. At the start of the race prep I was talking to Steve and we were joking about the busyness of our lives and he just said to run the first set and see what happens. This season has been pretty different for me training wise. I’ve probably run more miles than ever but have been mentally the most disconnected from my training. I decided early on this season that with everything else going on in life running is the one thing that can’t be a source of stress, it’s my “relaxation” … yes running 70 to 80 miles a week is my relaxation.
Guess I should get back to the point of this post which is the race prep. We had a good sized group again and there were 8 or so of us in the 2:45 to 2:50 goal range. A 2:45 marathon is a 6:18 minutes/mile pace so that was the target today. Given the challenging first 5 miles of the course it was no surprise that the first half was off pace, and the second downhill part under pace. Steve put cones out every 2 miles, a 6:20 min/mile pace for 2 miles works out to 12:40 min.
Miles 1,2 3,4 5,6 7,8 9,10 Total Pace
Set 1 12:47 12:46 12:45 12:31 12:26 1:03:17 6:20
Set 2 12:41 12:58 12:36 12:29 12:15 1:03:00 6:18
From a time based result standpoint the race prep went well. During the first set after we crossed Lamar near Justin and headed down Guadalupe there were many moments when I felt I could pick up the pace but knew there was another set to go and picking up the pace could be risky. The second set started off fine, actually a little faster for miles 1 and 2 than the first set but something blew up on miles 3 and 4 for the second set (running 12 seconds slower for those two miles compared to the first set). That of course results in the “freak out” where I tried to pick it up a little too much, which resulted in miles 5 and 6 for the second set being 11 seconds faster than the first sets. Then it was back in the groove for miles 7 and 8 for the second set. If I kept that effort going I would have come in at 1:03:11, right at the same time as the first set. Brent caught up to me towards the end of the second set and I had plenty of gas left so I figured I might as well push a little bit so that brought me in right at 1:03:00 for an overall 10 miles at a 6:18 pace 🙂
What does this mean for me at CIM? Racing a marathon is so much more than the physical ability to run at a pace. The mental aspect of running a marathon is a critical element. Your mind is what keeps you going when you’re down, when some freak clips your heels, when you drop your GU … you name it, the marathon will mess with your mind every chance it gets. I’m not mentally sharp this, and I’m not sure if I can be. It’s kind of a pity because this is undoubtedly the fittest I’ve ever been and may also be the last marathon I put serious training time into for a year or two. I guess the good thing is a sub 2:50 marathon seems pretty reasonable at CIM this year. I doubt I’d be able to keep training if it wasn’t for all the people in Team Rogue so thank you all for keeping me going … special shout out to Damon-later, Chris and Asia.