Sunday, December 02, 2007


Yesterday I ran my first official half marathon since January. If you missed it, you can read the full race report here. Since that time, I have run about 800 additional miles, I have run a 5k, a 10k, a 12k a 15k and a marathon. As you may remember, while I was happy with finishing the marathon and setting a benchmark, I was not totally thrilled with my time of 5:19:11. My knee-jerk reaction was to pick a new marathon and smash that time to pieces.

I know that one of my personal "areas of improvement" is to quell my knee-jerk reactions, because they may not always be the best ideas.

I was really disappointed with my performance yesterday. And I have been trying really hard to put some perpective around this, but it's hard. It does not escape me that a little less than 2 years ago, I was thrilled to run a 2:24:07 in Sarasota and now I'm disappointed by 2:19.

I did not meet my goal yesterday. The 2006 OUC Half Marathon was ridiculously hot. I struggled through a lot of the race and finished in a disappointing 2:17:38. I wasn't even shooting for a PR (2:08:43). I just wanted a time faster than last year.

With a chip time of 2:19:17, I didn't quite make it. Boo.

There are a few variables. Note, these are variables, not excuses.

  • The course was different

  • I expirimented with a Japanese steakhouse dinner

  • My weight is a little higher (no more than 5lbs)

  • I'm a year older

  • So, what went wrong?

    I don't really know. I do think that training for the marathon has resulted in me becoming a slower runner.

    I took a step back and decided to re-evalute my goals.

    What is that I want?

    Yes, I do want a faster marathon time, and I don't believe I have run my last one.

    However, my biggest goal that I have wanted for the longest time is to run a sub two hour half marathon.

    I have decided that I am not going to run the full marathon in Sarasota. I am going to train (hard) for and run the half marathon on March 2nd.

    I am also going to spend the next five weeks working hard toward my Trifecta Disney Half Marathon.

    My Plan?

    I want to commit some time researching nutrition - I know I can do a better job in that department. I could stand to drop a few more than a few pounds...

    I want to do some core training - I know I'm weak there.

    I want to do some weight training - I've been talking about it since the beginning of time and I have yet to take action.

    I want to get a little more serious about my training and run a better race.

    As far as my next marathon? It will be the final leg of the 2009 Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. Will I PR in the full that weekend? There is a possibility.


    At 2:11 PM, Blogger MarathonChris said...

    Sometimes we don't know what we want until we try a few things out. It sounds like you know where you want to take your running and you have a non-knee-jerk plan to doing it.

    See you at Goofy 2009. Even with 13.1 miles from the day before, I smell a PR in the works :-)

    At 4:27 PM, Blogger Road Warrior said...

    Good for you, Maddy. You could have sulked after this performance or made some changes and commitments. You decided to do the latter which is the right move. You're going to end up better from this.

    This race was just a bump in the road. A small speed bump.

    At 8:23 PM, Blogger Ted said...

    Maddy - I have enjoyed your blog. Truthfully, don't be so hard on yourself. You have every right to be upset. It's all trial and error. There is no magic plan. You might want to try this, it works well for me. For every mile you run, take 30 seconds fast walking break. You will increase your speed for every mile after you take a walking break. While you are running, take four seconds running fast and then resume to normal speed. Repeat 2 to 3 times for each mile you do. You will be amazed with your timing.

    At 8:49 PM, Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

    That sounds like a great plan to me. Most of all because you've analyzed and prioritized what you want. I went through a similar thing after my Ironman DNF last year and feel that I've improved much more as a triathlete because I did not take on another IM this year. Instead, I focused on half ironman tris and worked on my weaknesses.

    Best of luck to you!!

    At 9:55 AM, Blogger Runner Gal Leana said...

    I'm sorry to hear you weren't happy with your results. It sounds like you have a great plan though. You can't PR every race, but it sounds like with your action plan you'll get there so you feel a lot better about your next one. Good luck!

    At 6:13 PM, Blogger P.O.M. said...

    I am going through the same thing(even though I haven't done a race yet) but I swear I am way slower since my marathon. I wonder why that happens. (I am about 10 lbs heavier - ick)

    Your plan is great. I'm stealing some of those ideas. Cross training, core work and weights.

    At 11:08 PM, Blogger akshaye said...

    Its a good idea to pick the positives and look at your next race. Just like not every training run can be great, the same thing applies to races. Your body just isnt there sometimes.
    Still - it was a great race! Dont be too hard on yourself

    At 5:23 AM, Blogger peter said...

    You can always benefit from a little analysis. Two years ago my 10M time slid backwads by seven minutes and I joined a training group, the first time I ever ran with people. It revolutionized my running for a number of reasons, but it came about b/c I stepped back and thought about where I was at. My breakthrough was half a year later at the '06 WDWM (flat!), breaking 1:50 finally in the half on Sat. and 4 hours in the full on Sunday (a 19 minute PR), things I had despaired of achieving. Try a little track work once a week to address that-training to go long trains you to go slow-feeling. Good luck in your Goofy Challenge, what a sense of accomplishment it will leave you with!

    At 7:25 AM, Blogger Susan said...

    BRAVO! This is so inspiring! I have basically the same list as you. Wow!

    I think it is just as hard to train for a half as a full. Just slightly less time consuming.

    Go Maddy go! I hope you post often about your improvement/results. I am starting a new regimen, also. Yesterday was my first session with a personal trainer to get me kick-started!!!

    At 2:59 PM, Blogger Non-Runner Nancy said...

    Are you gonna be up for 8 this weekend??? We'd love to have you. Let me know if you run and post about it. I will add it to the results. In the meantime, stop by and pick yourself a hunk o man, I mean a race tshirt, to make you feel better. :D

    At 8:03 PM, Blogger David said...

    Training for marathons has made me a slower racer at the lesser distances. Coincidence? I think not. Having PRed in NYC on a not-flat course, I am all goofy-brained about a big PR in flat Ft. Lauderdale. Let's hope it's not too hot. If I do not PR, I may go back to training and running the shorter distances. I've said that before but .....

    At 5:32 AM, Anonymous generic cialis 20mg said...

    Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple


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