Training Recap May 21-27 and Surprise Race Recap

This week was a bit lighter because I was tapering to race. This race was not previously mentioned here or on IG. I did not mention the race leading up to it for a few reasons. One is that I didn’t want any pressure, which can sometimes happen. Another is that I thought my plan was a little out there. It wasn’t just a any race, it was a marathon.

Here is what I did leading up to Sunday’s race:

Monday: OFF. 

Tuesday: WO, 10’ easy, 3km@4:54, 1km@4:30, 3×90”@4:15, 15’ easy. I also did core.

Wednesday: 30’ easy, I also did core.

Thursday: WO, 10’ easy, 5’@4;43, 2×2’@4:14, 3’@4:35, 15’ easy.

Friday: OFF.

Saturday: 20’ easy, this is the earliest run I can ever remember doing, I started before 6am.

Sunday: 5’ easy, Buffalo “Marathon”.

Total Weekly Mileage: 49.1 km

Buffalo Marathon Race Recap

Obviously, 4 runs and a marathon cannot add up to only 49.1km. So how did my mileage end up like that? I did not complete the marathon. But before I get to that, I will start from the beginning. Why did I feel the need to run another marathon just 6-weeks after Boston anyway? Simple answer, because I’m never satisfied, always looking for another goal. Boston was an amazing experience, it was everything I thought it would be an more. However, while I was happy with my result, it was not necessarily what I trained for. I know that it’s not all about the result, but I felt like I had more in me than the time on the clock reflected. I thought I could do another marathon piggy-backing off the great training cycle I had for Boston, and decided to try and do that in Buffalo.

This is a big marathon weekend in Canada, there was also Ottawa and Calgary. I chose Buffalo because it’s closer to Toronto than Ottawa, and also because based on historical weather, it seemed like Buffalo would have cooler weather than Ottawa (spoiler alert: it didn’t). The courses are both know to be pretty flat so either one was fine for that. Anyway, I registered and decided to run another marathon in close proximity to Boston. My time goal was just to do 1-2 minutes faster than Boston, so 3:30ish. The reason I wanted this time was to secure a BQ with a bigger cushion. I didn’t think it would be realistic to ask too much and look for a massive PB, I just wanted a couple extra minutes.

I arrived in Buffalo around noon on Saturday, stopped by the expo for my race kit (most underwhelming expo I have ever seen). My race kit was a shirt and a bib with pins. Following that, I walked down the street to a cafe for lunch and then to my airbnb, which was in a loft over the cafe. I spent the rest of the day relaxing like you do before a marathon, and I was feeling good. I watched my carb intake for 3 days leading up to the event to make sure I was actually “carb-loading”. My pre-race dinner was pasta and bread which I had delivered, so no extra walking! I ate at 5pm and then continued relaxing and Netflix bingeing. I drank a ton of water.

The first problem began when I wanted to go to sleep. There was a large vent over the bed that would activate every 10 or so minutes and it was VERY, VERY loud. Loud enough that it kept waking me up. In addition to that, I felt like I heard 100 sirens, as well as loud people coming and going between midnight and after. My alarm went off at 4:45am, and I began making coffee and oatmeal. I ate almost all the oatmeal, which was better than usual because it’s often hard for me to eat much in the morning before a marathon. I got all my gear on, slathered myself in Glide and sunscreen, and headed out at 5:50am.

My 5-minute easy warm-up took me almost to the start. I waited for a bit and then joined the corral to ensure I would be in the right position. It was good I got in there early because it was absolute chaos. We were shoulder to shoulder, it was all self-managed so there were people in the completely wrong places. There were a lot of people who weren’t even in the corral when the race started. There was a count-down from 5-minutes and then the American national anthem, and then surprise, fireworks! Well the announcer did not warn us about this and it scared me so much I almost cried. Oh the emotional rollercoaster that is the moments leading up to the start of a marathon!

The start was pretty congested, but it didn’t last long luckily. There was water within 300m of the start which I found strange, especially because the next water station was pretty far away. My first 5km were: 4:51, 4:54, 4:54, 4:50, 4:50. It was pretty hot, and I was sweating even before the race started! Still, I felt pretty good aside from a bit of stomach discomfort but I tried to work through it. We were going around residential streets and there were more people out spectating that I thought there would be. It kind of reminded me of the Eugene marathon, the small town vibe and quaint residential streets. Km’s 6-10 were: 4:58, 4:54, 5:02, 5:33, 4:54. Km 9 included a time penalty because I ended up having to stop at a port-o-let. Since I was able to hit pace for km 10 I remained optimistic. I was following my fuel plan perfectly, a gel every 30 minutes.

Km’s 11-15 were: 4:56, 5:01, 5:10 (hill), 5:05, 5:01. This was OKAY, but not great. Things were already beginning to fall apart, as in, my legs were starting to feel tired. This is way, way too early in a marathon to start “feeling” your legs. I tested it out for another km and then I knew it was not my day to run a marathon. I had gone in with the intention of dropping out if things weren’t going according to plan. This was not a big, special goal race, it was a last minute thing and the decision going into it was that there would be no point in forcing it if I was unable to execute. I also didn’t want to complete it just for the sake of it and have to take all the recovery time, this race was purely for time. Since I was not going to hit the appropriate time, there was no reason to complete it. The weather of course was a concern, along with the fact that I had run a challenging marathon 6-weeks earlier.

When I knew for sure that it was not my day, I began to think about when I should drop out. I still wanted to get in a decent Sunday long-run, plus I needed to pull out somewhere convenient, where I wouldn’t be too far from my Airbnb. I decided to run at least half of it and then see how close I could get to my Airbnb on the course. At 22km we were 1 block from my Airbnb, so I pulled over, unpinned my bib, walked the block and went inside. I was shocked at how salty my legs were, it was insane! I have never been so salty before! My legs were also pretty sore and tired, I grabbed a giant bottle of water and put my legs up the wall.

I showered and scrubbed all the salt off, and then relaxed for a while. Eventually, I walked downtown to Public Coffee and Espresso and had a Turmeric Kombucha, Americano, and breakfast bowl with eggs, sweet potato and avocado. This was planned so that when I was done, the brewery would be open. I arrived there for 12-noon when they opened, sat at the bar and wrote this recap over a beer or two.

The short version of how I feel about this is: no harm, no foul. Of course, it would have been amazing to feel great and nail that 3:30 marathon, but today was not the day for that, and it’s okay. If I didn’t try this, I would have been left playing the “what if…” game. I am happy I went out today and tried to run another marathon, even though I only ran 52% of it. As I sat in Public Coffee, I looked up what other marathons were coming up, like I always do after a race. What I learned today is to appreciate what I have already done. There will not be another marathon from these legs until October in Chicago, and I couldn’t be more excited about that.

Boston 2018: Day 1

Woke up super early this morning, sleep has been a challenge, I keep waking up insanely early (3:30am today). Not sure if I went back to bed, but at 5:40am I gave up and began getting ready for the day. Our flight was at 9am, so we were leaving by 7:15am since we were flying out of Billy Bishop and not Pearson (woohoo!). The flight was quick and uneventful, I just wanted to arrive and head to the expo right away in pursuit of a certain donut themed shoe. The plan was for the Uber to drop my mom and I off at the expo, while my dad and brother continued on to the condo.

We arrived at the expo by 11:10am and it was already mayhem. The Saucony booth was right near the main entrance, so we found it immediately, and noticed the crowd of people and POLICE! The system was, grab a number, wait in line to be called and then hope your size is available once it’s your turn. We got #148 and #149 and joined the line.

We debated running to the washroom, but decided against it as the line was moving pretty quick and if your number was called and you weren’t there, you had to start all over again. Once we were called, a friendly “runner” (shoe runner that is, and potentially a runner-runner too) greeted us and asked what size we were after. “8.5? Oh yeah we’ve been out of that size for a while. 9 too. I can do mens’ 7 and 7.5”. I knew this would likely be the case, and expected to go for mens’. They fit great so it all worked out, but this is seriously the most insane Boston edition shoe release ever! What an epic marketing campaign this was! They also had donuts and iced-coffee available. Here’s what I ended up with:

The long-awaited Saucony x Dunkin Donuts Kinvara 9’s

Cute lifestyle Tee. And, it came with this sweet trucker hat!

Following that, we headed for the Cliff bar booth to sample new flavours. I ended up grabbing a box because I like to have something on hand for a quick snack and they have  protein in them as well as other macronutrients. It also came with the hat shown below!

We noticed a Lululemon truck around the corner and made a beeline for it, the plan was not to spend too much time at the expo because I wanted to go to Tracksmith ASAP and also have lunch. Lululemon had a few Boston pieces on offer and I went for this one:

Then I went upstairs to grab my bib and my mom went to scope out the Adidas gear. The bib pick-up process was very simple and the volunteers were super happy and genuine. The contents of the package are shown below, can you guess what my favourite part is?

Once I made it to the Adidas section, it began to be very overwhelming, so many people, so much stuff everywhere. It was time to go. I found my mom, we picked up a few pieces and joined the massive lineup at the cash.

Celebration jacket (mandatory purchase!)

BAA fleece (super cosy), it has the BAA logo on the arm.

Marathon t-shirt

Pin

There were also these freebee’s, a poster with the name’s of every runner this year and a card holder.

We grabbed an Uber to Newbury st for Tracksmith. They are giving out runner packs this year which is pretty freaking amazing. I love Tracksmith and Ciele and they collaborated on a hat in the pack. The theme is bananas, which as well all know are a staple in every runners’ diet as well as every finish line. Pretty cute idea if you ask me!

We found my dad and brother on Newbury shortly after and scouted out somewhere for lunch. We decided on burgers at B.Good, they use good ingredients and my mom and I just got beef burgers on whole wheat and lemonades. Definitely hit the spot.

The final stop on the sportswear tour was Nike. I had been eyeing their Boston collection, but it never made it on the Nike site, so I eagerly awaited arriving here to see the goods! Love the colour of the green they used!

Run united singlet

3/4 zip

I retired to the condo by 3pm to preserve my legs. It wasn’t much walking (I took 3 Ubers), and I plan to keep it that way.

Up next: dinner for my brother’s birthday at Alden and Harlow near Harvard!