Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Oakland Marathon 2011

While not really anything to do with coaching I thought it'd be interesting to write a post on my Oakland marathon results today. My preparation was not exactly what I'd wanted what with career changes and a couple of minor injuries interrupting things but I felt I couldn't have managed the race much better on the day. 

My "lite" version marathon training had me do only four 2 hour plus long runs (my longest 2:40) since the New Year and I only did 80K (50 miles) total in the last 3 weeks because of the foot problems. I first had a dodgy right ankle and then something going on with my left toe. I did one 10K race in February but was fairly consistent going to the track on Thursdays.

I woke up at 2:30am thanks to a noisy neighbor and couldn't get back to sleep so ended up getting out of bed at 4am and having two slices of toast with Vegemite and a cup of coffee. I arrived in Oakland about 5:45am and ate a banana. I picked my bib up from a hotel foyer, thanks to a team mate who had registered for me the day before and basically did not very much, a bit of leg swinging and ankle twirling, before the start. I didn't run at all until the race started. I was concerned about my injuries although didn't feel the ankle after a while but my left toe was bugging me. I ran 7 min miles until the hill started at about mile 5. Then I let it blow out a bit. I stopped three times to untie and retie my shoes quickly in the first 10 miles because I was worried I might have had them too tight but I decided that it was just my left foot injury bugging me. I hit 10 miles in just under 1:13 which was basically the top of the hill. I enjoyed, as I do, the downhill but was feeling fairly crappola for my 1:33 half. But then there was a nice flat straight section and I just went on autopilot and found myself comfortably back on 7 min miles. My focus was buggered up when I hit the half marathon traffic which joined the course around 16 miles but I kept on pace. I realized I hadn't slowed down when I hit 20 miles in 2:21 so I decided to have a crack and started running faster. I ran the next mile in 6:30 and I had a couple of team mates on the half to catch and the crowd had thinned out. I started getting a little ragged at mile 24 but kept it pretty well together and must've run the last 10K in 43 something as I finished in 3:04:34.

I had a Gu at 0:45, 1:15, 1:45 and 2:15 and stopped each time to get two good cups of water to wash them down. I probably had 4-5 half cups of gatorade as well along the way. It all went down fine but I did get one too strong gatorade which is always a danger because it's too late to get water by the time you realize. I wore a singlet and shorts and a cap which I ended up ditching. I wore Size 14 Asics DS trainers ($70) and a pair of fairly thick bamboo socks. 
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