The 2010 San Antonio Marathon took over the streets of, you guessed it, San Antonio on Sunday. Colin flew down to run the race with me, and it was the first marathon for both of us in quite awhile — Miami, Jan 2010 for me, Chicago, Oct 2009 for Colin. The worst part has been that Colin’s been holding the title of fastest marathon time between the two of us for 13 months. From my race preview, you know my goals were to beat Colin this time and beat his best time, so really I’m racing Colin twice.
Quick logistical update! I didn’t mention it previously, but our original plan for San Antonio was to set sail from Austin to San Antonio
bright dark and early on race morning. That would mean leaving my apartment no later than 4:30am, which would put us in downtown San Antonio by 6am, assuming no traffic. Seemed like a pretty sound plan, except for basically every review we’ve read about the race. The main theme is that the downtown area is a cluster. Some even mentioned leaving their cars on the side of the highway and walking/running 2 miles to the starting line. Night. Mare.
Well ladies and gents (and other), it’s race week! This Sunday is the San Antonio Marathon where
I will crush Colin and his Chicago PR and regain the title Colin and I will amicably run together. It sure doesn’t feel like it’s this weekend though, and Colin agrees. We’ve talked about the race to no end for the last 4 months, so it isn’t so much a matter of “out of sight, out of mind.” We’ve also both been training like crazy and feeling very prepared to Rock ‘n’ Roll*.
Tapering. The time in the typical marathon training plan
that sucks the most requires a lot of discipline. It’s the 2-3 weeks before race day, when all the strenuous training is behind you, and it’s time to scale things back to give your body the rest it needs. The issue is, leading up to the taper time is some of the most intense and dedicated training. Then, you’re expected to cut back by as much as 60%. Ask any marathon runner out there and s/he’ll tell you about a few irrationalities that take over. Fortunately for me, I don’t have that discipline to taper correctly, so the craziness / irrational feelings haven’t struck me (yet).
Another week in the books, and one week closer to the race. Actually, now that Week 15 has finished, we’re only three weeks (21 days!) until San Antonio! As I type that I realize 21 is going to be a theme in this post. I’ll stay away from cliches like black jack or alcohol and spare you the uncreative juices. Instead I’ll stick to a more boring professional discussion about how a regular Saturday long run turned into a super fantastic epic trek totaling no less than 21 miles. Continue reading for some exaggerated details about how it went. Hint: BOOM!
::sniff sniff:: Being sick ::cough cough:: when training for a marathon is pretty terrible. When the two primary tools are your legs and lungs, it’s tough going when you can barely breathe. ::achoo:: Ultimately, there’s a decision to make. It’s a fine line between continuing with the training plan, maintaining already-achieved fitness, and overexerting yourself right into an Armageddon-like situation, ending up worse than if you had just rested. Which way did I go?
Like I mentioned last week, the temps are starting to fall, which means running is getting more enjoyable. When the thermometer weather.com says it’ll be in the upper 50s (!!!), you know things are going to be fabulous. So fabulous in fact, I needed to put a shirt on. I don’t remember if I mentioned it, but I haven’t worn a shirt while running in Texas since May. I’ll allow you to absorb that sentence, react, and… compose yourself. Ok, we good? Good.
When training for, well, anything, the saying goes
“Sweep the leg” “Practice makes perfect”. I take this
very seriously, at least when it works out in my favor to make a point even though I didn’t realize it. Case
in point, for the upcoming San Antonio Marathon, several of my recent long runs have serendipitously followed a similar elevation profile to the race elevation. Take a look at the comparison below. On top is the marathon elevation and the bottom is the elevation for my recent 20 mile run. I mean, come on. They’re nearly identical*! I’m so awesome.
So, in an effort to stir up some trash talk, I think Colin is going to be in some trouble to be as prepared as me for this race. Nevermind he’s coming off an injury, unsure how he’ll hold up over the entire race distance, and doing a
13-week training plan versus my 18-week plan. No mercy! Well, actually, we’ll probably run together the majority of the race**. I’m sure more accidental comparisons will present themselves as well as some professional trash talk, so stay tuned.
*For the skeptics and internet trolls out there, the vertical scale is the same for both graphs.
p style=”text-align:left;”>**At least until I see the opportunity to Tonya Harding him. Good luck, Nancy.
Week 12 offered something unthinkable not two or three months ago: running in the afternoon. Yes, the temperature has come back down to Earthly levels in such an abrupt change that it took me by surprise. A pleasant surprise, indeed. No longer am I relegated to only running before the sun rises for fear of melting.
My training plan is affectionately known as the Pfitz 55/18. If we break it down, it represents an 18-week plan that peaks at 55 miles. It only hits 55 miles once, and it happened to be week 11. Looking back, it wasn’t too bad. However, being in the midst of the onslaught of miles is another story.