Sunday, March 1, 2009

Napa Valley marathon, the short report

Not everybody needs the data-crunching, blow by blow detail, so here's the short of it:

Race conditions: Wet, rained the whole race, temperature probably 57 degrees all day
Race Result: 3:36 and change
Subjective Analysis: I feel really happy with the race. My plan was to run about 1:43 in the first half, and I was a bit behind pace at 1:44 +; The overall goal was 3:30 but my realistic goal was 3:30 to 3:40 and I hit that. Since this is my first hard race since 2002 (I have a hard time believing it's been so long) I wanted to see whether I'd learned anything, and indeed I have. It was one of the best final 6 miles I've ever strung together, never dipping much below an 8:30 pace, never stopping, and even throwing in some crazy surges. According to my Garmin i was below 7 min/mile more than once towards the end.
Key Learnings: 1) Nutrition is key: I consumed a salt stick tab every 45 minuets and didn't cramp; I consumed 4-5 gels and ~400 calories worth of Accelerade and Sports Drink; Pepsi Rocks! I drank a flat Pepsi prior at mile 18, and it hit me at mile 22 and i picked up my pace probably a minute/mile for a bit; 2) Intervals are good training: I definitely benefited from my track work, especially at the end where I relied on my new found ability to ignore pain and keep grinding; 3) more Tempo woulda' helped - I think i coulda' used more temp running
Negatives?: Improvement is always out there. Overall i need to just keep running and building my base consistently if I want to get back to and below my old times. Key here will be volume and consistency, and setting the next goal which I haven't done yet.

Number crunching will follow.

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