5 Days Until Grandma's Marathon!

>> Monday, June 16, 2008

Five hours was my time in my “first marathon” at the end of Ironman WI last year (well, 4:58 to be exact). That Ironman went as planned until I hit the run. I swam and I biked exactly what I thought I could. When I was taking off my bike shoes in T2 and putting on my running shoes, the feeling was returning to my feet and I was realizing that they were pretty beat up. My feet were the sorest part of me. I took off on the run and was running around 8-9 minute miles. I maintained that pace, but I had to stop and walk every few miles because my feet were so sore. That dropped my pace to over 11 minutes / mile, and I was just barely able to break 5 hours on the run.

People have commented that Grandma’s isn’t my first marathon because I’ve done an Ironman. Well, I really don’t want to count my marathon during my Ironman as a marathon. That was just my run during Ironman. Grandma’s is my first official stand-alone marathon.

This past weekend, Pharmie and I went camping with her side of the family. I got to talking with her uncle John, and I have my marathon strategy all figured out. I’m going to try to ease into the run and go out slow - that’s the way I run most of my training runs, so I’m used to running like that. I’ll try to keep the first 2 miles around 7:15ish. By mile 5, I want to be running 7 minute miles. I’ll hold that pace, which I’ve been able to do during my longer runs. Then, around mile 14-16, I’ll re-evaluate. At that point, I hope to pick up the pace ever so slightly. Here’s how the race could end:

- Horrible day: I could totally bonk, and finishing well over 3:10.

- Decent day: I could start falling apart, but still hold on to run sub 3:10.

- Good day: I could maintain that pace, and end up around 3:03.

- Great day: I could start picking it up a bit, and finish sub 3:00.

I’m used to pushing myself a little around 60% of the way through a run, and I know that’s a lot to ask during a marathon. I’ll have to give it a shot.

John and I talked this over as we were looking at my training log. He’s a runner, and he’s ran Grandma’s before. He agreed that this plan looked pretty good for the way that I run. He didn’t think it made sense at first, but then, when he was looking through my splits during my long runs, it all started to come together and make sense for my running style.

But this is still all theory. How am I going to find extra gas in the tank at mile 20? We’ll put this to the test in 5 days. Five days. Whoa.

In other news, here are five photos from the camping trip this past weekend:

Young-ens on my shoulder

The girls at an Amish garden

Hangin’ at the pond, looking for frogs

Walking through the freezing creek

Me taking down the light at the campsite
when we were all packing up


brendaj 12:20 AM, June 16, 2008  

Camping looked fun! I'm enjoying your countdown, except for the day 7 pics...

Anonymous,  1:22 AM, June 16, 2008  

I totally agree with the marathon in Ironman - It doesn't count towards marathon completions. My goal is to run one "stand alone" too!

Luv the countdown even if some of the photos are a little gross, or disturbing might be a better word!!

MissAllycat 1:33 AM, June 16, 2008  

Nice triple decker in the pool. :)

CoachLiz 7:33 AM, June 16, 2008  


You have the right plan. Now you just have to not get caught up in the excitement of the race start and overcome ego to stick to the plan when everyone goes zooming by you and you know you could pick it up.

Additional things to think about: put yourself at a place in the pack that has you running with people who will be doing that 7+ min. mile pace. Most races have pace groups. Then you get to mile 2 and then slide foreward in the pack. Once you get past mile 3-4 it will be easy to pass people without feeling like you are dogding in and out around folks.

Good Luck!

Jumper 2.0 8:00 AM, June 16, 2008  

I'm not sure why there should be any concern with your plan, that's what negative splits are for. In fact, I think the only reason you wouldn't break 3 hours is if you start off too fast.

Where was the camping? I mean what park?

Are you ok? This was a serious post! No jokes, no gross. BTW, have you heard about my weekend? :-(

I won't be at G'ma's now!

nwgdc 9:22 AM, June 16, 2008  

wow, 'TOTALLY BONK' is something worse than 3:10?! You're speedy! My wife is running her first marathon this weekend, and I was hoping to be able to spot you via the short shorts. too bad!

speaking of which, can you give me any tips on spectating? the website makes it sound pretty difficult to see the runners and still get to the finish area. any insight?


John 10:46 AM, June 16, 2008  

In the last picture it looks like the guy in red is saying to the other guy… “So we’re gonna to pull the table out on two… Okay!”

KK 11:36 AM, June 16, 2008  

Good luck! I hope your AT continues to hold and you reach your triple A goal time of sub 3!!!

P.S. Go Michigan State (your nieces-in-law have good taste)!

jen 11:53 AM, June 16, 2008  

Looks like a fun camping trip! That picnic table shot is a good "what not to do" example for staying in one piece during your taper. Careful!

That sounds like a great race strategy. You're going to do great.

chia 12:12 PM, June 16, 2008  

You're going to kick so much butt! Great shots from the trip!!!

Brian 1:24 PM, June 16, 2008  

I know it's corny and cheesy but think positive. No matter what you feel like race day, you've put in the miles and the time. Your body can do it. Just like my daughter's fav. movie "Get your head in the game".

ShirleyPerly 1:27 PM, June 16, 2008  

Those camping photos remind me of an interesting article I just read about a guy who teaches women how to pee standing up like guys do. Could be quite useful anywhere toilets are scarce, I think, like in some races, and a good topic for the Bar ;-)

Your race strategy is pretty much dead on mine except I add an hour :-)

Ryan 2:35 PM, June 16, 2008  

I am the king of cracking between miles 21 and 22.

If you need advice on how to bonk properly, let me know!!!!!

To me, Anal Leakage and Marathon are synonymous.

Rest Up Little Scout, Your Big Day is Coming.

sRod 8:02 PM, June 16, 2008  

"- Horrible day: I could totally bonk, and finishing well over 3:10.

Yo, Steve, have I ever mentioned that I hate you?

IronMin 8:58 PM, June 16, 2008  

Seriously, can we talk about "go out slow...first 2 miles around 7:15ish"? I don't do anything in 7:15. Not a damn thing.

YOU ROCKSTAH! Kick some ass out there.

Cy 10:54 PM, June 16, 2008  

Sub 3-Sounds like an awesome target!

Have fun-Dig Deep :-)

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