It’s been 3 weeks today since Halliburton 50M and I’ve mostly recovered. I spent the first week with no running, ran a couple time the second week and I’ve run 4 times this week. With the big cut back in running, I had so much time! With all this time, I obviously started looking at doing a fall marathon and spring races. I had toyed with the idea of a fall marathon pre-Hali but hadn’t committed to anything.
A couple weeks ago, I got an email from my coach asking me what I was doing about the fall marathon. I told him that I was not sure whether I should do a half or full. For some reason mentally the idea of racing a full marathon never seems very appealing. My coach had other ideas though, he said that while I have the endurance to run so far that I should just go for the full so I signed up for Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon in Toronto. SWMT was the first marathon I ever ran, two years ago, and I didn’t love the course but I do like the hometown familiarity and not having to travel to the race.
So there it was, a fall marathon just less than a month away. The problem was that I have only ever raced a marathon once, that first time I ran it, two years ago. I have no idea what pace I should be running especially since I’ve spent my summer training for ultras. This week I went out for celebratory drinks with my running group and while there I asked my coach about how fast I should be running the marathon and he said that he didn’t have much to base it off of so I should come out on Friday for a 5k time trial. I reluctantly agreed to spend my Friday attempting to run as fast as I could. I’ve actually never raced 5k before so this made me a lot more nervous than it should have.
I arrived last night, which was a cold and super windy night to do the 5k time trial. A time trial is basically to see how fast I can run 5k to then put it in the McMillan Running calculator or something similar to get an estimate for finishing times for other races. It was a 2k run to the track, which was a nice warm up for the legs. Then it was 12.5 times around the track to make it exactly 5km. I was told to aim for around 4:40/km and push hard for the first 2km and then just try to hold on for the last 3km.
And then I was off! Two other people in my running group were doing it with me but I started a couple seconds before them because I just wanted to get it done with. The first couple loops went by really quickly and then once it got to 10 loops left, I just kept telling myself that I can do anything 10 times and that it would be over in no time. I think I probably took it a little too easy at first but I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I ended up with 4:27, 4:33, 4:36, 4:32, 4:30 for 22:36 overall. There was a strong wind the whole time and by the end it was too dark to see my watch so I just pushed my hardest for the last two laps. I think I could do it faster but I’m really happy with the result especially since I haven’t done much speed work in my ultra training.
After pushing myself hard last night, my leg is a little sore today so I’m resting because there are 15 days until SWMT and I want to be in good condition for that. I am hoping for a strong marathon effort to get over my mental aversion to running 42.2km. Anyone else feel this way about marathons?