This post is long overdue, I’ve had it partially written for awhile, but it definitely took me some time to process my thoughts on the Marine Corps Marathon (it’s been almost a month already!) and I wanted to share some of them as I begin to prepare for my next marathon in January.
Honestly, posts like this are mostly for myself since I consider my blog my “training journal” and often look back through it, but I also hope that by sharing my experience maybe someone else can take something away that’ll help them in their training!
Thoughts on Fueling.
I need new fuel. I’ve been struggling with my fueling recently and after the Johnny Kelly Half Marathon back in May where my usual fuel of SportsBeans didn’t sit well (as in made a return appearance shortly after I crossed the finish line…) I should have really worked to experiment and find a fuel that worked better before my fall marathon training started.
Instead, I kept using the SportsBeans because they were easiest to carry (I’m sure gels are easier, but I HATE the texture!). During the Hartford Marathon again they didn’t really sit well, but at that point with Marine Corps just 2 weeks away it was too late to make a change. And again, the SportsBeans threatened to make a return appearance several times during this race (fortunately they did not).
With a January marathon quickly approaching I’m working to experiment with some new fuels and find something that works better for me – I’ll be sure to share updates and reviews of what works for me! (And suggestions??)
Thoughts on the Marathon Distance.
The marathon distance needs to be respected. With the Marine Corps Marathon being my 8th 26.2, I think I got a little complacent and maybe didn’t go into the race with as much of a plan as I should have.
I had completed the Hartford Marathon only 2 weeks earlier and had experienced some pretty intense knee pain for the last few miles, so I wasn’t really sure how my body was going to handle another 26.2 miles so soon. My only plan going into the race was, “see how you feel and go from there”, which in one sense since I was not running with any sort of goal in mind wasn’t a terrible plan, but in the end I think that lack of plan hurt me…
Thoughts on Pacing.
When I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2013, I negative split the course by over 9 minutes, something I was very proud of!
This year, I crossed the halfway point in 2:08 feeling pretty good and having recently come off a PR of 4:20 at Hartford, I think I got a little cocky and thought maybe I had another PR in me…
I picked up speed and then quickly faded resulting in a 4:27 finish, a POSITIVE 11 minute split.
The halfway point is NOT where the race starts in the marathon distance. The smart move would have been to hold back my pace until around the 20 mile mark and then if I had gas left in the tank at that point, go for it.
Thoughts on Recovery.
Honestly I usually pride myself on my recovery after races.
I am diligent about rest, ice, foam rolling and stretching, but after a rough race at the Marine Corps Marathon, when I really SHOULD have been doing all of that, I didn’t.
Due to some bad fall race planning I jumped right back into races with Falmouth in the Fall the weekend after Marine Corps and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon (that wasn’t a half marathon) the weekend after that! And now I’m right back into marathon training with the Walt Disney World Marathon in January right around the corner.
I didn’t really let my body rest and recovery and let me tell you it let me know that on my long run this past weekend.
I think it’s important to review races (and experiences in general!) and try to learn from them, so going into my futures races and marathons I hope I can re-visit this post and remember some of these takeaways from my less than stellar Marine Corps Marathon.