Recently I ran my 4th marathon of the year: MDI (Mount Desert Island) in Maine, where the only National Park (Acadia) in New England is located. It's a beautiful part of the country, and therefore one of the more scenic marathons in the US.
It's also hilly. But I still was shooting for a sub-3:15 to try and qualify for Boston (marathon) for the 9th consecutive year. My 3 previous marathons in 2012 were Boston (3:38), Burlington VT (3:28), and Rockland NY (3:19). So needless to say, I was nervous about being able to do it.
Interestingly, Boston 2013 remained open weeks after the registration period, so I was still pushing myself in my training. What I didn't know is that while I was "tapering" in Maine the week before the race, hundreds or qualified runners (likely from Chicago and/or Twin Cities) were filling up the remaining spots. 3 days before MDI, the field filled. Huge bummer. But I wouldn't let that kill my spirits, and I ran this marathon unlike one I ever have before. I finished in 3:14:06.
|At the finish!|
My race plan was to run the first half in 1:35, which would allow me some breathing room in the 2nd half (I've never run a negative split in any of my 19 marathons), to break 3:15. Because I wasn't sure how good the mile splits would be in this small race, I decided to wear my Garmin Forerunner for the first time in a race. I was skeptical, but although the course ended up being a tenth of a mile longer (about 45 seconds added time) according to my watch, it was the right decision. I passed the halfway point in 1:34:35, pushing myself instead of slowing my pace on purpose like I usually do. My 13th mile was a 6:58, fueled by my incredible cheering section (my wife, daughter, and extended family) in Northeast Harbor!
Part of the reason for my different race plan was because of the book I'm currently reading: "Eat & Run" by Scott Jurek. Scott is an ultra marathoner, a damn good one in fact (he won 7 straight Western States 100M races), and has this success fueling his body on a vegan diet. I got my inspiration from his description of how he won his 3rd Western States race. He attacked the course.
Now, I'm no vegan, nor a vegetarian (although my wife and I lean towards a vegetarian diet at home), and I'm not planning on switching over anytime soon, but this book really opens up your eyes... and has good recipes!
I made this for Emily last week: Indonesian Cabbage Salad with Red Curry Almond Sauce. Go here for recipe. Emily called it "addictive and very satisfying". Now that's a good review!