the results are in, and…

On a crisp and cool October 25th morning the MEC Race #5 was held in St Albert. My chip time was 1:57:49 for a distance of 21.46 km’s but my Garmin time was 1:55:44 for the half marathon distance of 21.1 km. I would have liked to have been a bit faster but I’m not disappointed in my finishing time. In terms of total runners, I finished 78th out of 163 half marathon runners. My pace was 5:29/km.

So, lets take a look at the results.

As I mentioned in my last post, I started to train using the principles laid out by Matt Fitzgerald based on his 80/20 formula. I stepped into this program at week 11, which really only gave me 5 weeks to train before race day. Initially, following the training plan, I had a very hard time adapting to the theory of “slow”. Not that there is much speed in me to begin with, but running at these paces made me want to tip over. I also seemed to pick up little nicks here and there. This, I understand is normal for this process and after about two and a half weeks into the plan I was starting to get the hang of it.

Let’s recap. I ran a half marathon on April 27th which fell into my full marathon training schedule. Although I didn’t run it as a long slow run which would have been the training run that day, I ran the half in 1:56:33 at a pace of 5:33/km. I also weighed somewhere around 222 lbs.  On June 8th I ran the Edge to Edge Marathon, weighing 215 lbs in a time of 4:04:17 at a pace of 5:48. This was after a full training plan leading up to the marathon produced by the Running Room.

Comparing the numbers, they aren’t far off from the three races. Everything was pretty close overall including my weight for the MEC race where I ran at 223 lbs. Was the 80/20 plan successful? To be honest, I don’t think giving it 5 weeks was enough time to form a true opinion since I started in week 11. Did I lose that much endurance from the Edge to Edge at the beginning of June to mid September and starting the 80/20 training? I’m sure my fitness level dropped somewhat in that time frame as I had no goals, but I’m also not willing to throw the plan away. The key points that have emerged from this summer of running are;

– I need to start the 80/20 plan from the beginning to realize it’s full value. Although I had been running sporadically before starting 80/20 on Sept 22nd, it was just running for the sake of running and I had no goals to aim for

– I’m relatively injury free, my hip (osteoarthritis) is becoming more noticeable as I run more, although not painful, it every so often reminds me where we are going to be in the future

– I turn 55 next month, although that older guy who passed me yesterday at about 15 km gives me inspiration (despite the fact it really pissed me off!) that I couldn’t keep up with him

– My body weight needs to be lower. It’s hard dragging 223+ lbs. around for 2 to 4 hours, so I need to work on weight, and getting rid of old eating habits. But I do like bad stuff, beer, chips and cookies. Not so much carrots, apples and green beans

– I think I can recover from the longer runs/races fairly well, as long as injuries don’t creep in

Looking at 2015, my idea is to run the Calgary Marathon on May 31 which would mean serious training would start on February 9th. The Edmonton Marathon is on August 23 (is 3 months enough recovery time enough?) but the Okanagan is run later (more recovery time) on October 11th which is also Thanksgiving weekend. Before these races take place, there are also a couple of half marathons that might fit into my training schedule, but they may be weather dependent here in Edmonton. Ah yes, the weather. In Edmonton, it’s coming, cold and snow for the prime training period!

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