Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dutch treat

Let's go Dutch, the Amsterdam marathon was last weekend and it was a blast, but when it came to splitting the bill, I ran a positive split, which meant pain pain and pain.
Here are R and C and me beforehand.    Excited at the Expo!
They were running the 8k and enjoyed it a lot.   All the races (8k, Half and Full) started from the Olympic Stadium and benefitted from big screens and amazing organisation.   All the races also included a fabulous run through a tunnel under the Rijksmuseum, cool!! 
I started out tamely, cognisant of my doing too much rowing relative to running all summer, but things felt good for the first Half.   I was aiming for 8.35s and was happy.   I may have sped up a tiny bit in the 2nd 10k, but it felt good.    I think I need a new Garmin though, my splits were all over the place so I ran more by feel than anything else.   It felt good, maybe I pushed it too much on reflection, but at the time, all felt well.
Then Half way came, running along the Amstel River past windmills and rowers and people screaming "Op op op!!"    Beautiful, but my splits were fading and I felt uncomfortable.   I had been planning to dial up the pace a bit at 14 but when I pressed the 'go faster' pedal, I slowed down instead. It literally felt like I had put my feet through the floor of the car and the road was snapping my legs in two.    (No drama queen, me)

This continued throughout the rest of the race, with my splits fading and my legs seizing up.   I also got into a negative feedback loop mentally, cursing myself for not doing enough mileage during the summer.   This lasted three miles until I snapped myself out of it and started with mantras like "Strong, strong strong" and "From within!"
We got back into town and the crowds were great, even the occasional whiff of funner times from the nearby "caf├ęs" ("gemutlich!!")  and the last few miles, while hellish, were compartment-isable, and I just "endured".    Appropriate!!
Then, at about 24 miles, just like in Rome in March my Garmin again showed me closer to the Finish than I was (by a quarter mile, again!!) and I realised that not only was I not going to meet my goal of 3.50 but suddenly that sub4 was in jeopardy!!    This was not pleasant, as I had already been digging about as deep as I could...but, dig deeper was all I could do.   The last couple of k through the Vondel Park were not pleasant, but then BOOM turn a corner and the Stadium is 500m away and we are IN ... 
and the big screen has us up and the crowds are going NUTS.    Fabulous.
and so...lesson learned, if you are going to go Dutch, do the bloody training first and get back into negative split mode not positive split and fall apart mode!!    

Rowing hard all summer exhausts you and while it is great core and strength training, you need to get the base mileage in too.   I had been doing long runs up to about 16, but just not enough of them and my mpw was hardly ever above 30-35.   Not enough for this old man.

So, next year, a better mix of training, but it was so good to re-learn that respect we all have to have for the distance...and since this was marathon 17 for me, you'd have thought I'd have remembered!!!    Next year, we get the times down, with PROPER  TRAINING and aim for a PB (3.16 to beat) maybe spring 2015.


  1. Nice work. Nice write-up. Nice data analysis! Great smile.

  2. I am amazed at your ability to lift the pace (however slightly) in the last 2K.