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Orbutt - thanks for posting the garmin interval set-up instructions. It's about time I setup a VO2max session. I setup the session on garmin connect and it took a couple of seconds to transfer to my watch (310xt). I just need to give the workout a go now, hopefully tomorrow.
We headed out to Malta a few days early to get used to the temperature and enjoy the island. I could write an entire section on Malta itself but this is just about the marathon.
We took the bus to the start at the ungodly hour of 6.30 and met a few people in a cafe around the pick up zone. It was nice to see some regular faces including those that I had met at marathons in the past week(s). The start is in the medieval city of Mdina. It's known as the silent city but on this Sunday morning - it wasn't too quiet!
The time passed quickly and easily and before I knew it - it was 8am and the start. The roads in Malta are known to be a little rough but it was mostly uneven asphalt that we had underfoot. I was fine for the first 4 miles until my breathing deteriorated. I was taking my inhalers as quickly as it could but I think that the fumes from the traffic, the dust and the temperature got to me. To proceed on that the next 10 miles were awful is an understatement. I felt awful and sick and just honestly wondered why I was doing this myself. I felt bad that I was holding Mel up and just like a complete loser. We had some funny points - like me taking some attention from Mel's pitstop by peeing in front of traffic (just call me Paula) and Mel kissing a marshal because they were being overly enthusiastic for us! But in general - I felt like giving up. I just couldn't control my breathing and felt that no air was getting to me quickly enough. It's a worrying feeling and the first time I've had it in a marathon.
I finally persuaded Mel to run on and that I'd meet her later. During the next 5 miles I proceeded to throw up twice, have a mini asthma attack after avoiding being hit by a car and tried to find some water as the stations were already closing down. But then something just clicked and I started running again and was actually feeling ok.
For the rest of the rest - the following mantras were in my head:
- every step you take is a step closer to home... And if you run it - you'll get there quicker
- just keep running
- you've started, so now you'll finish.
I'll admit for middle 15 miles I hated every step. Hated the marathon, hated what I was doing to myself and felt like giving up. But I didn't. I guess some mental stamina got me through.
I was running just on the cut off line and was making good time with a few people that I overtook. One Italian guy who couldn't speak English but had fallen over at the start and had the biggest bruise I've ever seen and was limping to the finish determined to get there. A Hungarian woman on her first marathon who was struggling after 30km.
The issue with the last part of the race is that they were already opening the roads, shutting down the water stations or had already run out of oranges/bananas etc. so the last 6km we were alone, with no guidance and I was getting more and more annoyed. THEN I asked a local where the marathon finish was: he replied: go left and its 1km. So I ran left. 1 mile later a runner stops me and asks: have you finished the marathon and running to your hotel or still running? Because the finish is in the other direction (*cue angry swearing). I returned to the course and ran the rest of the way along the seafront with a real angry feeling inside me. I got lots of applause and good wishes but I was running like a demon. if i take off the time - I should have crossed the line at 5.02.
Instead it was 5.22 and I crossed the line to
Instead it was 5.22 and I crossed the line to lots of cheering and a cold beer. I go up to a marshal and am told: there's no more medals. NO MORE?!?! Cue some emotional blabbing to Mel, Dave and Joe. Joe handed me his medal saying: it's only going in a draw - I don't care... And I wore a medal with semi pride and more anger. I followed the line out and there's no oranges, no subway, no goody bag. Nothing. A scout gets my bag and I head over to the Enigma group and we have a few beers and talk about the injustice of no medals and Kate's fab PB (it's GFA dontcha know). I think if you pay for the marathon then there should be water and the stuff that you're promised at the finish line. Cue a few beers, burgers and a little it of singing and I was feeling a lot happier about my day. Not thrilled but not utterly miserable.
Luckily Liz was on hand and used her malta knowledge to get in contact with Joe the RD who promised to get me a marathon ribbon to my hotel that night. I wasn't holding out my hope but he held true and it was there when we got back. Liz was also looking out for another runner who had gone off route. I can believe it - especially if she was further behind me as without the few marshals there were; i would have been lost too.
Overall I'm taking the last few weeks as a learning curve. I need to work on my speed, work on my nutrition and generally need to get my act together. I need to look at a better training plan and a recovery strategy.
My Paris 4.30 aim seems a long way off yet and I'm honestly wondering if I can do it in the month that I have left.
I'll put up my splits when my Garmin decides to start playing again. It's not keeping its charge at the moment
Well done Em. Doesn't sound like a good advert for doing Malta marathon, but you didn't give up when all that was going against you.
You've only got 32 mins to knock off. And you won't have done an ultra the week before Paris and a marathon two weeks before (I hope!)
I'd defer to FF, but I'd say concentrating on speedwork is the key to getting sub 4.30.
I've submitted my feedback to the organisers and I hope that they take it into consideration - especially if they want to grow as much as much as they want.
@FF- do you think you'll be able to help me with a specific training plan? or should i come up with one myself?
I'm waiting for a doctors appointment to come up so they can confirm what I heard last week but trying to get an appointment here is quite difficult at the moment.
Hi Orbutt - you're completely right. I'm still a little battered from it. It was one of the weirdest things to be running and feel so awful - at least I wasn't emotional until the end!
You're correct - there are no more marathons scheduled. I have a 10 mile race this weekend and then possibly a 12km 'city run' on 16th March but no other races so this is where i'm looking to focus my training and recovery.
Emm - I think it's normal to get the jitters when a key race is looming. At least, I hope it is 'cos I'm getting them too! Congratulations on completing another great race! You are doing so well. As Orbutt says, you will feel different after speedwork and a proper taper, so don't read too much into the result.
Orbutt - I used your garmin setup instructions to run my VO2max session yesterday. It worked very well and I hit great pacing as a result. Thanks! The only addition I would make to the notes is to hit the "start" button once the workout is complete when you are running the cooldown. It seems obvious in hindsight, but the garmin stops clocking up any further lap time until you press start after the end of the workout. Once you hit "start" the remainder of the run is registered as part of the same overall run, which is perfect. Glad I realised because I still had three miles to run Incidentally, I found the interval session much more enjoyable outside than on the treadmill, so it was well worth the effort.
Emmy H wrote (see)
@FF- do you think you'll be able to help me with a specific training plan? or should i come up with one myself?
This we can do, we will be doing faster sections during runs,
Post your next seven days and planned pace, lets find the sessions that we can add speed.
hill sprint intervals, forcing you to do a higher cadence with a shorter stride length, another way to build some speed.
Its not for everyone though. have you tried before.
*waves*. It turns out that i've set a big wave in motion RE: my Malta experience... whoopsie.
This is the plan for the rest of the week:Today: 5 miles easy (11.30/12mm pace) - Done this morning. Stuck to the pace but I need to sort out my new trainers and take them back. They're too small and my calf was really starting to hurt at Mile 3.Tomorrow: 6 miles easy (11.30/12mm pace)Saturday: 5 miles easy (11.30/12mm pace)Sunday: 10mile race (marathon race pace for duration)
Then next week:Mon: 4miles recovery ( 12.30-13.15 pace)Tues: 6 miles easy (11.30/12mm pace)Wed: 6 miles easy (11.30/12mm pace)Thurs: 5 miles tempo (9.45 -10mm pace)Sat: 18 miles LSR (11.30-12.30 pace)
I warn you - I can only do hills on a treadmill.... and I need to find one of those We have no hills here
Sunday, your mara race pace is this going to be around 9.xx's?
Make sure you are well warmed up, and good move getting your trainers changed, if they are too small they will only injure you.
And everyone must have some incline near them, doesn't have to long or even steep...have a think, ideally 200-300 meters long slope
Hopefully they might improve things for next year.
Your maths is right pace-wise, altho come Paris you'll maybe want to set your target lower to give yourself some leeway in case you need a toilet stop or whatnot.
Good luck for tomorrow, and post a high-res image from the race! One from Malta was okay, but could be better
@Weedy - I think I need some concrete paces... for some reason I thought that 10 miles at 10.16 pace equalled 1hr 35
@Orbutt - I know... I think its one reason that i'll avoid Malta for the next few years but I heard that a lot of the southern european races are like that.
I've just got home from the Brugge-Oostende 10 miles and wanted to post before showering and grabbing some food.
Here's the mile breakdowns:
A flat race and not bad overall. 10 miles at that pace felt a little harder than I expected. I do wonder how i'll manage the other 16 in Paris!
No medal today (boo...hiss) but a cotton t-shirt and a pot plant. Yes, you heard that correctly - a pot plant. The winners were given a hanging basket so i'm not sure who got the worse deal
A pot plant? I thought it was just Amsterdam where that sort of thing was legal
Great run there Emmy. Really nice even splits too. Only a 10 second difference between the fastest and slowest, except miles 6, 8 and 9, although you got it back on track for 7 and 10, which suggests it wasn't because you were tiring.
I've been doing some jiggery-pokery in the RW pace predictor, and if you knock off two minutes for the three miles you went awry, it comes out with a predicted marathon time of 4.37 So you've only got to train enough to knock 420 seconds off your predicted time.
And that was a week after doing a marathon and two weeks after an ultra. You'll have three weeks of tapering under your belt come Paris.
So.... here's a present for you. You only get to unwrap it though if you break 4.30 in Paris
Emmy - sterling work.
Hope this helps
Weedy! What a great picture! I love it! You know how to motivate me
I've had a think about those miles and i worked out what it was. There was a guy really puffing in front of me and i slowed down to make sure he was OK (he was not a young lad) and then sped up. I then mentioned it to the marshal up ahead to keep an eye on him as he looked ready to keel over at mile 6. He finished in 2.02 but didnt look that great.
@Orbutt - Thank you for that - it really helps. I'm going to print it out. I think Dannirr was talking about some pace tattoos - i might get one of those.
I've been out for 4 recovery miles and felt OK. My legs are suprisingly sore this morning!
Emmy - hi. I hope you don't mind, but I lurk on here every now and again from the Shades thread. One tip I've read is to write your required splits upside down (so you can see them) on your race number. I guess there may be an issue with this if the race organisers count this as defacing or altering the race number. I've never tried it, but I thought I'd mention it.
Also, there are paper/plastic bracelets with paces on which you can use, but again I haven't used them.
Hey Big_G! Of course I don't mind It's always nice to hear advice and ideas. I've tried the paper pace bracelets but they fell off half way through.
My first 'plan' was to write the mile paces on my arm with a permanent marker - and just wear long sleeves for a bit
I've not managed a run today but will get out tomorrow morning. I can't sleep in at the moment as the bloody workmen start drilling outside my window at 7am
Some updates from my side: I'm feeling A LOT better and with more energy this week so i'm hoping that i'm really starting to recover from the past few weeks.
I've also consulted a nutrionist and from Monday - i'll be beginning a structured eating plan. She's a runner, knows runners and is helping me correctly fuel myself for the run and the race ahead.
Also - i'm planning the following this weekend:
Tomorrow: 5 miles (attempt at tempo if i can)Saturday: 12 miles LSR - pace? 11.30/12? or should I try 3m warm up, 6m MP, 3m wam down?Sunday: 6 miles easy - 11.30 pace.
As Hubby will be leaving me for the ski slopes on Saturday - i'll have plenty of time for some running and gym next week. I had the good intention of a pool visit this evening but when I looked it up on the website it was kids hour... and I can't imagine anything worse!
Ditto about the recovery and tapering.
I just use a permanent marker on my arm. Top tip - baby wipes cleans it right off. I've seen the pace tattoos in Sweatshop. Don't know if you're back over in England before Paris, but give me a shout if you want me to pick one up for you.