Oct 22, 2014

Fiddlers Run a Good Test for Philly

This past Sunday I completed the half marathon distance at the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run (the Fiddlers). Since it began in 2005, the Fiddlers has always been my favorite race of the year. I have completed the half marathon distance and the marathon distance several times each. This year the decision was made for me – the committee, for a variety of reasons, opted not to offer the full marathon distance (a smart move if you ask me). Also, the half was a much better fit with my schedule, which is geared towards the Philadelphia Marathon on November 23rd.

Although my main goal right now is preparing for Ironman Lake Placid (July 26), I decided to take another crack at going sub-2:50 at the marathon distance. I have come within three minutes of breaking 2:50 six times – the closest being at the Fiddlers in 2010 (2:50:37). Based on my race this past Sunday, I feel that I am in good shape and hopefully on track to finally break 2:50. I had hoped to average 6:06/mile in the half on Sunday, and was right on track until the nine mile mark. A pesky head wind and some chest pain caused my pace to slow slightly, but overall I was happy with the effort (6:10/mile).

I have five weeks left until marathon day. The main priority will be to improve my ability to run marathon pace for an extended period of time. If all goes as planned, I’ll complete five-six long runs over the next four weeks with lots of miles at marathon pace. Being able to run for close to three hours is not going to be a problem. It’s being able to maintain my goal marathon pace (6:25/mile) for all 26.2 miles – something I have not yet done. In the past, I have been on target to break 2:50 each time when I arrive at the 20 mile mark – but my pace has slowed significantly over the final six plus miles (for a variety of reasons). As with any race, I cannot control the weather. All I can do is train hard and hope for the best come race day!  Stay tuned for updates on my training leading up Philadelphia.

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