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Sunday, December 7, 2008

CIM: My Head is Spinning


My goal, when I signed up for the California International Marathon, was to break 3:46 and qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2010. But later, after running a half-marathon last month in 1:39 I realized I should be able to break 3:36 and qualify for 2009 (the standard gets easier as I get older). I also thought, that with an ideal race, I could break 3:30. CIM is a fast course, might as well go for it!

My goals came into question when I spent about 21 of the 35 days prior to the race suffering from various colds. The last, and worst cold is the one that left me with laryngitis up to the race and a very nasty deep dry cough. The night before the race I was kept awake most of the night by my coughing.

So I went into the race undertrained and badly needing sleep.

I started out at a 3:35 pace, running at around 7:45 minutes-per-mile with one-minute walking breaks each mile for an 8:12 mpm average. This worked out fine for 17 miles. The weather was cool, dry, windless, ideal.

At mile 17 I started to feel dizzy and walked a minute until it went away. From there to the finish I kept getting dizzy when I ran, but it would clear up if I walked a minute. This slowed me up a lot. And my legs started tightening up (lack of training). I'm not sure what caused the dizziness, but it may have been an after-effect of the cold or the sleeplessness.

I still managed to hang on for a 3:39 finish. And I felt much better after a nap.

2 comments:

Ted G said...

Congratulations! Not bad for dirt runner...

Damon said...

Nice job Mark. Even though you'll have to wait until 2010, you're in. Boston is a great race - the only large race that I will still voluntarily run.

Regretfully, despite a great fall of road training, including a sub-1:39 half-marathon, I had a really bad day in my marathon last month and missed by qualifying time by a lot. Next year, maybe.

It's a tough thing for me to pull off - training for ultras and then switching to marathon training in the fall. I'm 0-2 in my last two BQ attempts.


Damon