That time of year
The shadows are getting longer. The sun, lower in the sky. Mornings have been damp. And in my part of the world on two of the past few mornings, the grass has been tinged white near the banks of the Credit River.
can only mean one thing. Marathon season is peaking.
Quebec City and Montreal have already had their fall marathons. And in Toronto, the first of two autumn runs is in the books. Kelowna, B.C. plays host to the Okanagan International Marathon this weekend. Berlin's big show - with more than 1200 runners coming in under three hours happened almost two weeks ago. And the big American races in Chicago, Washington and New York are imminent.
For some of us, next to April in Boston, it's the most wonderful time of the year.
the hard work's been done: almost 1,000 miles (1,600 km for the
metrically-oriented), on a couple of pairs of running shoes. Several
early morning mid-week long runs, lung-burning track sessions, and
half a dozen Sundays when we put in 20 miles or more are all in
taper time. The theory goes if you ease off on the mileage while
maintaining most of the intensity, your body will be in peak shape
come race day. Your body is used to running more, so much of that
fuel you’re taking in gets stored up. You have extra energy
to burn, so you feel a little antsy. Chomping at the bit.
get any fitter before my next marathon if I tried. But I could get
hurt, if I do something stupid like try to emulate an Olympian
at the track. So it's a delicate balance when you want to run hard
but know you shouldn't.
not easy trying to figure out how to get ready for a marathon. If
you're goal is to complete your first race, you will focus on getting
used to being on your feet for a long time and taking in enough
fluid and fuel to get you through.
if you've run a few, and you're looking to set a personal best,
there are several options.
season, I’ve followed a fairly high mileage program after
recovering from a disappointing winter/spring season in which injury
after injury seemed to follow me. All those ouches meant I couldn’t
get in the training I wanted.
better and upped the ante. Six days a week of running, averaging
around 100 kilometres a week. That's an extra day and about 25 per
cent more mileage than I'm used to.
helped that those evil injuries kept their distance, although several
training buddies haven’t been so lucky. All that bargaining
I've done with unseen, mystical forces must have paid off.
Ohio will be my seventh marathon. (It falls on the same day as the
Toronto International Marathon – my first marathon and one
that I will run again.) I am aiming for a personal best –
otherwise, I wouldn't have put in all that mileage.
Yes, I'm hoping to roll a lucky seven at Columbus. But on race day,
there are so many factors you can't control. Rain, wind, heat and
humidity, cold temperatures, angry intestines even a guy
dressed in a tunic can throw you off your plan.
you've done the work, you've done your bit.