Sunday, October 13, 2013

Marathon Results from Athletes over the Thanksgiving weekend


Chris Hankins ran 3:05:59 and his ticket to Boston.  Our casual attendee Lindsay Manning ran 3:02.

Here is what Chris had to say about his race:

Obviously- best race ever. Can't begin to express how happy I am with the the program and the results speak for themselves. Here's the breakdown:

First off- Chicago Marathon was the best organized race I have ever entered hands down. From the race packet pickup (no lines whatsoever) to the pre- race corrals (again no lines whatsoever at the porta potties) to the water stations, to the crowds and the music along the way. As far as major races go to not have to bus out to some remote location and sit around for 5 hours- and have many hotel options within 2 k walk from the start line. I would encourage everyone looking for a great race experience and a PR to look at this race. Weather- which obviously cannot be controlled- was perfect today as well.

So my race:

I used the Western Australia carb loading protocol on the day before the race and then followed your recommendations for race morning nutrition and gel/hydration strategy during the race (I wonder if all of my team mates know how to convert the grams/pound formulae into an actual morning meal?) The only thing I added was salt (1 salt tab with each gel). Can't remember if we discussed this but it's worked for me before and I learned my lesson the hard way in Maui. Felt bad for the poor souls walking and stretching out their cramps with only 5 k left to go.

I found there was huge value from those race simulation workouts. The whole idea of push then cruise then push really defined my day. The start of Chicago goes under some bridges so GPS readings were off. I had to really focus on how I was feeling- comfortable, relaxed breathing, good posture and easy turnover and trust that I was in the right zone.  As I passed the 5,10, and 15 k clocks I noticed I was a bit faster than target but honestly felt smooth and relaxed so just held the pace. When I passed the half marathon point (actually a PR half marathon as well) I made the conscious decision to pull up a bit. Too much on the line with a BQ to risk blowing up. Just past this I had the slightly surreal experience of watching a 3:00, two 3:05 and a 3:10 pace leader all running side by side just steps ahead of me. Not gonna lie- that messed with my mind a bit trying to calculate where I was at. At this point I was reflecting on the value of the controlled pace workouts we do (yes, sadly these are the deep thoughts that go through my mind during a race) and I knew that all I needed to do was focus on my own relaxed posture and turnover.

Things started to hurt a bit in the mid to late 20's, but it was just race pain, nothing that felt injured. I took my last gatorade at around 32k knowing I had adequately hydrated and fueled throughout the race. As is typical for me, 30-36 took a lot of focus. Pain is increasing but it still seems like a long way from the finish. Once I hit 36 my mind says I can run a 6K in my sleep so I just tightened up and focussed on turnover. This last stretch is where you see lots of carnage for races gone wrong. This is where you know that your training and sticking to your race plan are serving you well.

Of the marathons I've run, I will say that this is the best I've ever felt in the last 6k. It's also the most I've limped once I was 100 feet past the finish line. I think that's a good sign that I spent most of what I had today, but there are faster things to come.

I shaved 23 minutes from my marathon in 9 months. Absolutely surpassed anything I thought I could do. Next stop 2:59:59. Can't thank you enough. 


Morgan Wittstock 8th female and first in 20-29 in time of 3:20:29 in her first road marathon. Right on the goal target time.

In their second marathons: Ryan Graham ran 3:24:47 which is 27 minute PB! Lindsay Snyder 3:26:59 and we targeted 3:25 and that is a 21 minute PB.  She is super excited for the Boston Qualifier.

Here is what Ryan said about his race:

I was right on pace for the first half and was feeling good. Second half was tough but I powered through for a 3:24:47. A 27 minute improvement over my previous marathon and even with the slower second half, my total pace was faster than my half pace time in Calgary this spring.

Morgan's comments:

Thanks so much for a great season. I am so happy with how it went yesterday and during the 50km and a lot of that was thanks to the confidence training has given me. I stuck to my splits and I knew I could!

I'm excited to keep going! Calgary next year and we'll see what else. 


Mike Barr 3:17:34 and a PB by 7 minutes.

Note from Mike:

Considering the hills on the course I’m happy with the time.  I followed your race prep instructions exactly.  Legs actually felt good today except on the last couple of hills, then they started to hurt a bit.  I wrote the 5k splits on my arm and followed them.  You said to keep the 5k pace between 22.55 and 23.20 and in the end I average 23.25 (I was actually in the 22.55 range for most of the race).  I hit 35km right on my goal pace of 2hr 41, then started to die on the last couple of big hills coming into the finish.  The last 7km were a shift kick in the junk and will serve as motivation to work much harder next time.  In the end I got 3.17.34 which is 9 minutes better than Calgary.  Lots of things to celebrate and lots of things to learn for the next race which will be Boston in April.  Qualified!

Thanks for your coaching. You probably get tired of hearing it, but you’re awesome.

People ask me why I coach, and the answer is simply to instill the confidence in people to perform in ways they thought were not possible.  I love that responsibility.  I teach people how to execute and the biggest reward is the outcome of that.

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