Here is an overview of my 2013/2014 New Year’s Double Marathon experience!
Allen Double Marathon Results:
Day 1: 4:25
Day 2: 4:44
Total: 9:09 for 52.4 Miles
Statistics: finished in the top 50% for all statistical categories!
Day 1 was pretty simple and routine for me - two cups of coffee with coconut crème and a banana. During the race, I had a banana and two salt sticks at mile 13, and the same at mile 19 ½. The race was four out-and-back loops. While my fastest marathon is a 4:09, I was not planning on “racing” - just keeping the pace strong. The goal was to finish under 4:30 and feel strong the next day! The only challenge I had was around mile 21/22; my stomach felt stiff, not like a cramp, but more like bloating. I wondered if the 2nd banana was too much. I finished strong, never stopped and had plenty of energy.
That afternoon I had a “fat” green smoothie (spinach, large avocado, chia seeds, coconut milk and berries blended up in a Vitamix®) and Mexican food for dinner with plenty of grilled veggies. While I was certainly sore, I would say I felt pretty good overall.
Day 2 was about the same, except I ate the banana closer to race time (I felt a little hungry at mile 8 the day before). I also had an almond nut butter packet and added extra coconut oil to my coffee so I could top off the fat stores. During the race I stayed on plan - one banana at mile 13 with two salt sticks. At mile 19½ I decided to skip the banana, had the salt sticks and grabbed a Honey Stinger instead. I took in tiny amounts of the Honey Stinger (sugar trickling) every few miles and finished it off at mile 24.
I felt strong on day 2 up until mile 21 - then I had to run/walk for a few miles. It wasn’t whether I would finish, but it was more about how long I wanted it to take! Due to the lack of training for this type of event, I just did not have as strong of a foundation as I would have liked to have had. I was able to run the last mile all the way in! While the 4:44 time was not a record (my goal was a sub-5 hour for day 2), it was faster than my first marathon, so I felt pretty good about it not being my slowest race.
In summary, the race went as planned. I did not plan on running two marathons back-to-back until Dallas cancelled their race in December. I only had a few weeks to turn my marathon training into double marathon race training. I am still amazed that I ran both races on three bananas and one Honey Stinger! Talk about fat-adapted training really working!
Next up is my first 50K Ultra in February. I think I will play around with Generation UCAN on my next few long runs - I believe it may help spread out the nutrition a little better.
Music mattered on day 2! By this - I mean I was pickier about the songs that played on my iPhone when it got tough. Having a support crew would have helped as well as I ran the race both days by myself. Next time, I will pay one of my kids to be there and to drive me home!!!
Finally, if you train properly and build a solid training base, you can achieve more than you realize. Training fat-adapted and building up a strong Zone 2 base will go far and help reduce the risk of injury. I did get ill for a few days in mid-December; this reminded me that I was not immune to overtraining and needed to back off a bit after the San Antonio Marathon I ran in November.
While I did not have a strict race plan, I did set realistic goals and expectations. The challenge when charting new ground is to keep it simple and have fun. Running a few back-to-back days helped before the race and I wish I’d had more time to incorporate that into my training. I hardly ever run multiple days in a row.
Why I decided to run this race:
I wanted to qualify for Marathon Maniac (MM) status (three marathons in 90 days)! In June, I realized I needed to add a 3rd marathon to my race schedule to qualify. My 50K Ultra was beyond the 90-day window of the first race in San Antonio. About mid-November, I saw the hardware they were giving away for doing a race on both days so I added the half marathon to my schedule. Then, after Dallas cancelled due to the ice storm, I was in a bind. I had already run one marathon and had the ultra two months out, so the best way to accomplish this was to run two full marathons back-to-back! The upside is - this qualified me for the Iridium level of MM and I got some pretty cool hardware to go with it.
You can read more about Plant Powered No Sugar No Grains fueling (PPNSNG), Zone 2/fat-adapted training, and marathon training on my other blog entries:
Day 1 & Day 2 Photos: