Friday, March 28, 2014

The ATB Game Plan

First off, I'd like to point out that this is my 5th post this week.  I've posted something every day.  I can't remember the last time that happened...if at all in the history of this wee blog.  HIGH FIVE!

So...on Sunday I'm racing Hamilton's legendary Around The Bay 30km for the 3rd year in a row.  I've had so many people tell me that this is not a great tune up race for Boston, it's too close to the race, if you go too hard you won't recover in time blah blah blah.  I learned this the hard way last year.  Last year, I REALLY raced this because I wanted that gold medal something fierce.  I got it but I think my race at Boston suffered a bit.  My legs were tired and I'd say I was at about 95% health wise.  I didn't feel totally fresh going in.  I DO NOT want that to happen this year.  So I'm going to stick to my pace even if I do feel good.  This is about PRACTICE. 

My official game plan from Ming is to run this at "slightly faster than my Boston pace" which would mean I'm somewhere between 4:25-4:27/kms.  He said if I can maintain that in the last 10km of rollers, I'll be in a good place for Boston.  I'm not sure I'm up for that as it's not that far off last year's pace so I may start off a bit slower and then work into that pace.  I figure if I stay with the 2:15 pace bunny for the first half of the race (4:30/kms), that's perfect. 

I learned my lesson last year in terms of poor recovery so this year, I have a massage scheduled for the next day so I'm sure that will be beneficial.   This will also be my last 20+ miler before Boston so it's my last chance at getting a good solid run on hilly terrain in.  I've had a pretty low key week mileage wise and I feel like my legs are starting to bounce back after the beat down of these last 2 weeks.  I do wish that my knees would just figure themselves out.  I was so hopeful on Wednesday when I spent all day on my feet, running up and down stairs with absolutely NO knee pain.  I felt like my old self again.  My hopes were dashed when I went out to run yesterday morning and my knees absolutely killed.  But, it was only for the first few minutes.  It's almost like my kneecaps have to figure out where to go when I start running.  As soon as they figure that out, I'm good.  Afterwards though I was in a lot of discomfort.  Today I'm totally fine again.  It's really strange.  Taping helps them so I'll definitely be doing that this weekend. I'm also massaging my kneecaps and the area around my knees, which sounds weird but it actually feels really good.  My PT told me to do this and I find it helps.  I have been worrying a lot about my knees as of late but my Chiro told me not to worry.  She thinks that the Graston work will sort it all out.  I don't know.  I suspect that a lot of it is just from plain old overuse.  I've made an appointment to see a sports doc but I don't get in to see him until April 29th.  Ugh.  So for now I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing:  ice, Graston, stretching & mobility work, KT tape & the occasional dose of Deep Relief gel and anti-inflammatories. 

As I mentioned before, this race is about practice.  I'm going to practice my pacing and mainly my nutrition and hydration strategy.  Last year I ran with a fuel belt.  This year I'm going without.  This is a big deal for me, especially since the aid stations at this race are anywhere between 3-4km apart.  At Boston they are at every mile.  So, I know if I can make it through this race, I'll be totally good for Boston.   I finally caved and bought myself some Energybits as I noticed a big difference training without them and thankfully they arrived last week so I'm well stocked up.   Now I just need to figure out what to wear!

Who else is racing this weekend? 


Unknown said...

I'm bouncing back and forth between being really excited to run ATB for the first time and being TERRIFIED of those last 10K. Like any challenging part of a race, I just want to stop thinking about it and be in the middle of it, getting it done, already!! Goal is to to break 2:30. Let's do this thing! Hope to see you at some point! (I've used a lot of exclamation points in this comment! :-D )

Unknown said...

I will be at ATB too, and cheering you on even if I don't see you (but it would be great to see you too, I'll watch for the rock star with speedy legs)! Good luck! I too am nervous about the pace and timing before Boston but it's such a great race that it's hard not to enjoy it one way or another. All the best!

Emma said...

Good luck! I love ATB. I've changed my mind about 20 times about what to wear for this one...

Sam said...

Good luck tomorrow. I'll be there too but am only running for fun rather than pushing any sort of pace. Stupid PF. Those energy bits look interesting. I'll have to look into them!

Ashley said...

Hope the race went well!

rojublake said...

I gather that you were a little disappointed with the result of being a mere 6 seconds off a gold medal (which I seem to recall you won at last year's ATB?)
However, you achieved so much more pacing yourself for Boston and it must have required so much restraint as deep inside I bet you were gunning for it but had to hold off?
Bet you'll do awesome (again!) at Boston. Good Luck!
We runners have a lot we can learn from you Phaedra Kennedy :)

Krysten Siba Bishop said...

I have absolutely no doubt you are going ROCK BOSTON! You have been training like a beast! And I will be cheering for you all the way along!