My Marathon Story

by Troy Thompson, M.D.
(St. Joseph, MI, U.S.A.)

I was 13th of 14 cross-country guys at a small college back in 1987. Making varsity was not compatible with going to medical school; It probably wasn't even compatible with my abilities. So I quit the cross-country team, but I kept running moderately.

I turned 40, so I ran my first marathon in Chicago in 2008, which unfortunately was 82 degrees. I targeted 3:20:59, and was on pace until 18 miles. Then it was all over. My brain was even more dead than my body. I ran/walked some 9:00 and 9:15 miles to the end, getting passed first by the 3:30 pace group, then by Batman and Robin. I had no lift in the quads.

This year I've registered for the Grand Rapids Marathon October 18th. I'm planning on targeting a 3:27, which would bring me half way up to my Boston-qualifying time. I'm running 5-6 hours a week presently, with long runs up to 1:40 and 60-minute tempo's at about 7:30 pace. I don't care as much about VO2 max this year and Yasso 800's; success with that is nothing without the running economy.

The knees and feet are holding up this year, perhaps due to a focused effort on a new running style with hips forward, higher leg turnover and less bounce. Also, I'm intending to delay the hardest speedwork until the last 8 weeks, add core work, add one ellipse workout a week, buy proper racing shoes, and fuel up better during the race.

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My Marathon Story

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Aug 30, 2009
Training is on track
by: Thompson

I couldn't find a local 10K on the appointed date in August, 2009, so I ran 25 laps on a track in 41:05. The heart rate hit 175 in just a few laps and 180 by 3 miles; fortunately, it remained at about 181 for the next 3 miles, and the pace never slackened. This should give me confidence that I'm on track for a 1:31:43 half in September and a 3:20 marathon in October.

Jul 04, 2009
Good run --possible breakthrough coming
by: Troy Thompson

How does one update his own marathon story?
I ran a 19:57 5K, today, July 4th, 2009, my first sub-20 in fifteen years. It feels like the start of a breakthrough, perhaps what I've been waiting for for several years.

It was also fun to line up with a former Hansen runner--I guy who had once run a 2:14 marathon and competed in several Olympic trials--and to ask him a few questions.

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