Budapest, marathon

Budapest, Hungary
4:53 min/km
165 hrm
256/2990 (8.6%)

That was supposed to be my 10th marathon. And my hopes (as usually) were high :). I wouldn't settle for anything less than a new PB...

It didn't start so well. I arrived to Budapest on Friday and it was really hot. I mean, like summer hot. And when I arrived to the hotel it only got worse -- the room was sooo bloody hot; it was like an oven! Now that I think about it I should have tried to change rooms. I didn't. And I payed for it dearly as I hardly got any sleep that night.

Next day -- business as usual, picking up the starting number, working out the logistics, stuffing oneself with pasta... and trying to go to bed early. Thankfully it kinda worked and I even managed to get a decent night of sleep.

The race was starting at 10 so I woke up, ate breakfast and got myself to the starting line without too much hurry. The starting sections were for the grabs, that is one could go wherever one wanted. I thought this would never work. It did. Although I felt a bit bad that I went to 3:30-4:00 min/km section (clearly way beyond my capabilities), but then it turned out to be the right thing to do (apparently I was not the only one).

Because of the weather I knew I should try to take it easy. So I started aiming at 3:12-3:13. And I thought that's what I was doing but my post-race analysis (now turbo-charged with projected finish time and per-kilometer times -- see below! ;) seems to indicate 3:14, so either my calculations during the race were wrong (doubtful) or there is a small error in my data (also doubtful, as I introduced corrections; but less ;). Anyway I was going in the 4:30-4:40 min/km range, aiming at its middle. And as usual, it was going pretty fine for the first half of the race. It was a very warm and sunny day so I was making a conscious effort not to miss any refreshment point and for the most part that was going fine too. But I could sense trouble coming. Yet again I was just counting kilometers and wondering when I will break down.

And sure enough I did. It started around 26th kilometer where I fell out of the target zone, slowly at first, but at the 32K mark, 10 kilometers before the finish line, it got real bad and I started going at a pace slower than 5:00 min/km. By that time I completely forgot about my plans of improving my PB and I just wanted to make it to the finish line, hopefully with a reasonable time.

I got there in 3:25:51 (netto time) and what an irony! This is 11 seconds (sic!!!) slower than my time in New Jersey on the 1st of May this year. Not that I care about this 11 seconds difference but I basically did the same race again. Ok, in NJ I started a bit faster and therefore I was suffering more by the end, but still. Bloody deja vu or what?

Anyhow. It was a good race and I'm not going to let the time spoil this experience. I would like to thank everyone who was cheering for me! I have to admit that by mistake I had the sound off in Endomondo (which is not such a bad idea in general, as it helps with concentration) so I saw your peptalks only when I got back home. Pretty thanks! And the biggest thank you goes to my best supporter who was there cheering live for me!! :)))

As a final note: the similarities between New Jersey and Budapest goes beyond the similar time. In both races my "upper body" (that would be heart & lungs I'm talking about) felt just fine and it was my legs that were miserably crying for a break. Same in 50K in Assen. And that can only mean one of two things: too weak legs and/or not enough recovery before the race. So for my next marathon (that would be Paris in April 2012!) I'm gonna make sure that I address those deficiencies. I'll try out a 1.5 or maybe even 2 week recovery period before the race and I'll try to increase the amount of strength runs in my training (so far, admittedly, not many). And then my PB..... :D


Thyra said…
"that can only mean one of two things: too weak legs and/or not enough recovery before the race"... do you even need to ask yourself which one it is?! I know you like being crazy but even crazy people need to respect their bodies and rest from time to time. Any way, well done and congratulations again!
Kaja and Lukasz said…
I must say that I enjoy reading your posts from races.

It always sounds like a Greek Tragedy in 3 or 4 acts, with the main character always fighting with his inner voices and in most cases losing his fight or to put in different words starving for more fight :-)
Balázs Dósa said…
"my best supporter who was there cheering live for me" - would that mean me? :D haha
Koper said…
@Thyra: I did rest 1 week; that's what all marathon training programs suggest. So no, I don't think I'm being crazy and yes, I do think it's my legs giving up on me :P

@Kaja&Lukasz: Ehh, I have the feeling it sounds like "same old, same old". Always: high hopes -> good beginning -> suffering & pain -> disappointment.... when will I break from this scheme, huh? ;)

@Balazs: of course, who else! ;) I just forgot to mention in the post how surprised I was to meet an old pal in Budapest... while running a marathon ;). Cheers Mate :).
Thyra said…
Not true. At least it depends on how you define "rest". Sure, the near complete rest is only about one week but I haven't seen a single schedule that says it's okay to do 85km (plus gym hours!) in the week before that! You really should start taking it much easier, much sooner. I honestly think it's not a matter of lack of strength but of not giving your body enough time to regenerate itself after the damage you routinely inflict on it. Even if you are in shape, you still cause microscopic muscle damage every time you run. IMHO, what you have been doing is not just crazy but foolish and no, you SHOULDN'T take that a compliment. :-) Not disrespecting your performance by the way (which I am very impressed by). Just giving you my 2 cents...
miquez said…
Hello Adam, this is Gabor, a friend of Balazs's. First of all, congrats on your time!

I am actually just becoming 'radicalized' by running :) One question: I am aware you are using the HighCharts plugin for your charts but in one of these posts you could describe how you treat your raw data to get to projected finish time, for instance.

I for one would read it with great interest!
Koper said…
Hey Gabor,
I'd love to fulfill your request -- I love running and I'm a computer scientist at heart, so what better than to talk about BOTH? ;). I'm a happy owner of a Polar heart rate monitor, I'm using their software and I wrote a simple program (Java) to convert from their format to a simple data that I can feed to Highcharts. I'll be happy to share the script with you but it's usefulness will depend on your set-up -- if you're not a Polar owner it should be possible to adapt it to another data format but it'll involve some work. Let me know...

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