What I love about running is that you can learn something all the time. Always growing. What I learned from this race also came from something Jeff sent me in my follow up email about the race. This past weekend I ran the Cox Providence Marathon with my friend Gail. Here’s what I learned from that experience.
Gail has done several marathons this year and is an experienced runner. So running together for this race was going to be easy for her (I assumed). What I learned was that when you are going to run a race together it’s a good idea to discuss the intervals that you plan to use for race day ahead of time so that everyone trains with the same intervals. Since Gail uses longer intervals, the frequent stop and starts of the 20/20 intervals bothered her legs and hips.
Jeff Galloway also asked me in my race recap email what her longest run was 3 weeks prior to the event. I don’t recall excatly what her longest run was, but this is good information to know to make sure that the person you are running with is sufficiently trained for the race you are running. Since Gail has done multiple marathons in the past few weeks that thought never crossed my mind. In my opinion, she is sufficiently trained. But what Jeff is referring to is for anyone. Be sure you talk to your running partner and make sure you are both trained equally if you plan to stick together for the entire race.
Something else that occurred to me is that we should talk about a bail out plan. If someone is on the quest for a PR and are running with a friend, you need to know ahead of time what the plan is if someone is falling behind or having trouble. When Gail began to hurt I wasn’t sure what to do. We tried to use different intervals to see if we could sync up where she could run her longer intervals and I could run using my shorter ones, but then we were pulling apart from each other. We found a middle of the road interval pace that worked for both of us. But I was on a quest to get a 5:30 marathon finish and she was doing an awesome job of getting me there. Then when things started to slow down we weren’t sure if we were going to make it. But I didn’t want to leave her behind. I am too loyal like that. I also didn’t want to run to the finish alone without her because she helped me get to where I was. So it’s important to talk about the plan of action ahead of time prior to the race and not when someone is having a hard time because honestly, it’s hard to think and make decisions like that on the race course and you don’t want to worry about hurting someone’s feelings during that part of your race.
Despite the rough patch we hit during mile 18 of the race, we found a plan that worked for us and we happily crossed the finish line together and I am so glad I had a friend there to help me and to also experience this special event with me! Thanks Gail! Looking forward to more races and more PRs!