Redemption

Doug Slater Myrtle Beach Marathon

I feel confident about the possibility of a sub-3 finish on my next race.
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I finished Myrtle Beach in 2:59:26, firmly securing a spot at Boston 2019.

For this success, I must tip my hat to Evan Lindauer from Powell. On race morning, there was a persistent and gusty Northwest wind, downgrading my comfortable 6:50 pace up Ocean Boulevard into a groaning 6:50 effort. Evan suggested we take turns cutting the wind every mile. It worked. We were the last two finishers under 3:00:00.

I must give credit to others too:

Training up from novice to a BQ took three and a half years, from September 2014 to March 2018.

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In 2017, despite lots of hard volume, my PR plateaued, only dropping 2 minutes in a year. I was self-coached, following Jack Daniels 2Q, a very demanding plan which calls for two weekly 20+ mile runs each ending in 6+ threshold miles.

Recognizing the plateau, I sought out help. First, I wanted to know if I should even bother.

In November, I had a VO2max test at Podium which revealed huge potential. Dr. Sprouse also referred me to Knoxville Endurance (KE) to help maximize this potential.

With KE, biweekly track speedwork, hills, just one weekly long run, and a lot more easy miles with strides at the end finally broke me out of my plateau.

I also changed my nutrition.  Before October 2017, I thought carbs were bad. This thinking was based on coaching from Provision’s Casey Peer, which was perfectly valid at the time it was given. At that time, I was not a distance runner. As a distance runner, I was experiencing glycogen depletion by mile 18. In October, I read Matt Fitzgerald's book, "The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition" in which he teaches athletes to unlearn Atkins diet-inspired thinking. I changed my diet from 40-60% carbohydrates to 75-80%. Immediately the wall moved back to mile 22, 23, or beyond.

Stay tuned for my next post about my first ultramarathon.