This article was originally published on Reid Coolsaet's website.
One week ago I raced the Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington. The race was, in fact, chilly at -6C but quite balmy compared to -18C last year on race day. Luckily the roads were clear, the wind was calm and the course is flat.
Leading up to the race I didn’t have a time goal, I figured I would wait until race morning to see what the conditions would be like. In the past I’ve run 63:11, 63:15, 63:16 (3:00/km) before marathons. I ended up with 63:36 (3:01/km) and was pleased with the effort considering the extra clothes and solo effort. This is a positive result heading into Rotterdam Marathon (Yep, running Rotterdam).
In the 5 weeks leading up to the Chilly Half I wasn’t able to hit marathon pace outdoors on long efforts due to the wintry conditions. Only on the treadmill did I hit the specific paces. The race confirmed I was in the shape I believed I was in despite not having my GPS agree with my effort.
A few days before the race I decided to head back to Kenya for the final 5.5 weeks leading up to Rotterdam. I can be more sure of the weather in Kenya and there are a few athletes here I know training for marathons on April 12 (Rotterdam, Paris and Brighton). Speed River will be sending a crew to Rotterdam, John Mason, Robert Winslow, Nick Sunseri, Tristan Woodfine and I will all be racing. Unfortunately Eric missed a couple weeks of running and decided not to race Rotterdam on compromised training.
I got to Iten on Wednesday night and so far it’s just been easy running and strides. It seems a lot of the guys I was training with in January are hitting the track hard these days. There are some local guys who will follow my program and I’ll also mix in group fartleks and long-runs. I felt great coming off my last stint in Iten and have to make sure I don’t overdo it here.
I’ve never raced a marathon directly from altitude. The downside is that I won’t be able to hit race pace on tempo runs here but after hitting the right rhythm at the Chilly Half gives me confidence that it’s the effort that is most important. The other challenge up here will be making sure I get enough running on paved roads as there aren’t many and the dirt paths are much nicer.
At first I thought I was going to have a 2hr time difference between Iten and Rotterdam but they don’t have daylight savings time here so it looks like it will only be a one hour time difference.
I really just came back for the barber shop.