Over the winter, I volunteered to be a lab rat at the IU School of Physical Education, to see if they needed anyone for VO2 max testing. It panned out and I was used as part of a final exam for a testing protocol class. It was an interesting process, and harder than I thought. It became especially difficult when I reached the 20% incline and my lungs were screaming for air while I was breathing through what seems like a small hose. I haven’t had the results explained yet, but I think it went well. Using the Bruce protocol (and if I am reading the sheets correctly), my max VO2 is 5.45 L/min, and 76.3 ml//kg/min. When I have time, I’ll look into what this means, and how I may benefit through use of this information.
It’s only five days to the marathon. I’m as ready as I can be, and there isn’t anything else I can do to prepare for it this week (other than to take it easy). I can’t improve, but can make things worse, so my only activities this week are two easy runs (45 min) with short sprints in them, and two easy 90 min rides to spin my legs.
I’m looking forward to it, and still have a goal to come in under four hours. This may be tougher than I had anticipated, since the course information says this is not a course for a personal record, and to add about 20 min to your normal marathon time. This is due to the hills, especially Hurricane Point, which starts at mile 9.8 and continues at a 4.5% grade until peaking at mile 12. It sounds like a heartbreaker. I don’t mind hills; I just don’t have many around on which I can train. My hill climbs in Colorado were challenging, and as I described to someone else, my heart rate was where I wanted it and my breathing was a bit harder, but my pace was that of an 85 year-old woman with a walker browsing the magazine aisle at Kroger. I hope this is better, but I have to make sure I have enough to keep going after mile 20. I’m not yet sure how I will attack this hill (aggressive/conservative).
In the end, I’ll finish with the best time I can, and I’ll do my best to make that time less than four hours.