so, what’s the story?
I started the Edmonton Marathon in 2015 and…I ended up unconscious at 39k and woke up in the University of Alberta Hospital emergency room. I’d torn some cartilage in my hip and had passed out because of the pain. While I was there, the doctor asked me if I’d been running slower than I’d been expecting and I replied, ‘Yeah, a bit.’ It turned out that he was asking because I was super anemic – my hemoglobin and iron were both extremely low. So, apparently that’s the reason that I looked, as a friend described it, ‘Like death at 7k.’ Now, I’m careful with monitoring my iron. I guess most people realize that something is going on with their bodies, but I just thought that was what marathon training was supposed to feel like.
why the marathon?
I like the build-up for it. It’s kind of strange, but I like putting all my eggs in one basket – with the marathon distance you can’t race every weekend, but likely only twice a year. The preparation for it is slow and methodical; you set a goal and work towards it, all the while trying to control the factors that you can to help you achieve it.
I had a 30k marathon pace simulation run to do this recent training cycle. There’s a park in Edmonton called Hawrelak Park and it has a fairly f lat ring road around it that’s 2.3k in distance. So along with a few of some other people in my training group, we had a water station and gels set up to get close to a race simulation. What was funny though, was that the Nike Breaking2 project was going to be done on a 2.3k Formula One track, so we started joking that they’d gotten the idea from us. The last 8k of that workout was pretty painful, but the rest of the group that wasn’t in marathon training had shown up to do mile repeats by that time. I just have a really strong memory of how much it helped to have them there, shouting their encouragement when things were getting hard.
Mike Trites at the Vancouver Marathon AGE 26 HOMETOWN EDMONTON (ORIGINALLY BERWICK, N.S.) MARATHONS 2 (AND A BIT; IT'S A STORY) PB 2:34