The Chicago Marathon is less than a week away. The course is known for being fast and has become the race for many to debut at the distance. One of the runners making her debut at the marathon distance is Renee Metivier Baillie. Track and field fans are used to seeing her name at the top of the results for cross country and track races. After coming back from Achilles surgery and racing a few more road races this year, Metivier Baillie is set to run her first marathon.
“It just happened organically. I thought I would debut soon. I did not anticipate debuting this fall. But my foot has just been responding so well to the distance and after the first two road races I did at Beach to Beacon and Falmouth, I started to think about sticking to the road for a little while because the track was just a little much for my foot” she explains. Her agent even came to her asking about doing the marathon and she assured him that she would run one in the spring. Metivier Baillie and her agent even had a laugh about doing one in the fall. About a week later, they came back and they just knew it was time.
Image courtesy of Renee Metivier-Baillie
“My body just made the decision. It does not feel as rush as it sounds like since it was just eight weeks before (the marathon) that I made the decision. It has been progressing naturally and I feel ready” Metivier Baillie goes on to explain.
With the decision to race the Chicago marathon coming only eight weeks out, there have been some changes to her training though she was set to do road races the rest of the fall season. She did have to cancel her appearance at the 5k USA road champs and retool her training plan.
“My focus has been, since that decision was made, on increasing my mileage. My speed is already there. I didn’t need to work more on the speed. I just needed to work on extending that,” she goes on to say “I’ve had a bigger focus on recovery and a focus on distance. My work-outs have gotten longer with shorter rest”.
One of the road races that got added to the schedule was 20km USA champions where Metiver Baillie ended up taking the win. “It definitely solidified that I made the right decision. I use to be intimidated by longer races. My focus had always been on the 5k and the middle long distances. So just embracing it and training more specifically for longer events, I am enjoying it. Doing the 20k for the first time, I had a great time doing that race,” she said. The race was a confidence booster but also perfect training. It ended up being the perfect benchmark by providing vital information on her training and recovery from the race.
Metivier Baillie has really started to enjoy the marathon training with the longer runs especially exploring the trails of Bend, Oregon “It is a hidden gem. I don' think many people have heard about it. I think of Boulder (Colorado) as a running mecca with the trails and support but Bend has even more. I have not seen all the trails yet and I have been here for about nine months” she goes on to say, “I’m kind of shocked there aren’t more elite athletes here.”
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