Endurance: Andrew Carlson

How to pull off a Plan B marathon

December, 8, 2012
12/08/12
6:07
PM ET
Kim SmithAP Photo/Mary SchwalmKim Smith placed sixth in Yokohama two weeks after the NYC Marathon was canceled.
NEW YORK CITY, Friday, Nov. 2, 5 p.m -- All 40,000 tapered New York City Marathon entrants had their feet up in their 80-square-foot hotel rooms, entertaining such weighty decisions as burger or pasta.

NEW YORK CITY, Friday, Nov. 2, 6 p.m. – All 40,000 tapered New York City Marathon entrants were focused with desperate intensity on their smartphones, fingers flying in search of Plan B.

While the cancellation of this year’s New York City Marathon occasioned a mass rescheduling effort, marathon preparation is such that illness, injury and plain old bad juju scuttle the best laid plans every now and then. Whether the runner never made it to the start line or cut her losses and dropped out, her mind races over the long runs, the miles, the hours, weeks, months of training. Wasted! Or is it?

Here's how three quick-thinking pros maximized their training investment -- Kim Smith with a speedy two-week turnaround/honeymoon before posting a 2:27 sixth-place finish at the Yokohama Women's Marathon; Michelle Frey's four-week mini training cycle leading to the Dec. 2 California International Marathon; and Andrew Carlson's 10-week re-peak for the Houston Marathon on Jan. 13.

"I felt I was really ready to race well and have my best marathon ever at New York City," Smith said via email. "I didn't want to waste all the hard training I'd done, so I tried to find the closest race, which was Yokohama."

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