I just finished an 8 mile run and I feel good but man, all that Thanksgiving crap I ate sure made things harder today. First of all, it was hot! Not HOT HOT but hot enough to be warm and I REALLY hope that it's cold for the race. 38-48 degrees is my favorite temperature to run in. As of now, the forecast is said to be a low of 45 and a high of 61 with rain. This SUCKS! I hope there is no humidity with that rain because that will slow everyone down. It needs to be crisp and cold. Come on weatherman...be wrong as usual! Another thing I noticed today...I'm dehydrated. I could really tell by how fast I pooped out. Not fun....
So here's my dilemma. Sunday's marathon course is open for 6 and a half hours. Everyone is expected to complete the course in that time. Right now if I were to guess ...if I were to start right on gun time, I'd be about 6 hours 20 min or so. That's just a guess. But here's the problem....the race has 22,000 people registered so they put us in corrals and release us by ability group. It's a good system except for the fact that it robs the slower people of time. We have to finish in 6:30 but we probably won't be able to start until about 20 minutes after everyone else. This is a problem. After 6:30, all the photographers go home, they stop stopping traffic for you, they deflate the finish line, and the medal givers go home. I even read that you might not get a medal ....(I'm not sure I believe that, and if that happened, they would be getting an angry phone call from me). Anyway, it is literally going to be a race against the clock for me.
There are several things to consider when observing this time situation. First of all, adrenaline will get me through a lot of it at a decent speed. Music will get me through some too. I've upped my speed in my latest workouts and I know that will help too. I'm always impressed with my stamina on race days, and I'm praying it will be the case for this one as well. In my running pace right now, I'm averaging 10:45-13:30. If you mix in walking it slows me down of course, but I'll start most of the course just running probably. I need to mentally prepare for the final half though and I need to be smart. I don't want to start off fast and then crash before it's halfway through. On my last half-marathon, I started slowing down at mile 11 and that's not even halfway through a full-marathon distance. I'm thinking I'll start strong with maybe 20 min running segments and 1 min walk....and then once the half way comes, depending on how my legs are holding up, I might switch to 10:1's and then for the final 6 miles, maybe 5:1's. I don't want to tire myself out too much, I know what happens when you push too hard, you crash. And another thing to keep in mind is that everything changes at mile 20. It's a completely different game. I need to be brain training as well. I heard that when you get to the point of the wall, that it's best to think of creative things...create a story in your mind, etc because it allows you to use the right side of the brain which gets you through. Apparently, the left side of the brain is the side telling you to stop and allows you to feel the most pain.
So here's my plan for marathon week. I'm concerned about the speed issue so I'm going to do several things to give myself the best shot:
Monday: 5AM gym: 3 miles at a bumped up speed of 6.0
6PM gym: 3 miles at a bumped up speed of 6.0
Tuesday: 4:30AM gym: 3 miles at a bumped up speed of 6.5
6:30PM gym: 3 miles at a bumped up speed of 6.5
Wednesday: 5AM gym: Taper run of 3 miles at 6.0 speed.
Thursday: 5AM gym: Taper run of 2 miles at 5.8 speed.
Rest until Sunday.
I think with pumping up the speed, it'll help. I also am going to pump the water hardcore...that ALWAYS helps and my nurition is going to be perfect this week. No going out to eat, no fast food. Only protein, fruits and veggies and brown carbs. No boys, no distractions! It's showtime!!