I would like to run as smart of a race as possible. I have run a total or 16 marathons, and I don't think I have ever finished one thinking, "Shit yeah, I did it!!" I usually finish holding on for dear life and vowing never again..... It's been four and a half years since my last marathon and I think I have learned a few lessons on patience and fueling.
My ultimate running dream is to run a negative split marathon. I want to run the first 20 miles at 8 minute pace, drop down to 7:45 pace for the next 5k, and then 7:30 pace for the last 5k.
My biggest challenge is being greedy..... I know that I might see a 7:50 mile early on and think, "This feels good. Let's bank some time".... I know that I can run 15-16 miles at 7:30 pace, but then I will hit the wall so hard at mile 17 and then have to shuffle the remaining 9 miles.
I think racing with a Garmin (my first marathon with one) will keep me from going out too fast, I also plan to race without music for the first 10 miles.
Eating on the run is something I am sort of new at. When I was younger I would race marathons without music or food. I don't know how I managed to do that.
|My second marathon, and first BQ.|
Venice, Italy 1999
I think I was a lot tougher and more stubborn back then. It's also probably why I hit the wall during so many marathons. I never ate anything during the race.
For Sunday's race I plan on eating a Heed energy gel at miles 5, 10, 15, 20, and also eating some Gatorade energy chews along the way.
To Pace Group or Not
I have mixed feeling about pace groups..... I had one of my best marathons ever at RNR Phoenix in January 2008. I had missed qualifying for Boston in December of 2007, on a whim I decided to race RNRAZ five weeks later. My friend convinced me to run with a pace group, and it worked out perfectly. I ran the whole way with the 3:40 group, and I joked that it was like riding a bus. We all worked together to finish. The pacer was excellent about hitting even splits. I remember hitting a low point at mile 23 and the "bus" began to pull away from me. I had a cheesy but good song come on my MP3 player and I fought like hell to catch up to the bus. I ended up pulling away from the bus at mile 25 and running the last mile a little ahead of the bus.
I ran the St. George Marathon in 2009 with the hopes of breaking 3:20. I felt that I was pretty well prepared. I planned on riding the "bus" again with my fellow runners and hoping to hang with them.
I didn't anticipate the pace group to be so large. It seemed like I was elbow to elbow and shoulder to shoulder with quite a few runners. The road was a bit more narrow and I kept getting jostled.
At mile 5ish we ran through an aid station, and the runner in front of me stopped to grab a drink, and I crashed right into him. He didn't just slow down, he stopped in front of the aid station. I was rattled by the experience, and I just couldn't hold on to the pace group after mile 11. I ended up hitting the wall pretty bad that day. But, I don't think it was entirely the pace groups fault either.
I also ran the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon with the 3:30 pace group. I think I was able to hold on the the pace group for about half of the race. I had spent the night before, drinking my face off because I thought drinking beer would be the best way to carb load. I look back at that race and wonder, "WTF was I thinking?" I was in pretty great racing shape and I was serious enough to train for the race, but not serious enough to turn down celebration beers before the race.......Again this wasn't the pace groups' fault....
I don't drink beer or any other alcohol anymore. I don't know if that will make a difference in my athletic performance. However, I do know that it will not be able to hinder my performance.
A goal- 3:29:59
B goal Beat my old PR 3:31:49
C goal- 3:34:59
I would also love to finish in the top 100 women's finishers and top 10 local women's marathon finishers. I have no idea who else is racing on Sunday night, and this is something that I can not control. I only hope that I am able to execute the best possible race to my athletic ability.
Thank you for reading.