Saturday morning I will ask my body to do something that it has never done before – run 26.2 miles. Sure, I’ve done triathlons that lasted more than six hours and hopefully I will be on the way back to Louisville six hours after this marathon starts, but running for three and a half to four hours will be completely different. I’m not really sure what to expect.
One thing I know for sure is that it’s going to be COLD! Temperatures overnight Friday are going to be in the mid 20’s, with an expected race start temperature in the upper 20’s at best. If you keep up with this blog, you know that I
don’t mind prefer to run in the cold…the issue is going to be the standing and waiting in the cold. If you’ve ever run a road race, you know the feeling. You get your legs loose and then proceed to your corral. Then your wait. No matter how close you try and cut it, there’s going to be at least 10-15 minutes of standing there like cattle waiting for the race to start. This is when your body and muscles get cold…and tight! This I am not looking forward to. Those first few miles could be tough.
I’m planning on breaking out my long-sleeve Under Armour shirt, my thick gloves and my Purdue toboggan (yes, I still call them that). I will still wear shorts. As I discussed with Jessica this morning, I don’t even think about running in pants until it’s in the single digits. My legs just don’t get cold, so I don’t see the need.
As I think about the race, I have several things that I want to accomplish and things that I need to try and remember during the race.
- In my mind, the most important thing to remember is to hold back the reins and not go out too fast. The plan is to run the first half at a pace just above 8:00 minute miles and the second half at a pace just below 8:00 minute miles. I have to run a negative split (second half faster than the first) if I want to reach my goal time of three and a half hours.
- Another key thing for me to do is stay positive. I know that it takes me 3-4 miles to warm up. Those first few miles are tough and even though I know that once I get loose it will be easier, I still get negative thoughts about being able to run as far as I have planned. I get these thoughts during training runs…and I know that they will creep in during the beginning of this marathon. I have to push them aside and have confidence in the training that I put in.
- I also need to remember to eat a gel every hour or so. This seemed to be enough during my longer runs of 20+ miles, so I’m going to stick with it. Water will be available at the aid stations, and I plan on getting some every other station for the first half and then see how I feel after that. I have a habit of drinking too much before and during the first part of the race and then end up have to pee the whole race – not fun.
- An finally, I need to remember that pain is temporary. My foot seems to be very close to being healed, but I’m sure it will start hurting at some point. Even if it doesn’t, I plan on running hard enough that everything else will hurt! This is my last big race of the year and I want to leave it all out on the course. There’s no chance to make up for a bad race until next spring. I need to finish the year off strong and be confident and motivated to start training in December for the Ironman!
“The real purpose of racing is not to win, but to test the limits of your heart and your mind.” – Bill Brown
One last interval workout just to keep the legs and lungs firing.
1.32 mile warm-up run to the track in 10:10 (7:42 min/mile pace)
4 x 400m sprints w/ 1 min. rest
1.32 mile cool-down run back to the gym in 11:02 (8:21 min/mile pace)
Total workout: 3.94 miles in 33:49