Ah, the all important time when I figure out what the *$#@ I'm doing in the race! I have been ignoring the fact that I have a marathon coming up for the most part- I've done my miles, but I've been taking it easy on pre-race strategizing so far. It is time for that to change.
Of course, I would like to PR tomorrow. Who doesn't want to PR in every race, right? To do that, I would need to finish in under 3:56:44. That means better than 9:01 per mile. But I really don't want to have that number in my head. I want a more ambitions number, with 9:01 as the top of my pace range.
The questions is, then, what is a goal that I would like to achieve, that isn't far from reality for my training and my recent 2:55 finish (8:45/mile) at the Clarksburg 20? If I go with my Clarksburg pace, I would finish in 3:49:24. That would actually be fantastic. I would love to finish in under 3:50. I wasn't completely dead at the end of Clarksburg, so perhaps 8:45 is an achievable pace for CIM.
So here we go with goals:
Goal 1: Finish under 3:50 (8:45/mile pace)
Goal 2: Finish under 3:56:44 (new PR- 9:01/mile)
Goal 3: Finish under 4:00 (9:09/mile pace)
Are those goals ambitious enough? My gut feeling is yes. When I add in the fact that I could hardly swallow when I woke up this morning (which resolved with a full dose of DayQuill), I think those goals are just fine.
Here are splits for Goal 1.
Tomorrow will have a high of 60, low of 39, and it should be sunny. Shorts, short sleeve shirt, hat and sunglasses. I'll still have to figure out how to see in the morning, and have sunglasses with me (too dark to wear before sunrise), but I will manage I think.
The pre-race food plan is to eat when I get up- maybe toast or a waffle. Take a pre-cooked portion of oatmeal with me, plus a banana. Eat that "real" breakfast around 5:45, when I should be just getting to the start on the bus. I think I'll take coffee with me on the bus, but I will need to find disposable cups to accomplish that.
During the race, I will have Gu at 2 miles, Gu Chomps at 7 miles, Gu at 12, Chomps at 17, and Gu again at 22 miles. I'll keep those in my water belt, which I'll use most of the time. Since it only holds 20 ounces, I'll use the aid stations as well.
Okay, I think I'm ready! Marathon 3, here I come!