I have a marathon on Sunday so why not dedicate an entire Three Things Thursday post to it?
1. Race Build-up: Well, it's almost here. And yes, it does feel like I'm running a marathon the weekend. I know eight isn't a ton of marathons but still this isn't my first pony ride, so you'd think by now I'd have developed some things that worked to keep me from feeling anxious or nervous about a marathon. Alas, I'm quite anxious now just a few days away. It's funny though because I know that I'm going to finish the marathon. I know that like I know the sun is coming up tomorrow morning. And yet, I've still got these feelings. Oh well. Physically I feel fine. My foot is still bothering me here and there but not enough to prevent me from running the race or even changing much up. It's mostly a post-run issue. I've unfortunately not been able to run long since my 20-miler so I am kind of worried that will have a negative effect on the race but again not enough to keep me from finishing the race. I know I'm going to finish. There's no way I'm not.
2. Race Strategy: So how will I finish this race? In one piece, hopefully. I want to finish strong. I'll have my brother Danny pacing me down the stretch so that will help, but I will still have to run the miles. Can't get around that. My plan though is for him to keep a 10-minute mile, hopefully a little faster, and for me to just follow along. I want to get into position to run at that pace over the last six miles so taking care of myself the first 20 miles will be important. I don't want to burn out physically or emotionally by, say, Mile 15. I just have to be smart the first few miles, get into a groove and stay there, fend off any mental demons and get to 20 in one piece. If I do that, I'll be fine.
3. Race Goals: My first and foremost goal is to finish. If I'm not going to enjoy my accomplishment then why bother going? I don't want to spend all this time and effort into something and then not enjoy it by setting up and then failing to meet a goal time that may have been too ambitious or unrealistic? I won't, refuse to. Still, there needs to be some sort of time goal I think, to keep me honest. I want to finish in under 4:30. If I do that I'll be happy. I don't think I can PR (4:23:12 is my current PR) but I do think I can run it in under 4:30 - the course is super flat and no issues with the weather either (at least I hope not). If I can get under 4:30 I'll be happy. If I don't, well guess what - I'll add another medal to my medal rack, and that is never a bad thing.