This time around things are going to be different. For one, I have 10 more years of experience under my belt. Secondly, I'm mentally a lot tougher than I used to be. When things start to hurt, as I know they will, I won't get down on myself and I won't slow down. I'll work through the hurt. Obviously I want to hurt to stay away for as long as possible so that's where my pacing plan will come in.
My goal is to go sub 3:20. I'm not sure how possible that will be given that my legs are still not 100%. I'd say they are still at about 85%. I ran this morning and my left leg still had some nerve pinching going on. I'm hoping with some tennis ball rolling and anti inflammatories that I get to 95% by race day. To go sub 3:20 I need to run 4:44 km's (7:37 miles) at the very least. I ran that pace on my long run last weekend and it felt easy despite the less than ideal condition of my legs so that's a good thing. The first 500 m from the start line is a pretty steep drop which evens out a bit and then continues to drop for the next 3.5 miles so it's easy to get carried away. My plan is to hold myself back slightly for those first 4 downhill miles. If I'm running a bit slower than goal pace, I'm ok with that. Once the course starts to even out, my goal is to settle into my marathon pace. I don't plan on trying to negative split this race, my goal is to run it consistently. If I have a slight positive split, that's ok. My biggest concern is that I will get caught up in the starting rush of adrenaline and go out too hard for the few first km and shred my quads. If I can manage to run a fairly consistent pace that feels comfortable for the first half, then my hope is that I might actually have a bit left in the tank to pick up the pace once I get out of the Newton Hills. And that will all depend on how my legs feel race morning. Only time will tell.
I obviously really did a number on them at Around the Bay but, as I said before, I don't have any regrets. Especially now because when I came home last night, I had some mail from the folks at Around the Bay. I thought maybe I got a finishers certificate since I was in the top 5 in my age group. I opened up the envelope to find this:
I couldn't believe it. 2nd place?? How the hell did THAT happen? When you look online I'm listed as fourth in my age group, however they do have a masters category so I'm assuming that a couple of the women in my age group placed overall in that category, thus bumping me up to second in my age group. Whatever the case may be, it totally made my day.
I'm still not packed which is kind of stressing me out. I've been so busy at work that I haven't been able to give much thought to anything else. I come home late so I scarf something down, pack my bag for my next days workout, make my lunch and then I'm so tired I have to go to bed. I suspect that tonight will be a late night and I won't get much in the way of sleep since G wants to hit the road at 5:00 am tomorrow. I can always sleep in the car though so I'm not too fussed about that. All I need to do is get through today without too much stress (ha ha, yeah right) and then it's literally off to the race(s)!
Bring it on!