Sunday, October 12, 2008

Official MDI Marathon Preview

That pretty much sums it up. After a ten year hiatus from running, I've gotten back into it this year, and I think I'm ready for MDI. I'm not afraid, but I don't really know what I'm getting into. I just don't whine as much as Luke.

Last weekend, D and I did our official course preview. It's going to be hard. The whole thing is bumpy, and there are a number of big hills. The biggest hills seem to be from mile 9 to 10, from mile 16 to 17, and from 19 to 20. Then it gets interesting. It's basically all uphill from 21 to 25. I have no idea who devised this course, but he was most likely dumped by his girlfriend the night before. It's definitely going to be a test. It's beautiful, but I doubt I'll appreciate it during the race.

Since this is my first marathon, I'm not really sure what to expect.

Oh, yeah, that.

Anyway, here's my basic race plan: I'm going to treat the first 12 miles as warm up. Twelve miles has become a real comfortable distance for me. There are water stops every two miles, so at the 12-mile aid station, I'm going to take a quick break. After this, I'm going to start to pick it up gradually from this point through mile 20. Just a touch quicker. Everyone says, the marathon starts at 20, so I want to feel solid at that point. I think with this plan I'll feel tired-ish, but ready to work. Mile 20 to 21 is flat-ish, so I'll regroup as best I can, then go to work. Every time I think about the marathon, which is often, I see myself running well on these hills. All my training runs have been hilly, and I ran up Mt. Washington this year. I'm sure I'll be playing that mental game with myself. In my last long run, I felt great the last few miles, so I think I'm ready to go. Again, I've never run this distance, but I feel ready.

As far as time goes, the number in my head is 3:49. That's 8:45 per mile. That's the pace I'm planning for the first 12. For a while, I was considering running without my watch. I don't want to get caught up time. I want to pay attention to how I feel. But, I know that without my watch, I'm guaranteed to feel great and go through 5 miles in 39 minutes. That would be really bad. I'm going to have splits for 6, 12, half and 20 either memorized or written on my arm. (Sorry, Ian, no pace tat.) Again, I don't want to get too caught up, but I want to have some kind of gauge. Ultimately, I'd be happy to be under 4 hours, but I haven't ruled out being able to run faster than 3:49. Not to sound like a broken record, but I just don't know what to expect. I'm optimistic.

I'm feeling good. The PF is minimal and shouldn't be a factor. D and I did our last long run today. Well, it wasn't long, but it was 8 miles. I actually felt a bit sluggish, but it was very comfortable. (The sluggishness could easy be contributed to the super delicious, homemade french toast and homefries for breakfast. Oh, bacon, too.) I think that's a normal taper feeling. I will admit to being nervous. My stomach was a mess a couple days ago, and I have more zits than a freshman gym class. But, if I wasn't nervous, I don't think I'd be ready to run.

So, there's less than a week to go.


Jamie said...

Awesome! Just think, one week form now you'll be a marathoner! Great you guys previewed the course. The hills are indeed big and long, but hey, we all have to run them. :-)

Looking forward to this weekend. I noticed you and Danielle also have tickets to the pasta dinner. Cool, we'll see you guys there as well as around the hotel, I'm sure. Enjoy the final week of tapering.

mindy said...

You are SO ready. I'll be the one on the sweet bike with a box of wine and some bacon. Oh, and totally bummed that I'm not running. Looking forward to seeing you guys, though!

Trail Monster Running said...

Like I said last week, piece of piss. I finished my first marathon in 3:49:02 (on an easier course, Loch Ness) but I fully expect you to beat that time. Sounds like your pace plans are good, you want to be aware of what you're doing but not stressing over it. It's hard (and not wise in my opinion) to run an even split on a hilly course, consistent effort not necessarily consistent pace.

You'll do great, and maybe Mindy will make you a peanut butter and bacon sandwich when you finish.

sn0m8n said...

Why don't they make bacon flavored gels? How awesome would that be?!?!?

Trail Monster Running said...

They do...