Friday, November 15, 2013

Strategery Part 1

The only thing I ever think about is this marathon. I dream about it. I babble to my parents and my husband about it. I bring it up in conversations because I have no social skills and it's the only thing that's interesting* about me right now. Right now, what's weighing on my mind is my race strategy.
I sometimes say strategery and I worry people will think my brain is broken. I'm using it ironically, I swear.

Steamtown was fun. Tons of fun. I swear I was smiling the whole race. I didn't really start the countdown of doom until about 4 miles left (4 miles to go... 3.9 miles... 3.6... I'm going to die here.. 3.2... ) and I certainly never hit the Wall, very luckily. NCR will be a wee bit different though. Let's list the ways.

1) Out and back course - yup, 13.1 miles out, 13.1 miles right back to where I started (the first and last 2 miles deviate a little, but not much). That's bound to mess with my mind. A lot. Also, Nick (and my dad if he chooses to come) won't be able to pop up at multiple places along the course. They could theoretically drive to various spots, but it'll be tricky. Plus side- very, very few tangents to worry about.

2) On a trail - No cute holiday decorations to look at. No cars. No policemen. No screaming fans. This part worries me the most, since I thrive off of spectator support. Spectators are just the best thing ever, and I love that there are people out there cheering runners on. There will be less of that this time, and it scares me.

3) <600 runners - I won't have masses of runners around me. I won't have people chatting away, or fun costumes, or jugglers, or any of those nice distractions that normally occur during a bigger marathon. Just me and my mind movies.

4) There's a relay - this race has folks running a 2 person relay option. So that means I'll have speedy people who are only running for 1.5 hours blowing by me in the first few miles, and then nice fresh runners popping up again at mile 13+. I am imagining the amount of hatred I'll be feeling toward those runners, and it is substantial. Whole bunch of hate.

5) Fewer water stops - This is a small race, and they have water/Gatorade stops every 3-3.5 miles. This means I'll be able to get water almost as often as I usually want to, but not QUITE as often. And heaven forbid I deviate from what I'm used to and screw something up. So, I'll be carrying my own water bottle. This is not the end of the world but it sorta feels like it right now.

6) I'm running with a specific goal in mind - The piece de resistance. I'll actually be pushing myself during this. Instead of zoning out and running super comfortably like I did during Steamtown, I'll need to be checking mile splits and doing mental math. Although mental math keeps me busy, it's also detrimental to an enjoyable race. I'll be out there for more than 3.5 hours no matter what, so I hope I can find a happy spot between obsessing and letting my legs do their own thing. 

In a future post, I'll talk about how I'm dealing with these differences, and how I plan on making it a solid race, despite all these stupid things worrying me.

*Interesting is subjective. It's like pictures of your dog/cat/kid. Only you really care about it, but love makes you think that everyone else should care too. 

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