Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The time I question every decision I've ever made

Yup.

If you Google "how to pace marathon," the general consensus is to start out slow and comfortable for the first 20 miles and pick up the pace for the last 10k. Well, that's dandy, except if you want to hit a very specific pace. This Saturday (AHH!) I have to actually start off a little (comfortably) fast, and maintain. That's the plan. That doesn't sound unreasonable. Kidding, it sounds totally unreasonable and it's screwing with my brain big time... 

Obviously my big goal is to BQ. 3:34:XX or less... however, I would like to do that with some cushion. Ideally, 3:33 or so. Is this doable? Who knows. Here's some pacing breakdowns.

Situation 1a- perfect even split, finish in 3:33, no extra mileage: 
8:07 / mile overall
1:46:20 at the half

Situation 1b- perfect even split, finish in 3:33, with an extra 0.2 miles lost on the course, total mileage 26.4 mi: 
8:04 / mile overall
1:45:XX at the half

Situation 2a- start off a little fast, no extra mileage:
8:00 / mile first half
1:44:XX at the half
8:16 / mile second half

Situation 2b- start off a little fast, extra 0.2 mi run on the course
8:00 / mile first half
1:44:XX at the half
8:08 / mile second half

Situation 1 is an even split. More likely, I'll positive split because that's the way my brain works. I've been running tempos at 8 min/mile or faster, so 8 min/mile doesn't seem super fast to my legs, especially if I'm going in super fresh. Will it seem fast after I do it for 26 miles? Of course.

I have told myself that anything could happen during this run. Anything at all. I might hit The Wall (did this during Richmond last year, hated every single second of the last 8.5 miles of that race). I might start off too slowly and never be able to make up the time. I might run too fast and flame out. I might still be full from Thanksgiving and waddle my way through the whole race. I'm unpredictable!
This picture is absolutely hilarious to me. I'm easily amused.

I've been poking around the Internet, read peoples' race reports, and I was jealous for a little while that I won't have that big-time marathon experience I'm used to. I won't have a pacer or bands every mile. Hell, there won't even be all that many water stops. But that means this is MY race. It is me making my legs go at a specific speed for 26.2 miles and reaching my goal. That is really exciting. 

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