Put on your Racing Hat
Alright, folks, the race is a mere 40 hours away and it’s just now starting to set in. The expo is opening today at 3pm and the “This is the Final Pre-Race Email” emails are hitting my inbox. Facebook is all a-twitter with updates from the local running stores and Twitter is all a-facebook with similar tweets. So with the race this weekend, let’s set some goals to hold me moderately accountable, shall we?
Since the San Antonio Marathon success my running never really found a groove. I put in some miles, but nothing too intense. A little less than three weeks ago, out of nowhere, I ran a blazing 3M Half Marathon, which zapped just about all of the remaining running motivation from my legs*. So now with the Austin Marathon happening on Sunday, I’ve had a tough time coming up with a good race plan. I’ll try to work backwards to come up with something coherent.
First, the weather and course have a lot to do with how I should approach Sunday. With a hilly course (about 19 miles uphill) and an expected 93% humidity, it’s not exactly ideal for setting any land-speed records. This would lend itself nicely to making a more conservative goal. Second, since my training has resembled something found in the ‘Potpourri’ category on Jeopardy!** than a structured training plan, I’d call this more of an experiment. In the final week before the race, when one should be tapering and resting, my workout log looks like this:
Saturday – 12.5 mile run
Sunday – 11.5 mile bike
Monday – lift weights
Tuesday – 5 mile run
Wednesday – 1 mile swim
Thursday – 5K time trial
Not exactly “textbook”. With all that out in the open, along with past results, delusional self-confidence, and good-old gut feel, I’m ready to state my goal for the race. If nothing catastrophic happens, we’ll be looking to come in under 3 hours 40 minutes, or 8:23 min/mile. That’s 18 minutes slower than San Antonio, and would be my fifth fastest*** marathon (out of ten). I think it’s reasonable, and takes into account all the unjustifiable justifications I make to myself.
Wish me luck and you can cheer for #612. It should be a good time for everyone! Come back for my race report, which is sure to be a doozy.
PS- Don’t forget to cheer for Derrick too, who will be working towards beating Oprah on his way to a new PR.
*If you couldn’t tell, I’m trying to lower your expectations with excuses for setting lower-than-usual goals. Thanks for playing along.
**Damn you, Watson!
***Or sixth slowest if you want to think of it that way, but that would make you a fun sponge.