Marathon week is here! Five days until the big day, so all I can really do now is sit back and wait. (And not gain five pounds by eating everything in sight, which is quite difficult.) I had a three mile run this morning, which was so short! It takes 1.5-2 mile just to get warmed up, and then the run is pretty much over! My favorite part of run is when I get to where I have 2.5 miles to go because at 8:00 min/mile pace, that's twenty minutes. And no matter how bad I feel, I can always convince myself that I can run for twenty minutes. I can run for over two hours, twenty minutes is a piece of cake! (More on cake in a later post!) However, when you only run three miles, you hit the "twenty minutes to go" mark only four minutes into your run...it loses its effect. ANYWAY.
Monday, April 27
3.04 miles in 23:48, avg pace of 7:49
The run was over before I knew it even started. Weather is awesome today, and still looks good for Saturday:
Looking better for me and my fantastic spectators. As much as I don't want to run in the rain, I'm sure my family doesn't want to watch me run in the rain, although they would be there no matter what because they love me. Awww. :)
Since it is marathon week, now is as good a time as ever to lay out my marathon goals. Mini history lesson for those new to the program:
2006 Marine Corps Marathon, 3:51. Challenge: Marching for eight hours starting at 3pm the day before the marathon.
2007 Chicago Marathon, 4:12. Challenge: HEAT WAVE.
Excellent. With a little background knowledge, here are my goals for Saturday:
Goal A: First and foremost, I want to qualify for Boston. 3:40 (8:24 min/mile) is qualifying for a 24 year old female such as myself. I think that this is definitely doable given my training thus far.
Goal B: I'm thinking a reasonable, attainable time goal for me would be 3:30 (8:01 min/mile). All of my long runs (16+ miles) have hovered around an average pace of 8:01-8:06, which makes me think this is a goal I can achieve, especially since the day before my two 20 milers, I worked from 5:30am-3pm (serving = on my feet the whole time) and then ran 10 miles. I will be much better rested come Saturday.
Goal C: Anything under 3:30 would be awesome. Based on how I feel on race day, I think that 3:25 (7:50 min/mile) is a possibility, but I don't want to go out at 7:50 pace. To beat the Rocket Scientist's time, I have to run under 3:23:10 (7:46 min/mile)...probably not this time around, but you never know.
I plan to attack the splits like I've been doing in my long runs. I'll shoot to be around 8:15 for the first two miles, then drop down to the 8:00 pace. Around the third mile is when I usually start hitting the right pace, so this will allow time for my legs to warm up and get into long run mode. The plan is to hold this 8:00 pace until around the half (give or take...no freaking out if I run 7:52 or 8:10 or whatever, it will all average out), when I plan to evaluate how I'm feeling to see what my plan is for the second half. If I feel like I can drop time on my miles, I'll go right ahead and aim for 7:50's. If I want to hold pace, then we can do that too. In my 20 milers, my last five miles were my fastest, so it gives me confidence that I can run strong to the end.
Honestly? I think that I can run faster than 3:30. However, I don't want to go out too fast and then die late in the race. My overall plan for 2009 is to qualify for Boston this spring, and then be more aggressive in a fall marathon to really see what I can do (with added speedwork, a little higher mileage, etc). I don't know if this is the best way to go about it, but I will feel more comfortable on Saturday if I am more conservative with my time goals.
Of course, the general plan is to be flexible and take what comes on race day. I can't do anything to change my training now, what will be, will be. (But I can freak out a little between now and then, right??)