It’s the witching hour, 3 days to go before the Garden Spot Village Marathon; three gloriously gluttonous carb loading days before embarking on the 26.2 mile road to “hell and back”! So I am being a bit dramatic for affect, because to be honest I have fallen in love with running this distance. It does get uncomfortable somewhere after mile 18-20. Possibly even painful, but I think running a marathon is similar to giving birth….you remember it hurt but the memory of the pain becomes fuzzy with time, and after enough time passes, and you begin to think…Huh…that wasn’t so bad, I could totally do that again! There is something about overcoming that pain, and the realization of how far you can really push your body that makes it so addictive. And it’s all mental; I’m not an incredible athlete by any means, I’m not the fastest runner, I’m just a 33 year old mommy and IT nerd with a running problem. I think that is the most amazing thing about running a marathon, with the right mental attitude and training, ANYONE can run a marathon. You see people of all ages and body sizes, elite runners, women in tutus, people running for loved ones and fallen heroes, for various causes, with different goals…all toeing the starting line of a race together. Then the collective power and energy that you experience (and are part of) during a race is indescribable. You become part of something bigger than yourself; you become part of the loving and supportive community of runners!
I apologize for the sappiness! It comes along with the self-reflection before a one of my big (goal) races. On a less serious note, I decided to actually look at the course map and runner’s guide for the first time ever. My motto in the past has always been to just wing it, let the course surprise me…after all, it feels more like an adventure that way, right? Well yes, but this time I decided I’d try something different and actually come up with some kind of plan/race strategy. I guess I’ll see how that goes! 😉
This non-planners marathon plan:
- Packet pick-up and pasta dinner at 5 pm Friday at Garden Spot Village Visitor Center
- 5 am wake-up, Breakfast: Bagel with peanut butter, banana + Coffee
I’ll look something like this before my coffee….
- Get to start by 7 am, Snack: Cliff bar and apple sauce
- 8 am race start time
- Maintain an average pace of 8:18 per mile (For projected 3:37:37 finish time)
o Cool running web-site has a nifty pace calculator that can be used to calculate splits: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/4/4_1/96.shtml
o 1 Mile 00:08:18
o 2 Mile 00:16:36
o 3 Mile 00:24:54
o 4 Mile 00:33:12
o 5 Mile 00:41:30
o 6 Mile 00:49:48
o 7 Mile 00:58:06
o 8 Mile 01:06:24
o 9 Mile 01:14:42
o 10 Mile 01:23:00
o 11 Mile 01:31:18
o 12 Mile 01:39:36
o 13 Mile 01:47:54
o 14 Mile 01:56:12
o 15 Mile 02:04:30
o 16 Mile 02:12:48
o 17 Mile 02:21:06
o 18 Mile 02:29:24
o 19 Mile 02:37:42
o 20 Mile 02:46:00
o 21 Mile 02:54:18
o 22 Mile 03:02:36
o 23 Mile 03:10:54
o 24 Mile 03:19:12
o 25 Mile 03:27:30
o 26 Mile 03:35:48
o 26.21875 Mile 03:37:36.93
- This is an out and back course with slight/short hills between miles 2-3, 4-5, and 21-23. There is a lot of downhill to make up for any time lost climbing hills. The last hill between miles 21-23 which will be mentally brutal, but knowing it is followed by a downhill finish will make it easier to hang in there.
- There are water stations at mile 2, 4, 7, 9.5, 12, 15.5, 18, 20.5, 23.5
o Had to double check…9 water stations (1 less than what I am used to) so it is important not to skip any, since I don’t like racing with my water belt (It weighs me down and moves around too much).
- Gels are provided at every water station but there is no other food on course! Yikes!
o I am one hungry girl to begin with and have a high maintenance tummy does not tolerate gels well. This means I will have to carry a fanny pack…ummm….I mean “fuel belt” (Because REAL athletes use fuel belts not fanny packs!….Riiight…Haha) stashed with some of my favorite greedy runner snacks; honey packets, gummy bears, marshmallows, dried cherries, pretzels, and frozen grapes. So yes, this is all food a toddler would eat, but that’s how I roll! I take Flintstone Chewable Multivitamins too! (Like I said, VERY touchy tummy, so rather than fake the funk, I go with what works for me).
- Get to the finish line and party like its Rumspringa!!
o The finish line festivities include homemade chocolate shakes (Yummmmmy!!! I’m not going to lie, this was the only thing I read before, and was the deciding factor for me signing up for this race!), massages, and hot tubs! Also, runners get to eat/drink anything from the concessions for free! Totally unheard of!
- Blog about it! So I can share with all of you how much fun my race was! 😉
Do you plan a race day strategy or do you prefer to wing it?