Last run before the Manitoba Marathon and I felt pretty good. So I am going into the race healthy, which is good and was the main goal after I lost so much training time and endurance back in April and May.
So…what is the run going to be like tomorrow? What is my plan? What are my goals?
Well tomorrow should be a “character building exercise”. I haven’t done a good long run (over 13.1) since March and I don’t know what my mental game will be like later in the race. There will probably be a lot of “f**k this” moments that I will have to fight through.
My plan is to treat this not as a race but as a training run. It is 16 weeks today until the 12 hour Lemming Loop and hitting well over 50 miles in that endurance challenge will be my focus once I get done the race tomorrow. I’m hoping that treating the race like a long, slow training run will help the mental game and help me push through.
I know from recent runs that I can still pull around a 2 hour half marathon at what feels like a relatively easy pace. I expect that I will try to push myself to be just under 2 hours for the first half and then go hunting for The Wall. I don’t know where my personal wall stands at this point so I’m going to have to play that by feel. I’m hoping with not pushing too hard I will find it around mile 16-17 or so, or about 2.5 hours in.
From there the run will be about playing every trick I have learned in my previous 10 marathons (some of which I were in much worse shape for than I am now) to just keep going. Run/walk cycles, straight out walking, talking to myself, concentrating on something positive, switching to audio books instead of music to distract the mind, etc – all things I have tried before with different measures of success.
Strangely if I look at various marathon finish time calculators and plug in my WPS Half Marathon time from May, I get predictions just over the 4 hour mark and a new PR. That is pretty hilarious – I suspect that won’t happen but it strangely is in the realm of possibility because of other elements that have slowed my best marathon races down. For example my 2 fastest marathons 4:09:44 and 4:15:01 were both heavily impacted by weather. My PR I did a half a month previous at 1:46 giving a predicted time around 3:45 but I had my knee wonk out and cold rain sapped my energy and I bonked so I got 4:09:44 instead. Fro the 4:15:01 race – I bonked from the heat at about the 2:15 mark and walked for an hour straight before feeling restored and starting to run again. For the Dopey Challenge / WDW Marathon in January 2015 it looks like I could have gone under 4 hours but I made close to 25 stops for pictures, etc (some with a fairly long wait) and still came in at 4:40. So as dumb as it sounds I could hit near the 4 hour mark and get a new PR. That is not what I expect but weird shit happens in marathons.
So what are my goals?
Well – honestly, to finish. Sounds hokey but with how my training has gone a DNF is possible and I will definitely have to watch myself closely so I can catch anything that might lead to an actual injury or damage. As I said, I want to take this as a training run so it will be about finishing healthy and relatively undamaged so I can focus on the next thing.
Beyond that, like I indicated above, I want to hit the half way point in close to 2 hours and then do as best as I can from there. Sub 4:30 would be glorious but sub 5:00 is more likely and should be achievable.
Really tomorrow is a bit of a crap shoot and I am going to learn things about myself I am sure. At least they aren’t predicting the drenching we got last year or blistering heat – should take weather mostly out of the equation and allow me to focus on just the running.
PS – if by some miracle I do hit a new PR, I will be signing up for a marathon in September prior to the 12 hour Lemming Loop so I can set a PR by training and not by fluke.