Hard to fathom that I am 3 days away from yet another marathon, my first marathon in nearly 2 years. It took 4 complete days off and a week of light running to get me here, but it appears the sharp pain in my left calf that ended my plans for a final 18 miler on October 28th is final gone.
The timing of that injury I guess was not such a bad thing. It literally forced me to take it easy, with 2 weeks remaining before a planned marathon. I guess having 5 17+ milers between September 2 and October 5, followed by a 5K on October 14 (as well as September 23) and half marathon on October 21, was reasonable training. I didn't exactly blow the doors off with my buildup, but I've set myself moderate expectations for this Sunday.
My goal is anything below 3 hours. If I average 6:50 pace for the entire race, I can do it. Given my middle-of-the-road training, I am DETERMINED this time not to go out too fast. The first 18 miles of the course are pretty flat/downhill. With fairly cool temperatures expected over the weekend, I'm hoping I can average about 6:45 pace up to mile 18. That would get me to mile 18 in 2:01:50. I could then target no slower than 7:00 pace over the final 8.2 miles to achieve my goal.
If it doesn't work out, no big deal. I'll be happy enough to finish this one in one piece after what I've been through the last few years. I just need to run smart and not worry about others around me.
I ran this course 2 years ago on a hot day and after training that was severely impacted by colds and bronchitis. My time that year was 3:05 but I was generally faster then, able to run a 5K in the 17:30 range. Now I'm running closer to 18:15 in the 5K.
I'm o.k. if I give it my best shot and can't get my time goal, but run a solid race. I'll be bummed out if I pull up lame with an injury. Crossing my fingers...