Hope you had a Merry Christmas if you celebrate! If not I hope you had a wonderful Wednesday! While everyone is couch surfing and wishing they hadn’t eaten the 3rd (or 4th or 10th) cookie, I’m sitting here doing the same plus thinking about the marathon I’m running on Sunday. It’s a weird feeling to run a marathon just 4 days after Christmas, and while I thought about that when I signed up, I didn’t really think about what it would be like. I did my best this week to eat smart, stay hydrated, and not change a lot about what I do. But, that’s hard with Christmas and the normal festivities.
That being said, I’m confident in my ability to head up to Jacksonville on Saturday to run my second attempt at 26.2 miles. I look forward to reading other people’s thoughts and goals as they head into their bigger races, so I wanted to share mine!
I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon in January of this year, and it didn’t go as planned.
I raced Rev3 Florida 70.3 (half distance triathlon) on November 10th of this year, and it went exactly as planned.
Those are the two things that are dictating my thoughts and goals headed into Jacksonville Bank Marathon on Sunday. I want to have a redemption race to make up for how much I hated my experience at the Disney Marathon, and I know that I put my heart and soul into training for Rev3 this year, which led to a shortened marathon training cycle. I did get in a 16, 18, 20, and 22 miler, but the time period was shorter, and those runs were one week apart without a step back week in between.
I feel stronger and more prepared mentally and physically than I did for Disney, and the very extended amount of time that I spent preparing for Rev3 and then continuing to this marathon gives me a great amount of confidence that I have the physical strength to complete the distance in a stronger fashion than I did in January.
All of the positives and negatives are bouncing around in my head causing me to feel a bit confused and anxious. I go from feeling ready and confident one minute to feeling doubtful and unsure the next. I don’t know which side to trust, but I know which one will get me to the finish line. Therefore, I’m choosing the stronger voice, and I’m going to spend the next 2+ days and 4+ hours of the race reminding myself that I can and will do this!
Here are my plans and goals:
I’m just going to be honest, because I’m never not. I originally said that I wanted to run 10 minute miles, but I have found over the course of my long runs that I’m actually stronger than that and would be running slower than on long runs if I went that pace. Therefore, I’ve readjusted. I’m planning on starting the race in the high 9’s with the intention of holding that pace for the first bit. If all goes well my goal marathon pace would be 9:35-9:45. That’ in ideal conditions and circumstances.
Then, if I feel good at 18-20, which makes me laugh since it’s where I entered the twilight zone (I can’t even say hit the wall because I feel like it was far worse than that) at Disney, I’ll pick it up.
So as far as times are concerned, my PR is 4:36:00 from the only marathon I’ve done. I started this training saying I’d like to go sub 4:30, since my training cycle was smushed. The 9:45 pace would put me at a 4:15:45, and the 9:35 pace would put me at a 4:11:30. Those just seem fast to me.
So what is my goal? To finish the race strong. I’d love to not walk at any point during the race. And I’d really love to hold a pace between 9:35-9:45. If the wheels fall off again I’m hoping I can recover better because I know what to expect. I’m hoping I can beat the mental demons that come from nowhere and get in under 4:30. And that’s about as honest as you’ll get from me, because that’s about all I’ve got shaking around in my brain right now.
For fueling I’ll take a GU at 5, 10, 15, and 20, and I’ll take salt tabs along the way. I’m planning on just using the water stations, but I’m still thinking about this one. The weather looks like it’s going to be rainy and/or stormy, so if you could send positive thoughts to Jacksonville for this Sunday morning that would be much appreciated.
I know more of what I’m in for, but I know there will still be some surprises along the way.
You can track me using the app RaceJoy. You can search for my bib number 421, and then it uses my GPS in my phone that I’ll be carrying (unless it’s flooding rain) to track where I am on the course.