Race week is here! And I am suddenly interested in the weather forecast for this Saturday. I am checking on the hour to see if there is any change in the forecast. Spoiler alert: it is meant to be in the low 50s and raining. This is a little bit of a flashback for me. My running story basically began a couple of months after I turned 30 back in 2012 (and if you can do math I’ve just given away my age). I decided for my thirtieth year that I would run a half marathon. It seemed like I was the only one in my friend group who hadn’t run a half marathon. I signed up for a race in October and started increasing the frequency of my runs in November before starting Hal Higdon’s novice half marathon training plan in January. I followed this plan to a T – literally not missing a single run. Come race day I was as prepared as a first timer could have hoped. Nervous to run 13.1 miles for the first time. The one thing that I had not prepared for was the weather.
A couple of days before the race I received an email from the race organizers warning about high temperatures and advising us to think about our hydration. Then Utah May weather happened and suddenly it was forecast to rain. And it did. A lot. Non stop. While we were waiting at the start line it was a light drizzle, but on cue as soon as we put our gear bags in the truck it started to pour and I was soaked before the race started. And it did not let up for the entire race. I was so wet that my shoes were squelching at every step. My legs were numb, and I tried to negotiate around the most flooded part of the road. It was pretty miserable. To make matters worse, I finished slightly faster than I had been expecting (no – that isn’t the bad thing) but my husband was late to find me (surprisingly he didn’t want to wait around in the rain to watch people finish) and they had totally screwed up the bag collection so that I couldn’t find my dry clothes for over half an hour. I don’t think I stopped shaking from the cold until half way through my very hot post race shower.
So this Saturday I’m returning to the site of this first half marathon – this time to take on the full. It looks like my Ogden curse will continue because after a week of pleasant temperatures it is forecast to rain. Again. Right now, I have no idea if this will be a couple of showers later in the day (fingers crossed) or non-stop torrential downpour like my last experience here. Start praying to the rain gods that we’ll be spared the worst of it!
On the plus side -> after last week’s struggles I am finally starting to feel good. Sunday’s 10 miler felt amazing. I managed to nail even splits on my recovery run (and actually keep it slow). And today I got in a couple of quick miles before breakfast. Now all that stands between me and my marathon is another rest day and a two mile shake out on Friday morning.
Sun: 10 miles at 8.43 min/mile pace
Mon: 3.9 miles at 9.29 min/mile pace (9.27/9.26/9.30/9.32)
Wed: 4 miles at 8.18 min/mile pace (8.49/8.08/7.43/8.34)
This week has been all about rest, extra sleep and carbs (rice/potatoes/pasta). I don’t really get the taper crazies. The only thing that happens is that I get extra freaked out by any slight pain, so I have been wearing my compression socks night and day. But as of right now my body has no complaints -> which is a miracle.
I do have some goals for the race but am trying to go into it as relaxed as possible. My worries about a tight calf went away after drinking some champagne at a work function yesterday afternoon. So here goes.
A. Finish in one piece.
I think after this training cycle getting to the finish line without injury would be a total victory. I know that marathons hurt and I’m ready for that but actual injury – no thanks.
B. Enjoy it.
This one might be a little weather dependent. Back in February/March I couldn’t run. On Saturday I plan on running 26.2 miles. That is an achievement in itself. I need to enjoy the process. Luckily, and because of my shortened training schedule I didn’t suffer any burnt-out while training for this race and I am excited (if a little apprehensive) to get out there and do it.
C. Run even splits.
Really I should say don’t hit the wall too hard. In my first marathon I managed a 2 minute negative split and I would like to take the first couple of miles to warm-up and then keep as consistent a pace as I can manage.
D. Time goal.
You knew there had to be one in here somewhere, right? These are a little funny for me – putting it out there and hoping you don’t end up looking like an idiot. In reality I am hoping to finish sub-4. My plan is to run between 8.50-9.00 minute miles. The race is pretty much all downhill but not too steep so it’s a perfect course to run fast. Looking at my long run paces (a 20 miler on the flat at 9.13 min/miles) I think it is possible. But this is my D goal so if it doesn’t happen I won’t be that sad about it.
Wish me luck! And no rain.
And good luck to everyone running this weekend.