Has it really been two months since IMFL already? I’m already on my 2nd race since then! I keep my race schedule busy since I know I would slack off if I didn’t have some sort of goal to hit and spending money really forces me to focus. 8) And I love the crowd on race day. This isn’t my first rodeo (or marathon for that matter) and I like taking each race as an opportunity to continually tweak and improve my performance through training and preparation. So how did that go for this race?
I don’t want to say I took the race lightly because I didn’t but I didn’t focus my training nearly as much as I normally do. A marathon feels almost, well, easy since IMFL and nervousness of how I might perform on raceday just isn’t there. I want to do better than 4:18 since that’s my PR but I feel ready to at least do that much. My most recent long run was 18 miles at a 9:43 pace and that felt like something I could hold all day. Soon after IMFL I actually felt like I’d struggle to PR the race since I had really put my body through a lot at that race but by mid December I started to see my speed return and I think the last 6 weeks of training were just spectacular. I got my volume in without overdoing it.
This part is always tough but I really think I succeeded in my taper. Last marathon I think I pushed myself a little too hard through the taper. I didn’t taper at race pace. Every run up until the end was me pushing myself. I was actually following a specific plan but even though I had my best marathon ever I actually attribute that to the training up to the taper and not the taper itself. I think with fresher legs I would have done better in the race and not been sidelined for 3+ weeks with a sore ITB. So my mileage for this taper was nearly identical but I did all my runs the past couple weeks at the pace I intend to run the race at until around mile 20 when I’ll kick it in a bit.
The plan is to have fun! I’m really excited because every other marathon I’ve done I’ve run completely alone. Space Coast was my only chance to run with someone but my friend Holly and I only lasted a few miles together. My plan is to run a 9:45 pace for the first 13 miles and then pick it up ever so slightly over the rest of the race. (At Space Coast I think my 13.1 split was 2:00 on the dot at around a 9:08 pace…and I faded badly from there) The great part about this is Melanie is doing the half marathon and the races start together. So we’ll start together and have an easy run to the halfway point. Then she gets to relax and wait for me to finish. My goal time is about 4:15 but if I’m feeling it I may try for a 4:10.