Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pre-Race Thoughts

So tomorrow is the 3M Half Marathon, which I've been training and preparing for for several months now. I'm feeling pretty well, if a bit anxious. I picked up my packet/schwag bag this morning. I haven't done many races, but this one definitely takes the cake for amount of stuff, mostly 3M products. I have my clothes all laid out for tomorrow. I have been hydrating myself all day and yesterday. I have been scarfing down sugary things in the name of "carbo loading." I think I'm actually ready, as long as I can get a good night's sleep, something I haven't done the past couple of nights.

So, my goals for the race are as follows:
  1. Don't permanently injure myself
  2. Finish the course
  3. Have a time under 2:30

My ready excuses, should I fail to meet all of those goals:
  1. Knee injury. I hurt my knee running on XMas day, and I haven't really given it the proper time to heal, apparently. Most days it's fine, until I twist it just so or I go running.
  2. Allergies. January is the season of my only real allergy: Ashe Juniper (aka Cedar Fever). I don't have any real evidence of this, but it's possible that beyond red eyes and runny nose it could cause me asthma-like symptoms
  3. Donating blood. I gave blood 3 weeks ago, surely leading me to have a deficiency of red blood cells. I went for a run one week after donating and quit after 2.5 miles due to fatigue, which is unlike any other recent runs. Last weekend I ran 4 miles, and it went much better, but not quite as well as before donating.

My strategy for the race is to start with the 2:10 pace group (roughly a 10 minute mile pace) for the first four miles, which are hilly. I'll pick it from mile 4 to mile 6, an almost exclusively downhill section, possibly as quick as a 9 minute pace. I'll slow it down again, maybe to the 9:30 to 10' range pace between miles 8 and 12, which are up and down in elevation. From mile 12 to the end, my plan is to use everything I've got left. That last stretch is mostly downhill, so depending on my legs, heart and lungs, I could possibly even go sub-9'.

So, now time for a big ol' pasta dinner, a little more vegging out, and early to bed. Hopefully the weather man's wrong about the rain, or at least it holds off until I've finished my race.

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