So with the big running race of my season being about a solid week away and things being pretty jittery around here, I just thought I would drop a blog entry down about the specific goals that I have for the upcoming Chicago Marathon
Normally I throw a bunch of little smaller goals with increasing difficulty down here just as a motivator to myself and to let folks know what I think I might be able to do. I haven’t truly flat out raced a stand alone marathon since 2008 and there were some hiccups there as well. (well the last marathon I ran was NYC marathon in 2009, but I was coming back from the crash and was only on like 8 weeks of run training at that point.) The last marathon that I truly raced my heart out was my PR, Boston back in 2008.
So I have been doing some massive training and done some things a little different this marathon than I have for others. I was out on the last little track workout last night and realized it might not be enough (or it just might be “Taper City Blues” right now…but we’ll see) I’ve given up caffeine and that’s been a real difficulty for me. For some reason, even though I enjoy my coffee regularly, it’s been really hard to give up. I’ve never COMPLETELY given up caffeine for a race, just kind of cut back. Last week I had 2 half cups of coffee at the office and a Mountain Dew (my Achilles heel) on lunch. This week – NADA. I’m still finding that I’m dropping the ball mentally on a few things, like sending emails without attachments, but I know that the benefits of going chemical free for this race will be good. The other day at my office, I brewed coffee for everyone just to get the smell in my nostrils. (I swear I felt like a crack addict) I only have about a cup or two a day, but it was enough to make it hard to kick the habit. I won’t keep it up after the marathon I’m sure, but I just wanted to see what racing like this would do.
But anyway, past the ridiculousness of me, I wanted to get some solid goals down on paper (well, kinda…) for this race. The number one thing I want to do is really leave it all out on the course. I mean completely be spent by the time I get to the finish line and know that I couldn’t have run faster. I have the tendency to “front run” in local races and take it out way too hard, but this one I’m going to try and negative split. But we’ll see. My previous PR for a marathon is a 2:53 that I ran in Boston in 2008 and I’d like to drop 10 minutes off of that. At least get under 2:50. And I think I have the fitness to as well. I ran the Buffalo Half Marathon in 1:17:10 earlier this year and if you double that, add a few minutes for fatigue, you might be around that sub 2:45 mark. But only time will tell, so as it stands, here are my goals:
1. Run a SOLID HARD and well run race
2. PR in the marathon distance (sub 2:53)
3. Beat Diane Matthews PR (my buddy Brian’s sister who ran a 2:48:10 at Chicago)
4. Run a sub 2:45 marathon
I earlier thought that I might be able to swing a LOW 2:4X marathon and possibly dip under the 2:40 barrier, but I think I would have needed to do more than just Yasso 800’s for speed work. I’ve done some solid 20-22 milers at sub 6:40/mile pace, so let’s hope that the training I’ve done leads me to the marathon that I know I’m capable of.
My plan is to run the first half in about 1:22-1:23 and that works out to 6:15/mile-6:19/mile split thru the half. I’d love to negative split that as the Buffalo Half I averaged 5:53’s for the half marathon, so adding 20 seconds per mile should be a cake walk. (but we’ll see)
Now the only thing left to do is put my feet up and relax and know that the work is all done, I just have to let the taper kick in and do my thing on race day. I’ve been getting serious sleep lately and averaging about 9-9.5 hours a night, which I know can only help repair my body (I wonder if it is from the caffeine deprivation?) :o) But yes, bib #’s are up and I’ve snagged the ultra low #963 (I know, under 1,000 for a marathon that boasts 45,000 participants!!!!) if anyone cares and I’ll be touching down in the Windy City on Friday and heading right to the expo.
So the work is done for me, is it done for you? I’m getting off of my feet and relaxing and letting taper town kick in, but I’ll see you out on the roads and until then, taper hard friends. Cheers.