Right now I’m on the ground in Chicago after a brief diversion to St. Louis. I’ve missed my first flight to Minneapolis, but fortunately there are plenty of seats on the next. Once we touch down there, it’s another 2.5hr drive to Duluth, where tomorrow I’ll run Grandma’s Marathon. Apparently they’re prepared for late arrivals because the expo stays open until 11pm, which is a really good thing since there’s no race day packet pick up.
Tomorrow is hopefully my Boston qualifying race. Indications of my training are that I should be able to do this no problem, but in three marathons none have quite gone according to plan (the closest was the first where I had the most conservative goal, and even there I had a rough final 6 miles). In my last race (Mercedes in Birmingham), there were a number of factors that affected performance – youngest son in hospital for 7 days the week before, minor foot injury. But I’m pretty sure the main culprit in my performance was just going out too fast. I hit the road guns blazin’ and felt great. Around the halfway point I had an “oh crap” moment as the pace suddenly started to feel too much. I managed to hold on for another 5 miles, but the last 8 were just ugly. I had trained for a 3:10 and went out at a sub-3 pace.
This time I’m forcing myself to take it easy, and I’ve designated certain points in the race where I can evaluate and increase the pace if I feel good, but only within certain bands. I feel like I could run sub-3 right now without a lot of difficulty, but I’m planning not to. If my plan works, I should finish in about 3:05.
So far 26.2 is winning the war, but perhaps tomorrow will be my day…