So, yeah, I'm running the Huntsville Rocket City Marathon on Saturday. When I originally started thinking about this race, it was summer and I was training like a beast (by my standards, at least) in the hot Middle Tennessee sun, running back-2-back long runs. And all I could think about was my perfect marathon equation:
Cold weather + Flat course = Marathon PR.
Hells yeah. So, I signed up and daydreamed about crossing the finish line in Huntsville in under 4:12 (all for the bargain price of $50 bucks. Holla!).
And then the weeks passed... I trained less, my weekly mileage went down, I tapered for a marathon, I ran a marathon, I recovered from said marathon and now I have no clue what to expect Saturday.
On the one hand? My legs are probably as fresh as they've been for a race all year. I've got an awesome high mileage base from the early fall to pull from. And... hellooooo... the race course is supposed to be flat. Like... UBER flat. Race conditions on Saturday look almost perfect: showers with temps in the 40s.
On the otherhand? My fall races this year have been a buffet of disappointing finishes, dead legs, and awful race times. Saturday could very well be the cherry on top of this wretched racing season. If so? No biggie, I'll just move on. There's also the fact that this is a training run for me for the 50k.
Which brings me to goals for this marathon. I've always had goals for marathons. Sometimes it's been as small and lame as... just finish without crashing and burning (Chickamauga), sometimes it's with a specific time in mind (Eugene, St. Louis), othertimes it's been just to survive (Madison). This time around, I have no idea which strategy to take.
It doesn't help that it's become obvious to me in my short time as a runner, that I am the type that cracks under pressure. As much as I wish I had that mentality of putting a "game face" on. I just don't. I'm not mentally tough like that. And that's okay.
So where does that leave me? Well, I can assure you that Saturday is not a PR day. I just haven't done the training for that. Anything in the 4:30s would make me EXTREMELY happy. But, I think the strategy is going to be this... I'm going to wait and see how I feel once the race starts.