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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Goals, or a lack thereof

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.


Mike Russell said...

You will do great. Your preparation has brought you to the point that you can rock the will be a cake walk complete with music and refreshments when you finish!

Beth said...

Good luck! If all else fails, use it as a training run for your 50K! That's what I'm doing :)

Mike Russell said...

The Salt Lake City Marathon is on a fantastic course that is either downhill or on rollers. The organizers have had significant financial difficulties, so I am not sure if they will be having it this year or not. There is also the Deseret News Marathon in late July, which is set on a different but great course. The problem with Des News is it is in late July and it can get hot. You should think about the St. George Marathon, which is generally held the first Saturday in October. All are great races...

Melanie said...

Oh believe me. It is indeed uber flat. I don't remember a hill. Period.

I'm torn about goals, too. Most of me says that I should just do it to do it since I ran a hell of a PR already this year. But part of me wants to be 4:12. I'm torn between starting off easy and picking it up if I feel good and just starting balls to the wall and hoping I can hang on. I haven't really trained all that well since Chicago, so I don't know.

But I do know we should start together. :)

April said...

Dude, with all those hills you've been running all year, this will be a breeze! I bet you DO PR!! Good Luck!

Chic Runner said...

You will do great! Just go out there and kill it with a good attitude. If worse comes to worse just be thankful you aren't pooping or throwing up. Good luck!