Hey everyone!! I have SO much to share with you regarding my week in Atlanta with Mizuno.
We are on our way home after a fun, exciting week but my mind is focused on one thing – the NJ Marathon on Sunday. After months and months of planning, training, and imagining this race, it is finally here!
First, the race details.
- Date: Sunday, May 5th
- Start time: 8am
- Route: It’s a mix between out and back and a loop. The race starts by Monmouth Race track, heads north for a bit, over to the coastline by mile 10, then south for 8 miles with the turnaround just after mile 18 and heads back north for the final 8 miles.
- Elevation: Virtually pancake flat (after my last few races have been in Central Park, this makes me VERY happy!)
The weather forecast looks almost too good to be true. I’m still not celebrating because I know it can still change. But right now, race day weather looks to be cool (~45-50 at race start), calm, and sunny. One of my biggest worries leading up to this race has been the wind. Before moving last summer, we had lived less than a mile from the SI boardwalk, so almost all of my runs would take place right on the coastline. Most early mornings were calm, but the wind would often pick up (>15-20 mph winds) by mid-morning. So far, race morning looks like it will have very little wind (~ 5 mph winds).
For everyone that has asked…if you want to track me, here is the link to sign up to receive alerts (you can get text, email, twitter updates). My bib is #1023 in case you need it. There’s a part of me that is excited to know that all of my friends will be able to track me on Sunday, but a large part of me is starting to freak out about it. HA.
Pre-race plan: My husband and I were able to get a hotel room less than 1/2 mile from the start line. Our plan is to head down (childless!) on Saturday afternoon and head straight to the expo to pick up my bib. From there, we will likely go to an early dinner and then just relax and rest at the hotel. I’ll probably get up around 5am on Sunday to start fueling. There will be increased security measures this year because of the events in Boston a few weeks ago, so I plan to head to the start area on the earlier side.
Goals: Since I try to share most things on here, I will share my three goals.
- A goal (this would be a really, really good day): 3:10. I’ve been training at these (or slightly faster) paces this whole training cycle, so I know it’s possible. It’s just a question of whether or not things all line up on race day.
- B Goal: 3:15. This would still be a 6+ min PR for me (from a 2009 race). I can’t complain about that.
- C Goal: PR (sub-3:21:32). Truth be told, I will be extremely unhappy if I fail to at least PR. I have been training at paces well faster than my current PR. And, was on track that year to run a 3:15 through the 30k (but then the wheels came off). Race Strategy: Since there really is no elevation to worry about, my focus will be on keeping my pace as close to 7:15 as I can. I’ll give myself a few miles to fully warm up and get comfortable with that pace, but after that will keep the 7:15 within striking distance.
Race Strategy: I plan to take it easy for the first mile or two and then try to settle into my goal pace of 7:15. Since it is a flat course, I hope to maintain close to that pace for most of the race – at least through mile 20-22. If things are still feeling good, then I’ll push for those last 4-6 miles. I plan to take 1/2 gel every 4 miles (I find that one full gel is too heavy on my stomach but I like having something in me every ~30 min) and water at every water point.
Thoughts: This is my first marathon with an actual race strategy and plan. With the exception of my last marathon (2011 NYC Marathon), my previous marathons have been run with no idea as to pace, goal time, etc. I never trained for a certain time. I would start as hard as I could and run like that for as long as I could and then just try to hang on until the finish. Not the smartest way to run. Not the most enjoyable either. So I’m REALLY excited to see what I can do with a plan. I followed my race plan almost flawlessly for the NYC Half Marathon six weeks ago and set a new PR (1:32:23).
I’ve put in the hard work. The miles. The time. My legs are strong. They are ready. Sunday will be the time when I let my mind and heart take over and trust that my legs will follow.
One of my favorite running couples that I has met via social media has been so supportive of my training the last few months. Lindsey and Glenn both gave me some really awesome advice for Sunday – I plan to repeat their words in my head during the race (if you aren’t following them on twitter or read their awesome blog, you should!):
Do you have any words of wisdom to share??
Are you racing this weekend?
Please let me know if you are going to be at the NJ Marathon expo on Saturday (and what time you are going!). Would love to try to meet up!