The nerves. Yes they have hit, and hit oh so hard! The last couple of nights i sit in bed at like 11pm and think...dam...only x-amount of days. I question myself, can i run 26.2 miles? Have i trained enough? What's going to be my pace? Will i be able to pace off someone else? can i make or break my secret goals?....These questions and more keep running through my head.
I think about this all night. I think I've started dreaming about race day. So far i haven't had any bad dreams, so that must be some kind of plus. To be honest some of those questions i can easily answer immediately as i think about them, but than again I really can't count on anything come race day because i have no idea what it will be like.
So far this week i have been keeping it really low key. Nothing hard and i'm forcing myself to relax and just enjoy the fall colors a bit. I had planned something like 4 miles easy today, but i just couldn't resist a new trail that i had found yesterday while i was in Forest Vegetation class. The trail was only like a half mile long, but it led to a network of trails, both created by the Orono land Trust and by local mountain bikers, where stupidly i got lost. Instead of the planned 4 miles i ended up doing 6...no big deal really. the 2 extra miles were about 7:30 pace, so it wasn't like i was expending much energy, i though it was fun. Ended up running nearly a mile and half being lost, with part of that on the rail road tracks. Is that legal?!
So my plan...break down by miles. Come marathon day:
Miles 1-5: The first 5 miles the goal is to stay relaxed, don't get caught up in any body else's race. I would like to average about 6:50 from the start line through the first 5 miles
Miles 5-13.1: The rolling hills of Seal Harbor into NorthEast Harbor will be a challenge, but its nothing i haven't done before on 3 training runs. I i can get to the half way point in 1:28 and change, ill be happy and right on track.
Miles 13 through 20: Running along the picturesque Somes Sound should be really motivating. Last time i ran through this part of the course i had one of my best 10 milers, i just need to be relaxed on the hills.
Miles 20-26.2: What can i say, i'm going to be looking forward to these miles. I expect my legs to be crying and not to happy with what i'm doing, but at this point i hope to be running with someone, i could defiantly use them on the hills, as through 25 miles, its hill after hill, the last mile though is all downhill, which will wake the quads up and keep them screaming till the finish line.
So Time goals? Three answers: 1) I ran 20 miles in 2:10 and change, so that gives me confidence that i could possibly run 2:50 on a good day when the weather is right, 3:00 flat is the goal. Not 2:50 nor 2:55, get 3 and I'll be happy. 2) If something go wrong, weather, pain/injury 3:20 is acceptable, and i would know that i gave it my best. 3) Finish with a smile. Well of course I'll smile as i cross the finish line no matter what time, but if i can't make one of the two previous goals, a big ol' smile will save my day.
I'm not looking for a perfect race, nor a Boston Qualifier, but hey i feel like i have trained hard and it could be a possibility. Simply i would be happy with 3:10:59.