Thursday, October 27, 2016

Marathon Goals

I have trained hard,  ran higher mileage than I ever imagined I could, willed my legs to go when they felt tired, and learned to dig deep when I wanted to give up. I feel like I can do this...

The one element that will will make me struggle will be heat and humidity. I am praying I don't have to battle that race day! If it is hot my training says,  "Good luck getting it done in five hours!"

For all my heat training this summer, I never improved pace wise, or "acclimated" to it. Survival is the name of the game when the dew point is high.

I can't help but think about how long this will take me! 20 miles felt long.  LOL

Based on my training so far, I am very fearful I will need a few extra little walk breaks and a restroom stop. I hate the thought of losing precious minutes on the course, but I am trying to prepare myself... I have no idea how my feet will react to that last hour.

So what is realistic?
My training says, 4:48 is a realistic goal.  I really hope to hold each mile right under an 11 min.  pace by a few seconds.
That is very weather dependent, my heat pace will be slower   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

What will a fantastic day look like?  You know, the dream day, where everything just flows...
Anything under 4:40, it would take perfect weather and minimal foot pain...but I can dream right!
It is so much more fun to dream about running strong and feeling happy LOL
My heart is set on coming in under 4:45!

Race start is 7:45 a.m. I will be running all. dang. day. Literally! Like at 12:00 p.m. in the afternoon when you're eating your lunch, I will be sweating balls...thinking when the heck will this be over!

I  just have a million questions floating around in my head.
Should I carry my own hydration pack? What fuel? Sport beans, Honey Stinger chews, Cliff much? Should I wear a pace bracelet so I know if I am on track? Should I make a vow to not look at my watch at all?
What socks? I think I will go with a visor, and tons of body glide of course...should I drink coffee pre-race??
I have a zillion thoughts on what to wear but, none of that matters till I can see what the weather will be like.

Words to describe my current state: Nervous. Cold feet. Unsettled. Excited. Tired. LOL I am all over the place.

I will be on vacation the week before the race. I will probably be doing too much tapering lol As I started thinking about a week with extra eats and drinks I got super nervous. I get home on Wednesday, work Thursday and Friday, and the race is on Saturday. I will be coming back from a time change, but I think it is just an hour... is this going to be stressful?? I hope not. Please tell me it'll be okay.

Race morning I am hoping  I can get my hubby to drop me off, so I don't have to drive and park. He will have plenty of time to go back home, eat, nap, relax, before he has to pick me up, right.

I keep telling myself to suck it up and meet whatever challenges come my way. I keep repeating this to myself over and over... LOL
I am really scared. I hope I don't let race day nerves get to me, I want to enjoy this! Trying to work on mantras as I type this...❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  

How many times have you had a time expectation that got blown out the water - good or bad? 
Do pit stops in races make you feel irritated with yourself? 
Did you have a goal for your first marathon? 


  1. All I can say is you have worked hard and put in your time and I truly believe this will be your race to shine!!

    1. I hope I get to tell a good story at the end :) I caught a glimpse of shooting star this morning...I made a little wish.

  2. You've got this! You've trained hard and you can deal with whatever race day throws your way :) It sounds like a good plan to have your husband drop you off before the race so you don't have to worry about finding parking or anything.

  3. Keep checking the weather and make your outfit choice that same week. You should know what messes up your stomach so you should be good.

    I like my own hydration so i don't have to battle people in the air stations. If it's clear than I get in and out.

    Lastly, run on feel, no pace bracelet. You've trained hard. Enjoy becoming a marathoner.

    1. I will be obsessive the day I get home checking the weather LOL trying to figure out what to wear. I cut an old pair of socks to use if it nippy to start. Please be nippy LOL
      I think you are right, I run on feel all the time in the wee hours, I know what I can handle :)
      I am nervous, but excited!

  4. Do you normally run with your hydration pack? If you do, then I would say yes on running with it for the marathon.

    I stopped for the bathroom on my Marathon, because I was drinking so much water before the race started. In the grand scheme of things, those 3 min didn't make a difference at the end. All that mattered was that I had finished the marathon.

    You will do great!! All the hard work will pay off!!

    1. I did get very use to that 2 liter pack but I really enjoyed not wearing it at my last half. I think that will be a temperature decision.
      I hope if I have to stop it doesn't bother me. It still bugs me I stopped during my last half lol but I still feel content with the time - hopefully that will be the same:)
      I hope it all turns out well!

  5. You've trained so hard and really worked at it - I think your training speaks for itself! If your training says 4:48, then I believe you can achieve that. I've also learned that the mental part of a marathon can be overwhelming at times, and it's hard to keep those paces later in the game...and if you get discouraged, it can be hard to pick yourself back up. So just stay true to your training and what you KNOW you can do!

    1. You said it! I was a little scared I am setting myself up for disappointments thinking in terms of time but it is hard not to!!
      I battled so hard mentally during my 20 I hope that got me ready... but each day holds its own surprises, so who knows.
      I have been at that low place during a race - I am hoping I can avoid the dip if things get tough! I have dealt better mentally with issues my last few races.

  6. There is no reason to stress about this race when you have prepared so well! Now it's time to celebrate your training cycle!

    I would wear the pace bracelet. If you're having a really good day you'll be glad you have it. If you're having a bad day you can always toss it at an aid station! During the Portland Marathon I ended up throwing away both my pace band, my visor and something else - - I can't remember what. I do remember chatting with a girl about it and she was like, "by the end of this race you're going to be naked!" LOL ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Your vacation will help you take your mind off of the race leading into it. I was in London the week before Portland and that was a welcome distraction! The time difference thing shouldn't be too bad. I went from London to Fort Lauderdale to Portland within 72 hours and it didn't kill me, although when I got home from Portland I slept for like 24 hours! :D

    BREATHE - you are going to be fine - you are going to be GREAT!!!

    1. hahaha, The shrug LOL I am cracking up about being naked..I can see you tossing stuff. I relate!
      I had forgot you went away to London right before your race. Okay, that is good... maybe it will be a good distraction and I will rest better...if I can stop worrying about my cats.
      I feel so abnormally tired it is starting to mess with my mind a little and i have been fighting off a bug since Wednesday! I still feel cruddy this morning. I think if my legs start to feel recovered a little i will be able to relax better. Trying to BREATHE :)

  7. Karen I wish I was running with you instead of in Indy at the same time. I'll be thinking of you for sure! Try your best to just do what you've done in training. Choose fuel that works for you and makes you happy. I always liked carrying my own hydration because they ran out of water at my first marathon and I just have no trust. In the scheme of a full marathon, a pitstop just isn't that big of a deal so just stop if you need to. Just breathe and know you've so got this!

    1. I'll be thinking of you too!!
      I am trying to tell myself it is better to be comfortable and stop if i have too :) I hope race day doesn't throw out big surprises....for either one of us :)

  8. You got this Karen! Your training has gone well. The hardest part is over. Now you just have to keep your nerves under control. No matter what your finish time, once you cross the finish line, you are a marathoner! Just have fun and revel in your accomplishment. It's huge!

    1. Thank you Wendy :) I do feel the hardest part is over...the last few weeks were tough, but i survived! I do need to keep my nerves under control, I get such bad anxiety...
      I hope I have a fun story to share at the end of this:)

  9. My advice: focus on the things that will get you through the race (mastering fuel/hydration, planning walk breaks and pacing, etc), and if that's going well, THEN you can worry about finish time. The mistake a lot of runners (like me) make is trying to do it in reverse: they're so obsessed with meeting a goal time that they forget to take care of the details and it hurts them in the end. You have to focus on racing well before you can think about racing fast. Details first, speed later.

    As for what to eat/drink beforehand/during: just do what you do on long runs. You're already used to running early so whatever has worked for you on all those morning runs (e.g. coffee/no coffee) will work now. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    Hydration pack is personal preference, but I never race with mine. I hate carrying water when I run and I'm paying a lot of money to have it handed to me on the course on race day, so I happily leave it behind. But if you feel more comfortable running with it, do so. The goal is to make this as easy on yourself as possible!

    Most of all, relax! Just get excited to cross that finish, you're gonna crush it!

    1. Thank you Hanna! That is a good thought, details are very important. I need to worry about taking in fuel first and foremost so I don't bonk...and then worry about everything else. On my long runs I often didn't even look at pace, because i really didn't care and some of them turned out pretty well :)
      I feel the same way, I am paying big to have my own lane to run in and have water and powerade handed to i am still trying to decide. If it is hot I will carry my own because i am so dependent on Nuun...
      I am trying to relax - it is hard! LOL

  10. I wish I had advice for you; I guess I'll leave that to the marathoners. Your hubby absolutely should drop you off! Heck, mine had time for a prime rib dinner during my first HALF, LOL!

    I ran my half by feel, simply looking at my pace each mile. I've done that before; it seems to work pretty well for me. I know if I'm lagging or not without putting pressure on myself. I do like to watch my pace the first couple of miles so I don't go out too fast, though.

    I worried about having the vacation on the front end of our trip, but it worked well for me. I tend to be able to be pretty good eating-wise for a while, then slowly unravel as the vacation goes on. So that actually worked.

    I worried a bit that I was doing too much, but it all seemed to work out (and being busy takes your mind off of all that worrying).

    1. That is good vacation went well with your race. I feel like a few days at home to recover will help lol
      I like to run off feel too and not even look ...I guess I will just have to see how I feel.
      Right now I need to get over my cold :/

  11. My goal for my first marathon was to FINISH! I was just so freaking excited to RUN A MARATHON I didn't care about my time. Now of course I always care about my time for races!!! ;)

    My advice on whether to carry water and what food and all that stuff... do what you did for your long runs as long as it worked. What did you do for your 16, 18 and 20? Did it work? DO IT FOR THE RACE.

    Yes, Kenny better drive your ass to the race and he better do it with a smile on his face.

    Karen, whatever happens when you are out there on the course, remind yourself... "I GET to run a marathon today!!!!"

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ LOL I LOVE THOSE LITTLE GUYS!!!

    1. Hahahaha, the shrug!!!!!!!! I will direct Kenny to your comment LOL smile, bud :)
      Well I do want to finish but I really don't know if I will get another shot at this so it would be super awesome if it went well!!
      That I is best mantra...I GET to run!

  12. The best advice that someone gave me... you will only ever run your first marathon once. So enjoy it. Don't stress about the time, just soak in the experience. When I realized I was not going to hit my time goal of 4:45, I didn't let it get to me. I just enjoyed the whole thing, cried at the end from the sheer happiness of the accomplishment, and even if the clock said 5:11 I didn't care one bit. I was a marathoner. You will be too.

    1. That is awesome Karen :) I am going to try to soak it in and take what comes with a smile. I hope I can do that. I will probaly cry at the is a huge accomplishment !

  13. I echo the sentiments about how the hard part, the training, is over. The actual marathon is your victory lap! You've trained so hard and with so much dedication, that there is no doubt in my mind you'll come through with flying colors. All marathoners get the same medal so just focus on finishing and finishing strong. Make the race joyful and enjoy the fruits of all your hard work to the absolute fullest. Big hugs!!!

    1. Thank you Emily :)
      I need to remember that - we all get the same medal. I am going to do my best to not let my nerves get to me and just try to enjoy the day! Thank you for the encouragement - I keep re reading my comments so I can carry the happy thoughts and the great advice with me for the race!


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