Well, it’s been a few weeks now since I have posted about my training and I am now 2 days away from running my 10th marathon. Truthfully, there hasn’t been all that much to talk about. When life got stressful and I had to shift my priorities to focus on my family, my training plan went out the window for the most part except for my long runs which I made sure to do. Besides that my running has mostly consisted of shorter easy runs whenever I had time and energy to do them (which wasn’t very often). Not an ideal way to end a training cycle at all, and I’m feeling nervous about that now that my marathon is so close.
Going into this training back in November, I was coming off a big new half marathon PR in Richmond, motivated and excited about what I could possibly accomplish next. My training for the first 10 weeks or so was awesome. I felt better than ever and was hitting my paces on all my workouts. I dreamed of getting closer to my BQ and maybe even running between a 3:40 and 3:45 in Myrtle Beach.
Now I don’t even know what kind of goal to set for this race. I feel pretty emotionally and physically drained and haven’t been sleeping or eating well. This is the race I was unable to finish two years ago when I got sick and had to stop at mile 21.38. The timing of this race isn’t great and it feels kind of insignificant right now, but at the same time I have worked really hard for this and I really need to cross that finish line.
With that being said, here are my goals for the race. I always like to set multiple goals (gold, silver and bronze or A, B, and C) so that I have many opportunities to feel successful, no matter what may happen.
Bronze – Just finish! I will truly be happy if this goal is met, regardless of how long it takes me to get there.
Silver – PR by running faster than 3:56:08 (9:00 pace)
Gold – Finish in 3:45 or better (8:35 pace)
I know the person who is leading the 8:30 pace group, so I hope to stick by him as long as I can. Based on my training and recent races, that pace should be doable and comfortable as long as I feel good and conditions are right. Wind has always been a factor here and at other coastal races, so I am expecting to have to deal with that. I know from previous races that wind takes a lot out of me and I may have to adjust my plan and expectations depending on how I feel. It will be in the 40s and 50s during the race, which is pretty much perfect, so I’m happy about that. If I can stay with the 8:30 group the whole time I would finish in just under in 3:43. That sounds crazy but not super out of reach either.
This is more than just a race. This is a chance for me to get my redemption from two years ago and finally cross the finish line of the Myrtle Beach Marathon. This is marathon #10 in state #10 for me, which will allow me to officially join the 50 states club and start working toward the other 40. And most importantly, this race is an opportunity for me to leave some feelings on the pavement, and remind myself that I am strong and can do hard things.
Patience. Discipline. Trust. Those are my power words for this race. Patience to not go out to fast. Discipline to stick to the plan and keep going when it starts to hurt. Trust in my training and my body.