Monday, April 30, 2012

Picking up the pace

In the midst of graduation excitement, I suppose it could be easy for me to forget that I am running my first marathon in a mere six days.  Yep, six days!  Thanks to some superior IT band pain following a 5-miler last week, I am taking my tapering super serious.  With no school and no clinic, I am stretching, foam rolling, icing, and laying on the couch like it's my job.

I've also had loads of time to contemplate with a little more thought, my marathon goals.

1. I want to finish.  Don't DNF or get picked up by the sag wagon, and I'm a finisher!

2. I want to cross the finish line running.  Even if I've been walking for miles and feel like I'm certainly in hell, I want a little push at the end even if it's only for two steps across the line.

3. I want to finish under 5 hours.  I know, I know, setting a time goal for your first marathon is like a running Bible sin.  I need a higher goal in order to push myself though.  If I don't make this one, well, I'll have a good reason to sign up for #2.

And goal three takes me into my ongoing dilemma.  Should I run my own race or join a pace group?  I know from my long runs that my pace can come and go in waves, which makes going it alone sound like a good plan.  However, I also know that I finish my long runs with 'gas in the tank', and that I rest or slow down too early.  This would be a great opportunity for a pace group to keep me moving and on track.

I'm leaning toward joining the 5 hours pace group, but I'm a little torn.  I think it would help me not go out too fast, and I would have shared support of that group throughout the race.  I also wouldn't have to constantly worry about my pace.  On the other hand, I've always been a solo runner, and that's what I'm accustomed to.  I also know, that if I can't keep pace at any point, I am going to feel defeated.  But can I really avoid a challenge for fear of failure?

Regardless of what I end up choosing though, hopefully I can say 6 days from now that I am a first time MARATHON FINISHER!

In the meantime, I'll keep carbing it up in preparation.  I've heard Red Velvet Gobs are essentially perfect racing fuel.

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