Monday, February 23, 2009

One week till Napa, all systems go

It's been a long time since I ran a serious marathon, really over 7 years. Big Sur was nice, but if I look back on my training my poor result should come as no surprise. With Napa I feel like I did all the work I needed to do, and though I wasn't monk-like in my approach to diet and so on, I feel like I've done enough to ensure a solid performance. In particular I've done track sessions every week, have three 20+ long runs, and have done a long-distance tempo or MP run every week as well. Basically I've done what I can do, and in doing it I haven't injured myself. This week I will do two short but relatively intense workouts, including 6 x 400 meters tomorrow and 3 miles race pace Thursday.

I am also considering race strategy, and rather than worry about mile splits I'm thinking of a positive split approach, running the first half in 1:43 so I have four extra minutes on the back-end to get to 3:30. If I hit 3:30 that will be a good indicator that my training was right on, and in addition I feel there is some head room to get faster in the future. I'm not thinking "what if I miss", but I am mentally giving myself ten minutes of cushion (3:40) to judge the race a success. And I'll give myself ten minutes of upside as a stretch goal. Basically, the last 6 miles are a mystery to me: I've worked a lot on my mental toughness this time around, and I'm hoping I can use those lessons at the end. Obviously though there is no way to know until we get there.

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