Saturday, May 09, 2009

The (lack of a) race strategy

24 hours from now, it'll be over, i'll have finished my 6th marathon. I've never been so unsure about what my game plan is this time around. Every other time, I'd have the pace band selected but this time, I'm only 75% sure of my goal.

Here's the thing. 24 hours out, the weather is looking pretty incredible. There will be wind, but it'll be cool and it should be dry. That's optimal racing weather. But that's the thing, I have to choose between 3:15 (my BQ pace) and 3:30 (my 75% i'm doing it pace) between now and the start.

What's steering me towards the 3:30 is the realization that while I've been running great in the past month, this training cycle has not been optimum. I'm still about 5 pounds heavier than the best race weight and, well, the mileage hasn't been there and I've lost a lot of quality training. Hm, even typing out this paragraph is confirming that 3:30 is the right pace. As a bonus, my friend Tom is running 3:30 so I'm actually very glad to have a possible running group -- i've run too many (the last two) marathons alone and it'd be nice to do it with a group.

3:15, on the other hand, is tempting. I was in shape for 3:10 last fall and I think that it's possible on a perfect day to go for this mark. What's holding me back is the crash and burn tactic, which would make the difference between enjoying a marathon and dragging myself through the final miles.

It's funny, I was looking at my registration form for Mississauga that I filled out in early May. I put in 3:15 as my target time. I saw that yesterday afternoon and I smiled. Not this time, Kenny, maybe next time.

I've booked a room at the hotel near the start so I'm staying overnight in Mississauga. Trying the pack very light since the hotel tells me they won't do late checkout (damn you, Novotel). Cooking a pasta dinner to put in tupperware and will head to the expo. I'm picking up a 3:30 pace band, but I'm looking up 3:15 split times in case I have race-day enthuisasm.


Marlene said...

Whatever you decide to do, good luck tomorrow. Hope you have a great race!

keltie said...

good luck! looking forward to reading your post-race post :)

mike w said...

Just see how you feel at mile 18 or so!

Good luck!

Sonia said...

Go hard and see where it takes you! Good luck today Kenny! I can barely believe we ran our first marathon about the same time and I've ran 2 while you're at no. 6!!! (little jealous here)

yumke said...

Thanks everyone, it was a great race, lots of fun. couldn't ask for a better paced run