It’s race time, time to see if those weeks of long runs and threshold sessions have been enough, time to see if mentally I’m ready for the challenge of a road marathon and time to see what impact the last few weeks of colds have done to me. I’ve spent at least an hour deliberating over kit and checking everything again, ended up with exactly what I’d planned originally but settles the nerves a bit I guess. Am I the only one to procrastinate so much the night before a race? Tomorrow’s heavy rain forecast isn’t helping with those decisions either.
I love seeing the buzz on Twitter at the moment as so many people are doing races over the next few weeks and particularly marathons. Although it does feel a bit odd to be doing a small marathon rather than one of the big city ones. Doesn’t have quite the same build up or planning needed, it doesn’t even have all the roads closed. But actually I chose the Taunton marathon partly for this reason. Big city marathons are great for the experience but with that comes the logistical challenge of getting to them etc. Everything for Taunton is contained within 1 small campus of the college which hopefully means no big queues for the toilets!
Taunton marathon is a fairly small event; there is a half marathon running at the same time with the marathon runners completing 2 laps of the course. That’s another new challenge for me, I’ve never done a race where there is more than one lap so will be interesting to see if that feels good or bad. I will at least know when on the course I can push and where the hills are. It promises to be a relatively flat course, undulating in places but not hilly by all accounts. That’s another difference to a city marathon, no easy to access data on the course because we all love a bit of data and stats don’t we?
I’ve done a marathon before so know I can do the distance, but that was off road so a very different animal and a huge variety of paces during the race. The challenge tomorrow I think is going to be consistent pacing, I would love to crack 3.30 and feel it’s achievable but you never really know until you’ve done it once do you? Needing to do 8 minute miles at least makes the pacing easy to remember.
I hope I manage to achieve my goal, but I also know this is just the first step towards a much bigger goal later in the year. Need to keep that in mind if things start going badly.
So to all those running marathons this weekend good luck, I hope you achieve whatever goals you’ve set yourself. It’s all about being positive now (including ignoring that slight knee pain I’ve started to feel) and believing in yourself. Devon here I come!