Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pre-Marathon Prep and Race Goals

So, I'm not sure if you have noticed that little counter to the right, but race day is rapidly approaching.  Like any good marathoner I'm going through the typical series of prerace neuroses: avid weather stalking, continued reading and rereading of the race day schedule, and excessive debating of my race day outfit (is it really cold enough for capris yet?). So far everything looks good.

The Prep
As my Dad would say, the hay is in the barn, or as the rest of us would say, the work has been done. Now it's time for the victory lap to celebrate all the hard work. Here are the totals for this training cycle.
There was also a 25 minute visit on the elliptical one day because all the bikes were full.
The Race
The race takes place at Chickamauga National Battlefield, site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War.  Being a Yankee, I hope they still let me race, but if they chase me, it might actually help me PR. Chickamauga Battlefield is in north Georgia, just a stone's throw from the Tennessee border and my last marathon triumph, Chattanooga.  7 Bridges Marathon actually ended up being a perfect dry run, as it's start line is only about 20 minutes from the start of Chickamauga.  The Jayhawk is joining me for this journey (he is in the 5k).
The south is a funny place.
The Goals
I started this training cycle with some very distinct goals in mind: PR and sub-4, but as training went on and I had a little hiccup with my hip, speed work was dropped to make sure I got to the line healthy.  So, I actually have no idea what should be a goal for the race, but there are a few classics that I like to include.
  1. Finish.  I still feel I am gaining confidence in marathoning and finishing helps build this.
  2. No barfing.  I accomplished this feat for the first time in Chattanooga, and now I feel spoiled. Next thing you know, I'll be expecting a personal masseuse at the finish.  Oh, wait.  I've been wishing for that for months (here and here).
  3. Smile.  I worked hard and chose to do this with my Saturday morning, so I better damn well have fun. Sometimes I think I get caught up with times and thinking too much about the race. Don't take it so seriously and enjoy the experience.
  4. Haul ass and win. Run the best race I can that day.  I don't want to finish with anything left in the tank and regret it. I am planning on tucking in with a pace group in hopes that I don't start like I was shot out of a civil war cannon (that's how they start the race instead of a gun, but I don't think they shoot runners out of it).
Notice I didn't say anything about bloody feet.  I have to save some goals for next marathon cycle.

Anyone have a race this weekend?  How do you change your goals when training doesn't go exactly as planned?


  1. I am running a shorter race this weekend, the Sky to Summit 8.5 in Rabun County (opposite northern county from where you'll be!). There is also a 50K option but I'm happy to have the shorter race this time :) My goal is to be slow and take lots of pictures.

    Your race is mostly in the shade, so you may want to factor that in to how you will dress! I wore shorts last year but I also wore a hoodie for the first few miles.

  2. I looked into the Sky to Summit as well, but it conflicted with Chickamauga. Sounds like we have similar racing schedules. Good luck! Can't wait to see the pics!
    Thanks for all the info! I think I'm going to run with my hydration pack so I won't have to worry about water. I'm thinking layers on top in case I want to take my longsleeves off! Thanks again!

  3. Have a great time! You're ready.


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