Pre-Race Thoughts...

Well, it's finally here. Well almost, anyway. The Two Cities Marathon and Half--the event I have been training for these past 16 weeks, will start tomorrow morning at 7am. In usual fashion, I'm neither 'stoked,' nor apathetic. I just am. I suspect as today wears on, anxiety will mount. Something tells me I'm not going to sleep very well tonight :)

I feel really good about my training. I have no doubt I will finish the race, and finish it strong. Not sure about my time though. Last Saturday's 8 miler was fairly easy at about a 10:30 pace. Eight miles is not 13.1 though. Of course, it should be a little cooler than last week (although some weather reports indicate we could have some wind. Wind! Really? Fresno only gets windy in big storms or about three other times during the year. But of course, one of those windy days would have to fall on November 8!). I'm also reasonably well rested. Very light week at work--surprisingly. Slept reasonably well most of the week. Tried to honor the taper by sticking to my training plan with one session of speed work on Tuesday, and then only three miles, easy, on Thursday (it feels really funny right now not to be gearing up for a Saturday morning long run and at the same time, it seems like such a luxury). My diet during the week? So, so. I could have eaten less fat and more of the green stuff, but it just wasn't meant to be. One thing's for sure, I stayed very well hydrated all week. And healthy, too! Can't forget about that. Everyone--and I mean everyone--I came in contact with the last couple of weeks seemed to be harking up a lung or coming off swine flu. Must have been all that hand washing and hiding out in my office that kept me germ free :)

So anyway, back to my time. Barring some unforeseen catastrophe, 2:45 is absolutely no problem. I would be happy with breaking 2:30, and ecstatic with anything remotely close to 2:20. I do think 2:20 is in the realm of possibility if I'm feeling good. As for race strategy, I plan to go out at about 11:00 for the first couple of miles to get my bearings and warm up. Depending on how I feel after that, I plan to pick up the pace--or not--until the finish. Oh, and my mantra? "Don't eat the paste." Just because Little Jimmy is eating paste (blazing by me and because I feel good and fresh, I feel like I can keep up) doesn't mean that I need to eat the paste. Jimmy will get sick from all that paste eating at some point and I will too, if I'm not careful.

Pop and Bro are coming to town later this afternoon; Pop to spectate and support, Bro to run. It will be nice to have a friendly face in the starting corrals with me--even though Bro hopes to run it in 2:00 and I probably won't see him much beyond the start, and at the finish.

Looking forward to a nice pancake breakfast when it's all over. Race report to follow at some point.