Next stop... Plansville...
Halfway through taper week... less than 72 hours from race time (breath, breath...)
- Training mileage down a
- Obsessing over upcoming event up a
- Productivity at work down a
- Blog posting up a
So as I mentioned in my last post, I drove to Champaign over the weekend and ran the half-marathon course... So now that I have the course committed to memory I'm able to mentally run through my race anytime (i.e. during meetings at work, while I'm laying in bed trying to sleep, when my wife is telling me about her day, etc.)... Ultimately, I'm hoping to go into the race on Saturday with a solid plan on how I'm going to approach each section of the race and follow it to my goal. So far, this is what I've come up with.
My goal: 1:35:29... significant because it's the goal I need to achieve to get into Corral B of the Chicago marathon this year (currently I'm in Corral C). I McMillan'd my recent 8k time of 32:20 and it tells me that an "equivalent performance" in a half-marathon would give me a time of 1:30:41... Not sure if I could actually hit the 1:30:xx mark quite yet (which would be a 9 minute PR), but with 5 minutes to play with I'm feeling relatively confident that I should be able to go sub 1:36 relatively easily if I can put together even a semblance of a decent performance...
My goal is also significant because it's the pace I'd need to maintain for a entire marathon in order to qualify for Boston...
My Plan: Lucky for me the marathon has a 3:10 pace group... so plan should be simple enough... start out with the pace group and use them to keep me from going out too fast... work my way to the front of the pace group by mile 8 (the first 7 miles are run on city streets but mile 8 enters into a park and we run on a paved trail for about a mile. The trail is narrower than the streets and I could definitely see congestion being an issue especially if people are running in packs).
Exit the park at mile 9 and then break away from the pace group and gradually start to pick up the pace. From there I plan to methodically pick off as many runners as I can, but all the while trying not to let my pace get too out of control because: I want to make sure I save some extra energy for a strong kick at the finish... having this bit of energy for the kick is particularly important because they'll be displaying the finish on the stadium screen as we sprint towards the 50 yard line of the football stadium.... So obviously I have to make sure that I have the energy to make anyone in front of me look like a fool as I sprint past them... but even more importantly, I have to make sure that nobody makes me look like a fool (read: I really really really don't want to get chick'd on the football field while it's projected on the big screen... oh please, oh please, don't let me get chick'd on the ol' grid-iron!!!).
So that's the plan... I'm just hoping that if I go over it enough in my mind I can convince myself to stick to it after the gun goes off!!!