I will be leaving town shortly after noon to make the 5 hour trek up nort to Ashland, WI for the race expo & pasta dinner. Then we get to drive about 30 minutes to MI where our hotel is located, couldn't find anything in Ashland that wasn't ridiculously overpriced! One of the main requirements when we were searching was 1. Don't be a total dive
2. Must have hot tub
and that really was about it, we really aren't that picky.
I have successfully packed about 1/2 my running wardrobe because I still haven't figured out what I will exactly wear. I don't even think I packed 'normal' clothes! I will leave that task for tomorrow when we can sort of rely on the hourly forecast. As of right now it's not exactly looking pleasant for the weekend. At least after the marathon is over, we probably won't want to venture out from the hotel.
I know I can't control mother nature and there was always this possibility, all I'm asking for is to not have to run the entire 5 hours being wet & cold. I would honestly prefer it to be snowing over raining when we dip into the cooler temps. The bulk of the marathon is run on a trail so this could turn into a squishy nightmare with horrible knee pain for me, but I'm trying not to think about it. I just need to go into the day with a good mental game plan and adjust it as needed for the conditions.
My goal is to JUST FINISH the race since it is my first marathon and I know the distance will never be easy. 26.2 miles is far to run and is not something you decide to do overnight. It's taken me 4 years of running to get the point of truly feeling like I can conquer this distance and not be afraid of it.
But let's be honest, I do have time goals in mind. My plan is to try and start out around 10:45 - 11 minute miles and slowly increase my pace. I don't ever really want to see an under 10 minute mile unless it's after 20 as I don't want to slam into a wall halfway through the race. If things mentally & physically work out for me I think my A goal is achievable, here is what I'm thinking:
A Goal: 4:30 - 4:45
B Goal: 4:45 - 5:00
C Goal: 5:00 - 5:15
D Goal: Get your arse across the finish line!!
F Goal: You will not Fail....see D Goal :)
Fuel Plan: I plan on eating a GU every 5 - 6 miles, more likely 6 and eat 1 shot blok at 3 mile intervals between the GU's (ie. Mile 3, 9, 15, 21) & maybe 1 mile out for that final last burst. The race has red powarde (ICK!!) for their drink so I'm going to load up 3 out of the 4 bottles on my fuel belt with Gatorade and just refill the water one often, until I drink the Gatorade and then I can have some water with a little hint of Gatorade to it.
Now it's time to enjoy the atmosphere surrounding this big event and try and get some sleep before the race is here.