Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Philly Plan

At long last...too long I've arrived at the final moments before stepping up to the start line of a marathon with intent to run my heart out!

I've felt really good this week and have been keeping it mostly easy just to get as fresh as possible.  Wednesday was an easy 4, today was a mostly easy 7, though I did let it fly a little; it can be hard to hold back now.

But, enough of training talk, its time for some race talk.  I don't generally over think racing since at its core, the concept is an easy and simple one.  Therefore, my plans going into races are easy, simple, and just vague enough that I can adjust to ever changing variables.

As of now the forecast is calling for around 41 degrees at the start, a 6 degree drop from earlier.  It will probably change again, but the bottom line is, 40s.  That is more than warm enough for my new singlet, and shorts which are now battle tested through a 14 mile run, more than enough to find out about any issues.  I'm leaning towards taking gloves to wear the whole race, especially after my hands froze solid last year.  Even if it breaks 50, I'd rather have toasty hands than cold ones.

I'm done with sports beans and am switching to stingers.  They go down easier and aren't subject to choking or freezing.  Of course, I may still get sick on them, but that remains to be seen since I can't keep anything down.  I'll take one bag with me and try and at least get through it by the 13-16 mile point.

I'm starting in corral 2, having missed the cut off for corral 1 by about 4 minutes.  The time I want to run is most likely the pace those guys in the back of 1 will be running, so I'm putting myself at the very, very front of corral 2.  I started a bit too far back in R&R Philly in September and won't make that mistake again.

The course falls into my general category of "time trial" and not "strategic."  Therefore, I have no special pace strategy, just pedal to the floor the entire time.  There are some bumps, but nothing I would call a hill.  My goal for the first half of the race is a 1:19.  That works out to roughly a 6:02 pace.  I'll be shooting for 6's, just because its an even number.  More specifically, between 5:55-6:05.  5:50-6:10 is fine too, it won't make me freak out, though I want to avoid approaching 5:50.  5:49 and under is the danger zone, I won't last at that pace so any splits like that will force me to back off.

After that 1:19ish, it will just be a matter of holding on.  I'm fully confident that getting to the half in 1:19 will be straightforward.  For me, its miles 16-22 that will determine the race.  All my marathons have either been made or broken over those miles.  That is where I'll need to focus and if I'm still alive after mile 22, I'll throw down everything I have left to hold on.

With a 1:19, I can still come through in nearly a 1:21 second half and break 2:40.  Upwards of a 1:25 would still give me a PR.  I have no plans to slow; I'm going for my A goal of a 2:38.  This year has had its ups and downs, but all that is behind me and somehow, I've arrived in fall marathon season in damn good shape.  I don't intend to waste it.

I'm certainly very thankful to be getting to this line healthy, but that isn't going to make me conservative, it's time to give this race hell.


  1. Pure, simple, hardcore racing. I like your plan, because after all-its just racing!

    Godspeed to you this weekend!

  2. I like it, I like it a lot. Having followed you and your progress for what? about a year now, I'm pretty confident that you're gonna get it. And you got a new singlet?! No more red shirt?! Is it a Falls Road one I'm guessing? BAMF dude. Good luck and kick some ass!!