Thursday, October 4, 2012

St George Marathon Race Preview!

Why are those bales of
hay in plastic? Strange
I have to admit, I always love sitting down and writing these race preview posts.  You can use whatever kitschy saying you want.....  “They hay is in the barn”......“It’s all downhill from here” ......”If you kill a hooker, make sure you wash your hands with bleach”.....”There is no going back now!”  The long and short of it is that there is very little that I can do to make my race this weekend better, so I might as well sit down and set some fun goals and see what happens.

I’m pretty sure I said in my Eugene marathon race preview (too lazy to totally should) that I’ve moved from running a million races to running a few specific “KEY” races.  There are lots of advantages to this strategy.  You can be hyperfocused on one goal and can train very specifically for one event.  But, I’ll admit, it is way harder to stay motivated without interim milestones every month or two of an all-out half marathon or even marathon.  This training cycle I let a few life events (rightfully) take my focus away a bit and haven’t been nearly as sharp as I would like. So, instead of 70 miles per week, I’m running 60, and instead of speed 3x a week, I’m running speed once.  To be clear, I think I’m probably only 2-4 min slower than my marathon PR right now, but it still naws at my brain like the Meow Mix commercial song.

So the goals... Like I always say on these goal posts, I’m a goal person.  I like having something planed, executing that plan, and then pissing and moaning when the plan goes wrong.  How can I complain about something if I don’t know what I should be complaining about!!??  So, here is what I am going to shoot for – and then bitch about when I crash and burn.

My A Goal
This picture NEVER gets old
A Goal: Sub 3:00 (6:52 pace) – If I’m being honest, I just think it would be cool as hell to run a marathon within an hour of the world record.
B Goal: Sub 3:04 (7:01 pace) – Beat my current PR
C Goal: Sub 3:15 (7:25 pace) – Run it faster than my current “long run” pace

I’ve spoken with a handful of people who all agree that St George is a faster than “normal” marathon.  How fast depends on the person you ask, but the general thought is that for someone at my speed it is 5-10 min faster.  The downside? I am currently “slow”.  Now, before you start throwing rotten tomatoes at me, by “slow” I just mean I don’t think that I could beat my normal PR right now on a “normal” course.  But, St George isn’t normal at all....

I think I’m going to start out around 7:10 pace for the first few miles and then settle into 6:50ish.  I’ll hold that for the first hour until I hit the uphill portion.  The uphill spot is where everyone says the “real” race starts.  I always tell people that I coach that most runners run too fast on the uphill and too slow on the downhill.  So, I plan on slowing all the way down to 7:30 or 7:40 on the 3 uphill miles and then hammering the second half.  In a perfect world, I’d hit the half right around 1:30 and would run 6:30s until the finish.  That’d put me at 2:57ish which would result in pelvic thrusts across the finish line, high fives to strangers (which I don’t do – germs), and likely some vomit.

The reality of course is that the downhill is going to DESTROY my legs and I’ll likely walk some after mile 22.

BUT, the nice thing about my all-or-nothing approach to racing is that the race report blog posts are AMAZING.  Either I celebrate with a huge PR or I get to rant and rave about how I was passed by the 80 year old dude wearing jeans and flip flops as he “jogged” to the finish.   But, at least it’s all downhill from here!


Gracie said...

Well, I wish you a sub-3!

Nelly said...

Lol on that unicorn pic!

I hope you have been doing some downhill runs, your legs will probably be completely thrashed at the end! Good chance of sub 3!

Sue's Ramblings said...

I'm betting you'll come back with a PR!

Scallywag said...

Not going to lie, I totally thought the picture at the top was a whole load of conventionally smoked illegal substances that you were planning to imbibe in after your sucessful PB.

But good luck and ENJOY x

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

Yes, I also wish you sub 3; I'm sure it's a very small percentage(less than 2%?) that actually go sub 3.

jayloh@runningmovesme said...

report back with a new PR or don't come back at all!
Jk...Good luck!

Jamoosh said...

May your quads be with you the whole race!

Katie said...

may you fly high on unicorn pee to the finish!

Redhead Running said...


Pat said...

Run strong!

Did you know the start is real close to the site of the Mountain Meadow Massacre? If you are a history buff it's an interesting place to visit.

Lauren said...

Are you sure that's hay in that photo? Good luck on your race!