Monday, October 3, 2011

Mental & Physical Preparedness

"Luck is for people who don't prepare." - unknown

I can't think of a more supportive quote for today's post. I can say that because I know that I am well on my way to being fully prepared for the upcoming ING NYC Marathon. It is a mere 33 days and some hours away from today. I still have one more big mileage week and I am really looking forward to it. Then, before I know it, taper time will be here.

I've only done two other open marathons, the ING Hartford Marathon and the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon. Hartford was my first and I was totally unprepared for the race. I lied to myself throughout my training - telling myself that I was doing great. While my speedwork was amazing, I was not putting in the time to log any real endurance miles. I finally crossed the line in 4:10:23. Disappointed, yes, but no one to blame but myself.

My second was in Burlington, VT. Read about it here. I was so much more prepared for this race. I put in the time and distance and had some great long runs. However, Ted and I didn't cross until 4:16:32. This was Ted's first marathon and it was all about getting the experience - getting prepared - so I can't be disappointed in the result at all.

On Saturday, I woke up early - earlier than I wake to go to work during the week - and drove over to Umstead State Park. I had only run there one other time and got lost, so I was really looking forward to getting on a different trail that I had mapped out and studied extensively on Friday night. At 6:10 a.m., I set off in the dark (this is important to note for later). I did not pace the first few miles well and my HR was spiking all over the place. This gave me some serious pause, but I stuck with it and trusted my plan. I finally fell into a groove between miles 9 and 10 and was ready to bring it home.

On my way back in, I did some quick calculations and realized that I was going to finish back at the car about a mile short. I figured I would just add in a short out-and-back to hit an even 20 miles. Somehow, though, I missed a turn and ended up heading off in the wrong direction. After not seeing any landmarks that I recognized, I had to stop and consult a map. How could I miss this?

Once I figured out where I was, I turned around to head back up the hill I just descended and backtracked until I found my way out of the park, back to the car. I did 20.91 miles in 3:03:38 for an overall pace of 8:46. This is my marathon goal pace (for a 3:50 mary...a PR). I feel confident with this goal, partly because I finished the run so strong. Check out these stats:
Mile 15 - 8:11
16 - 8:11
17 - 8:27
18 - 8:52 (climbing the hill back to the right trail)
19 - 8:07
20 - 8:05

Check out this elevation profile:

And an overview of the 20.91 mile map:

As I said earlier, I've got one more big mileage week to go. I back it down a little this week, then back up for another weekend 20 miler and then it is taper time. I will feel super prepared after I bag the 20 miler on October 15/16, but for now, I will just enjoy my "high" and the satisfaction that I am putting in the work to finish strong on November 6.

As the Roman philosopher, Seneca, said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." While everyone is wishing me luck as I take on 26.2 miles again, I will graciously say thank you - knowing that my "luck" comes from my preparation.

1 comment:

  1. What a great confidence builder that run was! Remember it when things get tough at NYC. Know that you CAN do your goal pace, especially on what will be fresh legs. Nice work!