October 10, 2011
I’m running a marathon in less than a week! This won’t be a surprise to my body. I’m well aware and in the midst of tapering. And, like before the Mississauga Marathon last May, I’m experiencing taper madness: The phantom pains, the anxiety of possibly under-training and the damage to my credit card.
First, the credit card damage: I’ve already donated a bunch of money to my University’s alumni association, bought tickets to an Avril Lavine concert, bought a low flow toilet, and paid for several months on an online dating site. There’s more coming… I expect I’ll be signing up for a lot of races in the next two weeks, including the London Marathon! Yeah! I got in with an overseas ballot to run the London Marathon on April 22, 2012. That’s going to be expensive, but AWESOME!
The phantom pains stalked me before my last marathon, but this time I’m worried it’s real. I think there’s something off with my right calf. It really hurts sometimes in the shin, the outside and the hamstring when running, but other times it’s just fine. Is this real?! Will it heal before the race?
I’m panicking about how fast I can run, and how fast I should run. My last marathon was done in 4:34:44. When I started this season I hoped to do this marathon in less than 4 hours, but that would mean I would need a run pace of about 5:40 min/km. That’s not going to happen. I definitely want to beat my old time, so I want to set a firm maximum finishing time of 4:30. That means I need to average 6:24 min/km pace, or 6:09 min/km if I take walk breaks. I think that’s doable.
But what if I’m actually stronger than that? Now comes the complicated strategy question. I could start faster, much faster. In fact, I could run 5:40 for at least 10k. I did it at the Oasis Zoo Run 10k! But, I’m not sure I could hold that for another 32k! Could I? But if I started too fast, I’m worried about suffering for most of the race and miss my 4:30 max.