There are 10 DAYS, well technically 9 and some change and I will on the road to complete the first of two marathons back to back. This will be a first for me, as I have done 2 marathons MONTHS apart, not 8 days… and it’s no wonder that I will be officially qualified to join the Marathon maniacs.
During my 12 miler last night, I did two things. First, I realized that I am more anxious about these two marathons since I have never done this before. I don’t know what to expect. Do I hold back on the first one to save energy for the next one? Do I “race for a PR” in the first and then just survive for the second one since i would be so sore anyway, why have two mediocre times and have one good one and one not-good one? Will I recover enough from the first to be ready for the second – which is marketed as a Damn Tough Course? I don’t know… where as I know what to expect from the one and done marathon season, I don’t know here.
So, what does any good statistician do to find data? Research! I contact the Ever Pretty and Uber Humble Triathlete Shirley Perly on what she does between close races. She does an insane amount of races in a short period of time and even combines this with air travel. Her VERY supportive husband Dave is behind her in her quest to run marathons in every state… and on top of marathons she does Triathlons and so, she is always on the go. Now what’s good for Shirley won’t necessarily be good for Terry, BUT it’s the theory behind what she does that I was looking for the most. She was able to give me a great gameplan on what I am going to do post race and that’s content for another blog post.
Second, I PRACTICED! A dress rehearsal if you will of the finish line. I ran 12 miles yesterday and actually ran a Tempo pace for the mid mileage run. it’s the last of the longer-faster distances that I will run and I was very pleased with the results of the run. As something that I do and encourage others to do, is to visualize the finish line. I don’t have any idea of the Rutledge Marathon course, to know the spots on the course when I begin my Finishing Sequence.
Last Night, I started with close to 2 miles left in my 12 mile run. I had been running fast all evening, so my legs were tired and closer to what they would feel like during the race. In my practice Finish, I keep well aware of the mileage left to go… 2 miles, 1.75, 1.5 etc. From here, I can usually Do The Math to know if it is going to be close, if I shooting for a goal time. As was last year’s Chickamauga Marathon when I finished in a PR time with 35 seconds to spare.
I was also visualizing other runners out on the course and locking in on a certain runner ahead of me. Either to try to pass before the finish or use as a rabbit (pacer) to get me to the finish line. Using a pace takes the mental effort of thinking about keeping pace, but you can “disengage” your mind and either stare ahead at the course or the time clock. It’s a trick to keep you forgeting how much pain you are in.
In the last 0.25 miles, I imagined that I could see the Time Clock and started my “Final Approach” where I begin to accelerate and estimate who I can pass or if I just need to keep the pace that I am in.
I am a little sore today, which is to be expected given the speed that I ran yesterday. The speedwork won’t help me for my race next Saturday, but it will give me a mental boost.
My biggest concern right now is the course. I know that Harpeth Hills is going to be, well, hilly. Rutledge… not sure. It’s suppose to be “flat” but “flat” in East Tennessee is really gently rolling. Of course, that might be advantageous, because I would be working some different muscles in the Hills of Harpeth. So we will see…