Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tue 2006 Sep 19, 8.5 mi run, 46 deg

New 30th & West Lakeland 8.2-mile route, plus 0.3 mi miscue, 1:10:50, pace 8:20. Ran with Cap'n RB, who is still working his way back into marathon condition after time off to heal an injury. He ran very well today. This was an exhilarating run: cool, windy, and cloudy with an occasional spritz of rain. Excellent morning. Pace was about what I had hoped for, even though we did walk a couple of times for water or gel. No pains except a slight hint of overuse in the right hamstrings. Good time to be tapering for TCM! Hopefully that taper will allow the hamstrings to fully mend before the marathon. Meantime stretches and exercise are in order.

Today's pace would get me a 3:38 marathon, which would be a PR for me, but I'm hoping for a little better yet. Current marathon strategy, subject to modification: There are pace teams at 3:30 and 3:40. I'd like to run about 3:35. So start at the very back of Wave 1, with eyes forward on the 3:40 balloons. Cross the start line perhaps a minute after the 3:40 balloons. Then when I catch them, I already have a 1-minute advantage. They usually go out a little too fast, so let them stay ahead past the hills at mile 2.0 to 2.5. After that, gradually catch up and pass the 3:40 balloons, probably between mile 7 & 10, but not before Lake Calhoun mile 5. OK to run with the 3:40 pace team for a mile or two, especially if they're helping with a facing wind. But leave them no later than mile 10, along Minnehaha Parkway, or there will be no way to gain four more minutes. They should run about 8:20, and I want to run about 8:05, average, for the first 20 miles. Then slow down to 8:35 if I have to, but preferably only for the two miles of the Summit Ave hills. If I do slow down to 8:35 for the entire last 6.2 miles, I'll run 3:35. If I can hold the pace at 8:05 for four of those 6.2 miles, I'll run 3:33. Should be possible, because I ran 8:06 for the entire Bear Water 20-miler, which was a little hilly and without the benefit of a taper. All of this assumes perfect weather, as we had at Bear Water. If it's too warm (or too cold?) then maybe start the same race but stick with the 3:40 pace team much longer, maybe all the way to the end.

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