Okay, it's time for that post where I lay out all of my intentions for my upcoming marathon.
For the first time ever I went through an entire marathon training cycle and never had a training plan written down. Nothing. I had a basic idea of what I wanted to run every day but had no scientifically-backed-by-a-smarter-better-runner calculated mileage build. Also, the majority of the marathon training cycles I've done in the past had me running 5 days a week. I only ran 4 days a week this time around. Suffice to say I did less long runs, less overall mileage, and much less smart training than usual. So with this in mind here are my goals for Big Sur this Sunday:
2. Finish with a smile
3. Take lots of pictures
I have not had these exact marathon goals since Safaricom a few years ago. I had wicked shin splints before that race (would have pulled a DNS if it had been in North America). I barely ran at all (like, 1.6 miles/week) during the weeks which should have been peak mileage. I couldn't even walk without pain. I managed to get back up to 10 miles two weeks before the race and flew over to Kenya to Hail, Mary! it. That marathon was my slowest (5:58).
I will admit that I'd like to beat my Safaricom time.
I just looked up my marathon times:
Disney '05 5:16
NYC '05 4:51
Safaricom '06 5:58
Rome '07 5:09
Disney '08 4:55 (Goofy Challenge, half marathon the day before)
Napa '08 4:35
I am thinking something around 5:20-30 is probably realistic given my lower training and the tougher course. But I have no pressure on myself to keep up a certain pace. If you've never tried this before, believe me, it makes for an AWESOME marathon experience!
I took my new camera on a test run today. I hardly felt the extra weight in my back skirt pocket. I tested out taking shots while actually on the run. Lucky I did because 9/10 of them came out blurry (image stabilization has its limits). So now I know to stop to take pictures. This is the first time I'm running with a digital camera with the intent of getting pictures OF the course (vs. at Disney where I've run with a camera to get pictures of ME and the characters).
One of my blurry on-the-go shots. Yeah, this will never do for Big Sur.
Carrying a camera poses a few challenges for me, though. I usually run with a hand-held water bottle. Have you ever tried to take photos and carry a hand-held bottle at the same time? I've done it once at the Disneyland Half but at that race I just needed to hand my camera to a handler who would snap a photo for me with various characters. This time I've got to coordinate snapping photos with my right hand and holding a bottle in my right hand. Pretty tough. I am therefore probably going to wear my Fuel Belt for the race so that I won't have to hold onto a bottle. I will probably run with just one bottle and refill it along the way.
The agenda for the rest of the day involves lots of pasta and neurotic packing/repacking. I work tomorrow and am headed straight down to Monterey afterwards.
I've seen this family of geese around Stow Lake the last couple of weeks. I did stop to snap some pictures of them:
A gaggle of gosling butts!