Friday, April 24, 2009

1:13:59:27 until Big Sur...

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:

1.  Finish
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!

Thanks, everyone for the well wishes.  Stop by and wish Julianne, her husband, and Michael good luck, too!  See you after the race!


d. moll, said...

Good Luck!!! We'll all be cheering for you from Santa Cruz :~)

Marlene said...

You have run some exciting marathons!

I didn't realize you were running Big Sur! Doesn't that have, like, a ridiculous climb? A bunch of people from my clinic are running it.

Good luck, have fun!

bunnygirl said...

Get out there and have a great time!

(Adorable goslings, btw. How do you keep from taking one home in your pocket? Oh, yeah. Geese. Never mind.)

Mica said...

Best of luck! I hope you surprise yourself and do a really great job.

Snap some excellent pictures too!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Hmmm .. "rolling hills" "Challenging course" "6 hour cut off" .... well, surprise yourself. Start slow and ease off!

Be like the geese .. calm on top, paddling like hell underneath!

Can't wait for the run-report!

And finally, if you get to the starting line, and go with the gun, you've won!

Melanie Tait said...

This was such a great post to read today! I was out on my run trying to plot ways of making a little camera a part of my run, but I only have one pair of shorts with pockets, and don't like running holding things.

Is your new camera tiny? That's the one thing I can't ascertain.

Good luck with your marathon! So exciting - you have some times there I really aspire too.

Southbay Girl said...

I think your blurry pictures are rather nice!!!

I hope you have alot of fun tomorrow!! Enjoy yourself!!A fellow blogger, RBR ( is running the Big Sur marathon as well! She just came off a Half Ironman last weekend so I think she's dreading this race-if you can stop by her blog...maybe you two could meet-you might be on the same pace schedule!!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck!! Most importantly, have fun!! Love the gaggle of butts ;)

Alisa said...

I know you've already done the marathon now but I think those were great goals.

I haven't seen any tweets from you so I haven't a clue how you did.

Can't wait to see all your pictures though!!!!

ShirleyPerly said...

Best of luck at Big Sur! When I run with a camera, I use my Fuel Belt and just one 10 oz bottle too. I can't have anything in my hands for too long during a marathon.

Cute goose family photo!!

Anonymous said...

aw, they are so cute! I have yet to run a race with a day I need to do a race justf ro fun and take tons of pics! Hope you had a fabulous race and can't wiat to hear all about it :)