In the past, I would have thought a lot more about the marathon, with utmost attention to detail. This marathon is to be a low-key, under-the-radar effort. Normally, I would have run a number of races leading up to the marathon to gauge my fitness level but this time round, I’m not at all sure what to expect.
I’ve decided to run according to my heart rate. My marathon pace effort should be in the 145-150 range. So I’ll start out very conservatively, running in the 140-145 range. I’m hoping that I can average 8:30 minutes per mile which is quite a significant slow down from the 7:15 minutes per mile I ran 5 years ago, for a finish time of 3:10:09. I think an 8:30 pace will result in around 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Tonight as we discussed the logistics of the Sacramento event, my husband reminisced about time he spent as a young man, a grad-student, runner in Cambridge, England. He ran in the Milton Keynes marathon, in Milton Keynes. The 5K split times were recorded for every runner, which in those days was something of a feat as this was done manually for all of the 100 runners in the event. He recalls that these results were the subject of intense scrutiny and fascination. My husband ran his personal best time, a very respectable 2 hours and 36 minutes at the Detroit marathon in 1985. I’m sure if he had logged the kind of mileage that I have done, he could have run under 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Part of my mental preparation has been to listen to the audio book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. It was recommended by one of the Saturday runners and my husband. While on my way to work, I found myself laughing out loud at the author’s description of his run on THE marathon route in Athens. It is quite an entertaining earful although I suspect that it is mainly runners who would find it so.
We skipped our usual Friday night out, for a quiet dinner at home, no wine and early to bed, in order to be fresh for the 18-21 miler tomorrow. I’m feeling a little abandoned as out of the group of four, two are out-of-town, one is sick and the other has to run very early to attend a funeral. Oh, poor me, I have no company. But, I know I’ll feel quite satisifed with myself, once the deed is done, and more so, for having run solo. And, there is my audio book to listen to.
Going back to the Cambridge reference, we were there last year in the spring and did a run along the river that was quite delightful. Although, I’m remembering now that my husband’s knee took quite a beating as he ran farther than he should have, and then we walked for many hours. I really miss having my husband as my running buddy on trips. We have enjoyed some very nice tourist runs, with one of the most memorable being in Sligo, Ireland, along a river and out into the country. Yes, I miss that a lot.
Sigh . . .