Never, never, never quit

I'm channeling Winston Churchill for my final hours before the starting gun at Fairfield. I'm about to head out for an easy 30-minute run around the 'hood. But before that, I want to get all my thoughts down before they swirl out of my head as they tend to in the hours leading up to a race.

Goal Times
  • Goal 1 (attainable): Come in close--but under--my PR of 1:53:42. Completely doable because my Half-Mary PR pace is 8:41 and most of my training runs have been faster than that. (I do realize that for humility's sake and out of respect for the distance that my attainable goal should be "to enjoy the race," but damn it, I am a cocky 20-something that always has something to prove.)
  • Goal 2 (challenge): Come in at 1:50. That would shave about four minutes off my time. It's within the realm of reason, but it won't be easy to maintain that 8:24 pace.
  • Goal 3 (pie in the sky): Come in at 1:45 (essentially an 8:00 pace). This would be exceeding hard because it's hard enough to maintain this pace for a six mile run. Can't imagine how I'll do it tomorrow.
Oh New England--your weather patterns are horrible. This week was beautiful. Every morning I woke up to a chill in the air, puffs of clouds in the sky, and glorious sunshine. However, tomorrow's weather for Fairfield calls for light showers leading into scattered thunderstorms. While the rain sucks (I've never actually run in the rain), it does guarantee cool temps (high 60s) and plenty of cloud coverage. The rain also spoils the beach plans we had for the rest of the day. Boo.

The lovely seaside town of Fairfield is just one-hour North of New York City. I could actually take the commuter rail to the race, but that would mean getting on the 5:35am train out of NYC--I just can't bring myself to get to Grand Central at 5:30am. So we'll be renting a car tonight and driving up at 6am tomorrow.

I've never stayed this far away from the race starting line, so hopefully it turns out alright.

Race Day Strategy
I've been good about this race and studied the course quite a bit over the past few weeks. The hardest part of the race seems to be the hilly midsection. Although I've heard from people that have run this race in the past that there are some surprise hills at the end.

So my plan for the race will be to take the first two miles easy, which shouldn't be a problem because with 3,000 runners there will be a lot of people in my way those first couple of miles. Miles 2-4 I want to settle into a good pace, trying to get toward my goal pace. Miles 5-7 have the biggest climbs and downhills, so there'll be some speeding up and slowing down--which I anticipate will completely mess with my pacing. After mile 7 it looks to be pretty easy, with a few rolling hills--which I like because little hills help get the blood pumping without taxing me too much and can really boost my mood if I tackle them well. After the hill in mile 11 I'll be going through my gravvy songs and hopefully just feeding off the excitement, making a mad dash to finish line.

I'm really hoping to be smart about this race and not just attack it blindly like I normally attack a race. But I'm sure come tomorrow morning I will be suffering from level 5 runner's brain and all this good thinking would have gone to waste.

There have been a few changes to the playlist for Fairfield, I've updated Tuesday's post with the new mix. I had to switch out some songs that just didn't feel right.

Final Thoughts
  • It's been over a year since I've raced at this distance, it's going to be a good time to returning to my favorite distance
  • When it starts to hurt and suck and the world starts crumbling around me I will just think: Does it really hurt that much? The answer is always no.
  • It is quite possible that this race, as much as I've prepared for it, will go bad. I'm not going to lie: if all does go horribly wrong I will be upset. If my GI tract acts up, as it has lately, I'll have to stop to get that out of the way. If I break out into stitches, I will have to combat them and probably have to walk. If my IT Band flares up, I will have to stop and stretch and inject walking breaks. But, I know I will finish. It might not be the time I want or the beautiful race I had hoped and dreamed about, but I will get my shit together and get to that finish line. I will never, never, never quit.


Jess said...

You'll do just fine. Don't worry about all the possible things that can go wrong; try to relax and enjoy it as much as possible and good luck! Can't wait for the report!

Marci said...

Great blog, it sounds like you are well-prepared. Have a good run and I look foward to the race report.

Laura said...

Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it goes.

The Laminator said...

Dude...no negative thoughts. Repeat: YOU'RE GOING TO ROCK THIS RACE! Now go out there and have some fun. I want to hear your PR story!

Marcy said...

Good luck homefries! I'm sure you'll do fantastic ;D ;D