Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Event Horizon: 'Do You See the Beast?'


Sixteen days. Nine runs. Three track sessions. Two tempos. Two longs. Two easy. One race on the horizon. I have the marathon in my sights.

Yesterday, I received confirmation of my Akron Marathon registration. Today, I got a personal e-mail from Jim Barnett, the race director, who thanked me for my registration, told me how totally awesome I am and said, "I look forward to shaking your hand again at the finish line." No joke.

After the Buckeye Half Marathon on Sunday, McMillan has assured me that logging a sub-four at Akron should present no significant problem. I'm ready to shoot this beast in the ass.



The New Cure
Last night, I eradicated the lactic acid built up in my legs from Sunday's race. Seven miles at an easy pace (but faster than anticipated) felt comfortable. The leg twinged a few times, but feels better than it did before the race. So, if you are feeling injured, just sign up for a race and you'll be fine.

Forget R.I.C.E. therapy, Dr. Viper says, Race for the cure.

I don't think that slogan has been taken.

Pacing Strategy
Building on my recent goal-achieving success, I have been thinking about how to pace myself for the marathon. Last year, I tried to stay ahead of the four-hour pace group, but they passed me somewhere after the halfway mark and I fell to a 4:26:48 finish, my current PR.

McMillan says my 1:49:09 half marathon means I should be able to hold an 8:48 mile pace for a 3:50:12 finish. My goal was only to come in under four hours. But do I base my pacing strategy on the four-hour goal and try to surge at the end? Or do I attempt to hold on at a faster pace for the whole race? Or perhaps should I tie a bottle of Laphroaig to a stick and chase it like a donkey chasing a carrot?

[Drunkard's update: New donkey photo features Laphroaig! In addition to reading my blog, Sarah also apparently reads my mind, as I had a team of experts working on the above image before she made the comment below. I'm considering getting this image screen-printed onto a running shirt. Cheers!]

21 comments:

S said...

I say stick with the 4 hour pacer and go for a surge at the end. it seems to have worked in the half marathon. Although...the whiskey on a stick idea does have some merit...

RazZDoodle said...

If you can wear that contraption and break 4 hours, more power to ya.

Sarah said...

Come on, with your superb Photoshop skills (right?) you should have been able to transpose a bottle of Scotch onto the end of that string.

I'm in a pace quandary as well. I registered assuming I would run a 4:30 race. Recent runs have led me to believe I am capable of at least a 4:00 if not better. So now what? Do I line up at the front of the 4:30 corral and try to work my way up to the 4:00 group? Or would that require me to go out too fast and thereby ruin my chances at a 4:00 race? Or do I just say "fuck it" and line up with the 4:00 folks despite what my bib says? Questions, questions...

I think holding on for a surge at the end is a good strategy. Hell, I managed to yank out my three fastest miles at the end of my 20-miler last weekend. If I can run an 8:35 for mile 20, anything is possible.

*sings* AND WE ALL GO DOWN TOGETHERRRRRRR...

raulgonemobile said...

Wow, maybe that's how I can improve my times.. Throw a bottle of scotch on the end of a stick.. mmmmm

Great idea!

Nitmos said...

I hate to be contradictory but if you have a "surge" at 22-23 miles in, I'll buy you a bottle of Laphroaig. I'd rather get ahead of the pacer and then run the second half as if the donkey is weilding a chainsaw so I better not let him catch me.

Vanilla said...

I always like to go for the surge in the last few miles, but then, I've never run a marathon so you'd be better off listening to Nitmos. Never thought I'd say that.

Big said...

My first marathon Cincinnati, I ran with the 4:30 group for the first ten and then tried to catch up with the 4:00 group. I wasn't successful. At Detroit a few years later, I just ran with a 4:00 group the whole time. Nitmos is right, pace with the group you feel you can run with now; late surges don't work out as well as you may hope.

Or, think of it this way, running with the 4:30 pace group for the first 22 miles will put you around 3:46:14 (10:17/M). Running with the 4:00 pace group will put you at 3:21:18 (9:09/M) for the first 22 miles. That is about 25 minutes ahead of the 4:30 pace group. If you want to break four hours, it will be very difficult to surge 4.2 miles in under 14 minutes. Regardless, best of luck!

Jess said...

I agree with Nitmos too on this one. By the last miles of my marathon I was just praying for the finish line to come...any surge hopes I had went right out the window.

Ms. V. said...

I just like the word *surge*.




Oh, and that pic is on my desktop. Purty.

Marcy said...

Dude I have nothing to offer in terms of advice since I haven't "gone there" yet but I'd listen to Nitmos (this will probably be the ONLY time I say this :P)

Vava said...

Sign me up for one of those t-shirts when the project comes to fruition! Good luck on the marathon - the 4:00 mark is going down!

Sarah said...

I'm considering getting this image screen-printed onto a running shirt.

I can has awesome T-shirt, too? After all it was my idea... LOL

Wendy said...

Is there a 3:45 pacer? You could try to stick it out with them for a while and use the 4:00 pacer as a last resort do-not-pass-me type of thing.

Good luck figuring it out!

Adam said...

If all else fails, be sure to have some scotch at the finish line. It could help bribe the timekeeper, or drown your sorrows, but hopefully it'll just help you celebrate a new blistering PR.

Xenia said...

You know I have no advice to give, but Nitmos' sounds good. This way you can also blame him if it all goes horribly wrong. A definite win-win situation.

Sarah said...

You know I have no advice to give, but Nitmos' sounds good.

Never trust anyone who can't spell "wield." Who knows where else he will lead you astray. ;)

Sarah said...

P.S. And before y'all start slapping the "Spelling Nazi!" label on me, hey, I'm a professional proofreader, editor, and word maveness. It's what I do. I can't help it. And yes, I know "maveness" is a made-up word.

Ms. V. said...

PS-I put up the Brett Favre Chili recipe, and requisite comments just for you.

Virginia Dressler said...

that's how i always picture the vipes- an ass chasing a beer

the erratic epicurean said...

i'm do glad that you have a lil' donkey in your life. he can get you through the tough times viper. and yes, please get this on a shirt before the marathon. everyone needs a mascot!

Laura said...

Big news - I have booked flights to Akron (okay, to Cleveland because it was cheaper) for the marathon. Haven't registered yet b/c I'm giving the boyfriend tonight to talk me out of it with my bum knee (I have 24 hours to cancel the flight), but we know I won't let a little injury stand in the way. I'll announce it on my blog later when I get around to writing my half marathon report from yesterday, but wanted to let you know!

I'm leaving Saturday late afternoon, but maybe we can meet up post-race? Unfortunately the drive to the airport means that a Boozehounds Inc/Absolut(ly) Fit drink-off probably won't be possible, though if you REALLY want I'll challenge you to it at the pasta party (BYOB) :)