So the final week of taper begins. Marathon #5 is nearly here! I've got this goal in mind...to run under four hours. As I look back to previous marathons I see one glaring mistake and one recurring issue...fueling and cramping. I'm certain these are related! I will rely on myself for fueling. The mistake was to rely on the event to supply, don't do this! I've been using accelerade for several months and it seems to work well. I am using a hand-held bottle. I'll also use accel-gel. I plan on taking one every thirty minutes including one just before the race starts. Also, I will be taking salt tablets. Probably one every hour as that's how I've trained on my long runs. Sandy will be my crew, I'll get refills from her. My approach to this taper has been slightly different than last time. Still a three week taper, but less mileage! My body is definitely recovering! Lowering into the 25+ range has given me a chance to recoup.
The race strategy has to be aggressive, but the start has to be done right. I've been practicing this at the track. Here's what I know: I can run 14 miles at sub 9's. I have been able to finish long MP runs with a fast mile. The only questions are, "do I have the long runs?" Will those 19 mile trail runs pay off? I did walk a lot during them!? How will the weather be? (45 the low, 65 the high) How will I respond to the flats when the vast majority of my running has been on hills?
Finally, running is an integral part of my daily life. I have to run! For over 25 years I've been a runner. I've seen my times slow and that really doesn't bother me because truly my running isn't about times; but with that said the marathon is the one distance I think I can still post a PR ! Maybe my motive is the hope of a last hurrah? The breaking of new running ground! Posting a brand new PR! Proving to myself I'm not done in yet....plus it's fun!! I love a challenge! In my early years of racing I used to go into a race with three goals; ultimate, challenging, acceptable. I really don't do this anymore. My mentality has always been to go for the ultimate goal! If I plant any other goal in my head I may be persuaded, during the pain, to settle for less. So I'm going to establish my goal as 3:59.
Wish me good luck! By the way I'm on vacation!!!!! Peace!