In less than 72 hours, I’ll be standing at the starting line for the Cleveland Marathon along with 15,000 other runners. I’ve never run in a race with that many people before! How does that even work? I know my timing chip won’t start ’till I cross the starting line, but seriously, how do they line 15,000 people up? Where should I try and fit in? That thought leads to the ultimate Pre Race question: What time am I aiming (realistically) to hit? And more broadly, what are my race goals?
Well, until about 4 days ago, I didn’t think I’d be ABLE to run the full marathon. Between my busted ITB and the miracle cortisone shot, I officially have no idea what to expect so I’m not even going to whisper an estimated goal finishing time. But I need to situate myself somewhere amongst the crowd at the start and I have 2 subjective goals, which are more important to me than a finishing time.
1. Have FUN! I’m running this marathon for Jack, the inspiration behind Operation Jack, and I want to go out there and enjoy myself. My older brother is running the marathon with me, so it’ll be fun running another race with him! And my dad, mom, grandma, and several family friends will be there watching/cheering/supporting us! Regardless of what goes down with my knee, it’ll be awesome to have so many supporters there watching! I also want to take pictures (and maybe a few videos) along the way and document my journey.
2. PR! If all goes well (and I can complete the entire 26.2 miles) there’s a good chance I’ll be able to run faster than my Boulder marathon time last fall. Let’s face it, any time I get will probably be faster than my 1st marathon experience. (I had to crawl, walk, limp pretty much the last 6 miles of the Boulder) (and I won’t even go into the projectile vomiting that happened at mile 19) Needless to say, I’d love for this marathon to go a little bit better than last years :)
3. Ok, time to be objective: Where to situate myself at the start? I think I’m going to find the 4:00 and 4:20 pace groups. I want to start somewhere in between the two. All my normal and long runs have been between 8:30-9:30 pace, so that’s probably a safe place to start.
I’ve got my Cleveland Marathon Playlist all set (thanks to some friends for suggesting and hooking me up with rockin’ tunes). I’ve got my race day outfit planned out. I’ve got my race day nutrition planned out. I’ve mentally prepared for a successful, fun race but I’ve also mentally prepared for a DNF if my ITB pain is unbearable.
Tomorrow, I’ll post about my race day outfit and nutrition plan.