Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Feel Like I Should Be Writing My Will

Do you ever get the feeling, when you have a big race looming, that your life is now divided between everything that led up to the race (especially the immediate torture of waiting) and everything after (none of which particularly matters)?

I spent my day at work making little Outlook appointments with myself, convinced that as soon as I walked out the library doors everything work-related would flee my mind to such an extent that I'll make lots of silly mistakes next week (missing meetings, forgetting deadlines, maybe just not showing up). My work week is Sunday through Wednesday (I'm 3/4 time). Tomorrow evening, after a normal Thursday home with my kids, I will get in my car and drive. The Top of Utah Marathon is behind every action and thought I've had today. It's amazing I was able to function on the reference desk!

Here are some new developments:

1) I have a cold (cue Darth Vader music). Dratted work (the kids aren't sick so I can't blame them this time). I'm downing water and Zicam, and I skipped my easy 30-minute run today in favor of a 30-minute walk. The symptoms aren't too bad so far. I hope I can keep any really wicked stuff at bay until after approximately 10:45 a.m. Saturday morning.

2) I found out the marathon will have pacers. This is huge! The only problem is they have a 3:40 pacer and a 3:50 pacer. My BQ target time is 3:45. Dan thinks I should run with the 3:40 pacer for the downhill part in the canyon and then allow myself to slow down and let that pace group go if I need to for the final 8 miles, which are flat to slightly rolling. And indeed this is the strategy many of the pacers on the TOU site recommend for this race. I tend to think of Dan as my running Zen master. He's never given me bad advice. Does anyone out there disagree with him?

I still honestly don't know if I can go as fast as those 3:40 pacers will probably be running in the canyon. I know I can stick with the 3:50 pacers. But then I risk not getting my BQ....

3) The weather: predicted high of 74, low of 49, possible thundershowers. Sounds good to me!


  1. A cold...ah crap....ok this is my secret potion for that and it does help but I cannot say it is tasty.

    BRAGGS ACV in water. Several times per day. At least one table spoon, can be cold or hot water.
    try that.

    It will all be ok. I have not done any marathon and I will never attempt to BQ but I would go with your zen master;s plan. 3:50: too risky I think but what do I know? well I know a lot but sadly not about BQ-ing!!!!

    You will be ok. Believe it.
    NO FEAR.

  2. Hope you feel better!!! Really, really hope you feel better soon! I would maybe get just behind the 3:40 pacers, don't necessarily run with them, but keep them in your sites. That should put you somewhere in the middle! You can do this! You can do this! You can do this! I am so excited for you! Good Luck!

  3. Oh yeah, and this is the race where Jim had his first it's a good luck race! You've got this!

  4. Oh no...not a cold. Let's hope it's just one of those pre-race phantom thingies that seem to occur with every race I've ever done (aches, pains...). Let's hope that's all it is. I think when we run ourselves into the ground and then suddenly our body is just sitting around getting big pretzel with salt, it tends to not know what to do and thus starts yelling at us. But it's nothing, just ignore it!! :)

    Dangit, I wish they had a 3:45 pace group....these pace groups are going to have to get their act together and start pacing with the new BQ times. That said, I've killed more marathons by going out too fast (and knew it within the first mile) so start with the 3:40 and if it feels good, then stick with it. If not, then hang back with the 3:50 group and let the legs get used to the pace some and then pick it up around mile 13ish. I did that at StG and I remember thinking when I left the pace group, "Adios fellas...." and I never saw them again.

    Perfecto weather! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!


  5. I always seem to get sick the week leading up to a marathon. Why does that happen? I hope yours clears up asap.

    On the pacing groups--this is a tough one. I might be inclined to start with the 3:50 group to ensure a slow start and then after about 6 miles or so, start gradually picking it up. Ensures you'll be feeling ok later on in the race, where starting too fast may lead to blowing up later on. My 2 cents!

  6. I defy you, cold!! Just think, 2 days from now you will be gliding down the TOU. I am so excited for you! I will send all my running ju-ju your way as I run the final 20+of my marathon training at the same time. I will endeavor to picture scenic wonders instead of the Denver Waste recycling plant along the Platte. Run happy and hard, what more can you do??

  7. I've never used a pacer group, but from what I hear, it can be depressing to have to let a pacer group go on without you. If you're strong enough mentally that way, go for it w/ the faster group to start.

    Good luck w/ the cold. Ain't it always the way....