Saturday, August 29, 2009

My 20-miler and marathon prep

I just completed my last long run before the Lehigh Valley Marathon on September 13 in Allentown, PA. I don't have class/work on Fridays, so that was the perfect day to do it because I wasn't running in the rain of Saturday or blowing most of one day on the weekend with a run. There were only two things I had to do on Friday: run 20 miles and meet friends for Happy Hour. Needless to say: done and done.

I ran 6 miles downtown to meet a friend who is training for her second Marine Corps Marathon in October. We ran a good 8.5 miles or so (walking up the hills) and then I struggled to head the remaining miles back home. The last 5.5 were brutal, but I got them done and didn't feel like death afterward. Which, of course, is important since the marathon is 26.2 miles, not an even 20. My final time was 3:10:05, a 9:30 pace. If I can keep that pace in the marathon, I'll be ecstatic.

So now we go into taper mode. Unlike most people, I don't mind taper mode. It's a nice excuse to be lazy and not get up so early to run. Or to run less. Or not as hard. Come to think of it, I like tapering a lot. In reality, I'll likely just bike a bit more rather than pounding the pavement.

There's something very relaxing about your second marathon. You know you can do the distance so you're not fretting about that. You know what you can/can't eat. And, well, if you're me, you don't have goals like BQ-ing or goals like improving my time by an hour, or nonsense like that. It makes for a very stress-free couple of weeks.

I still have a couple of things to coordinate, mainly:
  1. I'm going to try to update my mileage/pace on Twitter during the marathon. I can text message the Twitter service and it may be a good way for spectators/readers to keep up with me because I'm sure the marathon won't have live updating. If you're interested, it's Oddly enough, running is the only reason for me to use Twitter, besides looking at others' updates.
  2. I still need to coordinate where spectators will be spread out along the course. During my last marathon, my dad was there, but I only got to see him a couple of times, and not after mile 13. It made for a very lonely second half and I'm determined not to repeat that. This time my whole family will be here as will friends. I'm hoping to space them out and then get them to the finish line in time to see me pump my fists in victory (meaning, um, finishing).
  3. The mile dedications. I did this for the first marathon and my 48 Miles in 48 Hours insanity, and it meant a lot to me, so I'll do it again this time.
So, this time 2 weeks and 7 hours from now, I'll be starting my second marathon. Wow. That came quickly.


karen ball said...

A beautiful, modest, humorous post and down-to-earth as ever. I will be thinking of you on your marathon day and wishing you the very best. Will definitely follow you on Twitter!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Enjoy your taper (and I think i like taper a lot Looking forward to hearing all about your 2nd marathon -- I'll be checkin twitter for updates! :D

Marlene said...

That sure did come quickly! I like the idea of Twittering during the race (although no way would I have the patience).

Looking forward to reading about marathon # 2!

Congrats on the 20.

ShirleyPerly said...

Nice job on the 20-miler!

Glad you are not stressing out over your race. Sometimes I feel guilty about not stressing out as much as others about my races but, really, I think it's not very productive. In fact, I often race better if I just let go and have fun.

Enjoy your taper and bike :-)

Susan said...

Good luck! You're going to do GREAT.