Passing the Final Exam of 22

4 miles short of the real thing. Long story short, I passed the test and can finally start “the taper”. The peak of the training is over, only 18 days left. The idea of running a marathon always worried me, especially during those days after being wiped out on a long run which wasn’t even close to a marathon distance. And those consecutive weeks where there was no sign of progress, making 26 miles seem like a hopeless distance.

Running a 22 miler is the perfect solution for a shaken confidence. It’s the prefect marathon simulation. With such a great course and good company, the miles just fly by:

A Manhattan loop more or less.

It’s hard to believe that I’m writing this now; that I’m ready to run the NYC marathon! Based on my latest performance (22.12 miles in 3:32 hours @ 9:36 min/mile pace, including breaks) I should have a 4:00 – 4:15 marathon, but with so many variables, anything can happen.

BATTLE PLAN:
So whats my strategy for a 4 hour marathon? I have to maintain a comfortable 8:45 – 9:00 min/mile pace for 2/3 of the race so that I can afford to drop it to 9:30 – 9:45 on the Queensboro bridge and the final 10K. Based on my history, I am the king of positive splits; the master of getting slower and slower as the distance goes past 16 miles. Going too fast (8:30 or less) for too long will wipe me out and going too slow (9:30 or more) for too long will obviously knock me out of the 4 hour limit. But this is just the physical.

The mental strategy? DO NOT GET CRAZY! 47,000 runners, the 2 million cheering people throughout, all of my training being put to the test, my friends counting on me; I must have the same clear mind as if it was the 22 miler final exam. Most importantly when things go sour, I have to remain calm. It won’t be the end of the world if it takes longer than 4 hours, even 4:30. 

The fuel? 4 GUs and 4 salt packets, one for each hour. The nightly carbo loading special: half pound salmon with a BOX of pasta. The pre-race meal: oatmeal, peanut butter, vitamins, tea. Must bring some fig bars and nuts to the starting line since it will be hours until the race actually starts. Clothes? Almost exactly what I wore to the 22 miler.

Most importantly, there is 2 weeks to master taking pictures and video on the run using my phone for the ultimate post. I’ll start practicing tonight.

One thought on “Passing the Final Exam of 22

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s