I’m driving up to Duluth right now. Well, actually, Nate is driving and I’m in the passenger seat. I did a 10 minute shake out jog this morning with a couple of strides and may do a little after we arrive in Duluth and do the expo/bottle decorating/packet pick up thing. I never feel great after a longer car ride so I’ll probably just get out for another 4-5 minutes just to shake the junk out of my legs.
The forecast earlier this week called for temps 65 at the start, rising to 72. At that point, I told Craig that because of the temps I probably wasn’t going to go for anything more aggressive than my original goal of 2:50. I know I don’t race well in the heat (take the Stillwater 1/2 as an example!), and anything faster than a 2:50 would take an amazing day.
The temps look a little cooler now, although the weather is pretty volatile. The Twin Cities will have temps near 90 today with dew points in the mid 70s. Yikes! Duluth and Two Harbors will naturally be cooler, but it will still be on the warm side. I guess we will see what we get at 7:45 tomorrow morning!
I’ll be running with Craig for the race, as he offered to pace me for his Spring “warm up” marathon. He’s doing NYC in the fall and wanted to ease into his training. I put him in contact with Jerry last week and they’ve worked out a pacing plan. I’ve remained out of that loop – I think it will be best for me to run on effort. I’ll latch onto Craig, enjoy the fruits of a long, hard training cycle, and welcome the hurt when it comes. That’s all I can ask of myself! Stressing out about whether I can run 6:29s (for a 2:50) or sub 6:20s (for a 2:44-high)… it doesn’t matter. I just have to give it my ultimate.
I have connected with a few others that are racing as well (Sara I, who is looking for her OTQ!). We’ve swapped thoughts on how we best race and how to work off of each other. We will at least start together and then see where the race takes us. Even just starting with a few others tomorrow will make the race even more fun!
No matter what, I know I’m stronger, faster, and more fit than last October (TCM 2:58:30) and definitely on track for my long term goal of a winter and Spring ’19 marathon for that OTQ (sub 2:45). Even though I’m coming into this stronger and faster than TCM, I’m more nervous! Honestly, in some ways just wish the race was over!
I have 10 TNC athletes racing: 8 in the marathon and 2 in the 1/2. I’ve never had this many athletes in one race before! It has been a bit of a wild coaching week making sure everyone is squared away. It will be SO fun to meet up with everyone after the race to hug and congratulate each other. Every one of them has an incredible story to tell about how far they’ve come. They’ve put themselves through the ringer the last few months of training (I tend not to go easy on my athletes!), setting themselves up to reach big goals. We are all ready!
There will also be an awesome cheer crew in cow suits zipping around from one place to another via bike. Nate will be one of those as well as Leighton, my cousin, and Cassie, another TNC athlete.
If any of you will be out on the course, cheer for the short brunette in a white Run N Fun singlet, maybe just a teal bra, black Brooks shorts, and pink and purple Brooks Hyperion flats. You might also be able to pick me out because I’ll be running along side a very tall, slender, tan guy in a blue TNC singlet who will make me look even shorter and more built than I really am :).
See you at the finish line!