I'm running a marathon this Sunday. The Potomac River Marathon. I have very mixed feelings about it.
It's a tiny race--capped at 300 runners. There won't be a ton of people running or cheering. I love the energy from the crowd, but I don't love weaving through people. So I can't decide if the size is good or bad.
It's on a gravel trail. I bought the trail version of my running shoes which may buy me like, a second per mile. Gravel is a little slower, but I've done a few long runs on it and it seemed fine.
It's 6.5 miles out and back--twice. Extremely boring. On the other hand, I have run the whole course several times and know exactly what to expect. It's very flat, except a few short uphills in the last two miles as you run over some locks in the canal.
It's going to be warm. Not as warm as Boston was (poor Marie!), but still in the 70s. And I really prefer to race below 50... The whole trail is shady, so that will help a bit. But still, hotter than I'd like.
I haven't done as great a job training as I did two years ago for Pittsburgh. I've done all my long runs pretty well and at a decent pace--two 20s and a 22 miler. But my middle of the week training has been 3 mile runs pushing the boys in the double stroller (which has got to be the equivalent of like, nine miles) with no speedwork or hills. I've done some Yoga and Jillian, but not as much as I should, and still no cross training. It's like I want to fail...
However, when I put in my most recent half marathon time (1:43:16) into this NIFTY race calculator, it has me running a 3:39:16. Which I would be THRILLED about. All I freaking want to do is run under 3:40. This is the last year 3:40 is the Boston Qualifying time--in September it goes down to 3:35. Right before I run Chicago, thank you very much.
So part of me is like, "DUDE! I OWN THIS RACE! IMMA GONNA RUN A 3:35!" And the rest of me is like "FOOL! DON'T TELL THE INTERNET THAT! NOW YOU HAVE TO DO IT!" And also part of me just wants to eat chips.
So the moral is, go big or go home. I'm going to run my very best race and at the end I'm either going to say, "HA! Remember how I thought I could qualify for Boston and run under a 3:40? That was silly." Or I'm going to say nothing because I'll be dead. But let me tell you, I'm either going to kill that marathon, or it's going to kill me.