So this is a little bit stupid and very naive, but with just twelve days to go until the marathon I’ve drawn up a proposed race plan based on my 18 mile tempo from a couple of weeks ago.
On the basis that I can run 1:48 for 18 miles I’m confident on a relatively flat tarmac course with some company and rehydration I can get to 20 miles in two hours. So with that in mind I’m going to go off at six minute miling and see how I feel. If I’m struggling after an hour then I’m going to have to revise my plan and ease off, but if I can go through the twenty mile mark in two hours then it gives me exactly one hour to run the final 10km.
You see I have no real expectations as I have not adequately trained for the race, so I’m going in with blind faith and hope that my winter base training has carried forward seven months and that my body is so rested from a summer of relaxed training that it feels fresh. Of course the chances of this happening are pretty slim and as the old saying goes ’20 miles is only the halfway point in a marathon’. I’m not prepared, that’s for sure, but it’s too late to do anything about it, so it’s time to suck it up.
The likelihood is that I hit a massive wall, limp home in an absolute state and wonder about what could have been. But will I have had fun, put myself towards the front end of the race and made things interesting? Yes. Unfortunately for my body I don't know how not to race. The gun will go and I'll look at the guys around me and think about winning the damn thing. 26.2 miles after 800m will seem like a breeze but 26.2 miles after 23 miles will feel like death.
How can I prepare to overcome the wall? Well the event website says there are carbohydrate drinks every 5km, so I'll be sure to drink a lot to keep my glycogen levels up, and hopefully if my girlfriend's dad is officiating then he can carry a reserve supply of powerade on his bike for useful top ups. Otherwise it's going to be a case of burning my limited fat stores, which are depleted before I even toe the start line.
Here goes nothing… do or die... it’s me or the marathon, but one of us is going to be smashed through a wall (I have a feeling it’s going to be me)!
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