finsiher fotoYet another marathon Sunday.  This was Steve’s idea.  We were all supposed to sign up right after Moab to run with Steve in his first ever marathon.  So I did.  Eventually, much later, Jen was able to shame Steve to at least sign up for the half marathon by calling him a pussy.  Since then, Steve has bailed to run another half marathon trail race in New Mexico with his daughter Allison.  Keith is day-to-day with a wife-induced, gardening-related, back injury.  Jen is still committed, but to the half.  That leaves me alone running the full.  Hmm.

That’s okay.  I haven’t been putting in the requisite miles, but I’ve put in less before.  Although that particular marathon didn’t go very well.  I recall blaming my shoes in my first post-race blog, totally bashing the manufacturer before determining I went out too fast.  Sorry Asics, but I blamed my inserts too.  Despite not feeling totally prepared for a marathon, I’ve been running consistently.  My focus has been more on speed for the Bolder Boulder – which went well.  I did try to get in some distance too but tapered a couple of weeks ago when I began to feel fatigued and injured.  I totally psyched myself out, backing off my initial plans to run a 7 minute pace for Monday’s BB10K, thinking I would run more like 7:30.  Instead I ran my original goal I set over two months earlier.  I don’t know what my problem was.  Low T crossed my mind.  I probably just slowed down from the weather heating up.  But you don’t fall out of shape over night.  The Bolder Boulder turned out okay and I’ll be fine in Steamboat too.

That leaves me to strategerize my game plan for running Steamboat.  The plan begins with more tapering.  I ran 10 miles Tuesday, following my Memorial Day 10K, but only 3 on Wednesday.  I wore my minimalist Merrill Trail Gloves for that short distance.  I didn’t run at all today and probably won’t tomorrow since I’ll have to drive 3 hours to Steamboat immediately after work.  I’ll do a short run Saturday to acclimate to the 7,000 feet elevation.

I’ll begin the marathon fairly slow, maybe a 9 minute pace.  Certainly no faster than 8:30, because it launches from over 8100 feet and rises another 50 to the 2 mile point.  My 3rd mile might be fast since it’s entirely downhill but I’ll be loose by then.  The 4th mile rises another 100 feet so likely back to 9 minutes.  After those 4 miles, I’ll either try to keep my pace at 8:30 or run however I feel. I won’t purposely run super slow, but I have no plans to try to push myself Sunday.  This first marathon of the year is more about survival.  I think I might listen to music too.  I know many runners believe they run faster to music.  I sometimes feel like I’m running faster but experience suggests I run slower.  It takes the edge off.  Maybe I need an edgier playlist.

It’s difficult to predict an exact time for this marathon.  I don’t know the course well enough and know I won’t be pushing it hard.  Still, I would like to keep it under 4 hours.  Over 4 hours suggests some walking.  One goal I do have is to not fold like a cheap card table the final 10K.  My plan for that is to drink and eat at every aid station.  Assuming it’s about nutrition, that might help.  The pic above is the finisher’s photo with my girls at Monday’s Bolder Boulder.  We’re a running family.