Well, here we are.
As I said previously, it's been quite a ride, and no matter what happens on Sunday, I couldn't be happier with how this training cycle has gone. (I mean. I could have done without the knee drama in weeks 8 & 9. But still.) I feel like I've trained well & am prepared for a solid race, and the time will be whatever it will be.
However. I *do* have to make some decisions about pacing ahead of time, and I have to base that on *something*. (I'm not experienced enough at marathons to run them by feel.) My original thought was that as long as I was healthy and feeling reasonably good and the weather isn't doing anything ridiculous, it wasn't TOO audacious for me to go out with the 3:35 pace group (8:12/mile) and see how it feels. But, that was before I learned that apparently there is no longer a 3:35 pace group, only a 3:38 group & a 3:33 group, presumably to give people a shot at actually *getting in* to Boston should they qualify. SO NOW WHAT???
Eh, whatever. I'll probably start with the 3:38 group & then see how I feel & maybe work my way up (er, hopefully that's how it will work). My recent 10K and half marathon times back up a time somewhere in there, and my training has been simply head and shoulders stronger than the year I ran 3:36. There is definitely something kind of freeing about being able to look back on this training cycle and say, In this training cycle, I ran 35% more miles than ever before. I hit 50 miles or more in twice as many weeks. I did twice times as many runs of 16 miles or more. I did three times as many runs of 12 miles or more. I did longer and harder speed and tempo workouts than I've ever done before in my life. I did multiple workouts that scared the pants off of me.
Still, since I have never run faster than 3:36, I think it's probably smart to be a little conservative and plan to run no faster than 3:35 pace for at least the first half. If I'm feeling absolutely amazing, then maybe I can think about pushing just a tiny bit harder after that, and around 20-22 basically run as fast as I think I can manage.
But, I'm also completely prepared for 8:12 to feel just barely manageable start to finish. And also for it to feel too hard. I know I should be feeling pretty happy & comfortable for the first 13-18 miles, & if that's not what 3:35 pace brings on Sunday, I'm more than willing to back off a bit in the interest of running a negative split.
So, we'll see. At this point I've done all there is to do, training wise; all that's left is to remember to pack everything & not oversleep. D:
(BUT SERIOUSLY IF YOU HAVE ANY PACING SUGGESTIONS OR ADVICE I AM TOTALLY TAKING THEM.)
See you on the flip side of this thing!