Monday, November 16, 2009

My Three Objectives for Yesterdays Trial Run.

This is the map and elevation of my training run. Mile 9 of the marathon starts where I was at mile 4 and it continues in a similar fashion until a short hill at mile 25.

1. To see how the elevation would affect me.

The Tucson Marathon starts at 4800 feet above sea level. That's like 3500 feet above my bed. Can I go from bed to Oracle in just one day and survive. Luckily, the first 3/4 of a mile is all downhill. If you drop your water bottle, you'll retrieve it at the bottom, kind of downhill. But, then the hills start. I don't do well and the hills+elevation was tough on me yesterday. On marathon day I'll have to put up with it for the first 8 miles. It'll be tough, but I think I can manage.

2. To see how hilly Oracle, Az really is.

The hills are like being in the ocean. One wave after the other, but no water to give you buoyancy. Just before the first mile marker they start on Mt. Lemmon Road. I know, when given lemons, make lemonade. My plan is to run all the flats and downhills up to about the half way point of the uphills. Then to walk to the crest and pray there's a downhill on the other side. I didn't see any false summits, so I should be able to do this and keep my mile pace under 12 for the first 8 miles. Miles 1, 2 and 5 should be closer to 11. I need to conserve my energy here, so that I can do the last 18 miles strong.

3. To find out what my comfortable pace is on the downhill portion.

The beauty of the Tucson Marathon is the final 18 miles. All downhill. From about 4500 feet above sea level to about 2000 feet. A 2500' drop in 18 miles and it's pretty consistent. One short hill around mile 25. I ran 5 miles of this portion and between 10:29 and 11:16 miles. I'm pretty sure about two things. I'll be able to run this portion well and my legs we'll feel horrible when I'm done.

Tucson Marathon Expectations.

I break up my marathons into 0ne mile segments and into larger chunks. I like to crunch data during the run. Here's my plan. The first 8 miles is the first chunk(The hills of Oracle). I plan to keep each mile around 12 minutes. I should leave Oracle after 1 hour and 36 minutes. The next five miles (entering civilization) are all downhill and will bring me to the half way point of the marathon. At 11 minute miles, I should get to Biosphere road at 2:31. The next 5 miles (down to Catalina) I plan to do in 11 minute miles, so I should get to mile 18 by 3:26. And then there's the last 8.2 miles. I need to get these done in 1:30 minutes to break 5 hours. That means an keeping it at 11 minute miles all the way to the finish. Can I do it?

I really want a PR for a marathon that starts with a 4. Here's hoping for a 4:56 marathon on December 13th.


Adam said...

That sounds like a pretty realistic goal to me.

The trick, I'll bet, will be holding yourself to the slower pace on the middle miles. You did great @ TCM, do there is no reason to think that you won't here!!

(BTW, I think totally like you and love seeing times that start with a different digit.)

Pat said...

Thanks Adam. Most of Tucson's marathon is on Oracle road. It is the perfect down hill. Just enough slope to make you feel like a kenyan. Although in my case it might be a kenyan bus.

lifestudent said...

Its great to have a plan - but remember that anything can happen on race day. You will do great as long as you do the best you can do!

Irene said...

It looks like a smart plan of action!

LOL @ the Kenyan bus comment!

Thanks for your supportive comments on my blog!