“Marathon day approaches! The rubber has met the road. I am ready!”
Challenges Along The Way
With only 4 days before the BMO Vancouver Marathon, I have decided to firm up my race day plan in order to complete the 42.2k in, or around, the 5 hr mark. I have planned, trained and mentally prepared for this amazing experience. I can’t wait!
Following is a great map that shows the various challenges of the course over and above the distance.
The map shows a “3:45” race group. I in no way will be pushing for that time! LOL! Maybe another year!
You will notice the red sections of the course, one of the primary reasons I like this map. They indicate the uphill sections. The most daunting section reported by runners is Camosun Hill that runs between the 9k and 10k mark. On the one hand, I am glad the most difficult hill is early in the race. On the other hand, I wish it was not there at all.
- I am shooting to complete the race in 5hrs. That means I have to average 7:07/km.
- I will use my Garmin Pace Buddy and shoot for running 6:45/km. This provides the following splits: 5k/33:45, 10k/1:07:30, half-m/2:22:24, with Marathon completion at 4:44:49.
- Running 6:45/km gives me some buffer time to make the 5hrs mark.
- Camosun Hill and the slow slope at the Burrard Bridge will slow me down. The above numbers assume a relatively flat course. The provided 15min buffer will help me during these challenging sections of the run.
- I am running the marathon as two races within a race. The first 32k, and the final 10.2k. The first 32k I will run with my head. The last 10.2, with my heart.
- I WILL HAVE FUN! With goal splits in mind, no matter how I feel, and no matter what time it takes me to get around the course, I am focusing on enjoying my first marathon experience. That, in the end, is all that matters. If I am able to complete the race in five hours, that is icing.
I have fought with myself about what I will bring on the race. Following are my final decisions approaching race day:
- I am bringing a hand held for hydration, only large enough to hold a half liter of water. It has a pouch where I can store some gels as well.
- Long sleeve with short sleeve on top.
- Flip Belt to carry my iPhone in so I can use Garmin Live Tracking.
- Hoka One One Bondi 4. I have over 500k on these shoes. Although I anticipate some toe box issues as the race progresses, these are still by far the best shoes for the distance.
- 2″ or so split shorts. Comfy, and sexy!
Avoid the wall by proper pacing, and proper race event nutrition:
- There are aid stations about every 3-5k in the race. That means I will be well taken care of in terms of hydration. To reduce anxiety, I am bring a small hand held and several of my own gels.
- I will be taking a gel about every 8k or so.
- The final week of taper means four things:
- Lots of refined pasta and bread (no whole wheat to avoid GI distress.)
- No spicy foods.
- Fruit juice to keep tank topped.
- Avoiding over eating.