I think it's 11 days until the Madison Marathon? Yes. (I just checked.) This race feels so different because I'm not carrying on about it nonstop on social media. I'm still a firm believer in making your goals known but honestly, after all the buildup I gave Lakefront, I'm over the blow-by-blow countdown... for now at least. :)
So what is my goal again, exactly? I said earlier that I recover quickly and that remains true. After 10 days of rest and only easy/recovery runs, I initialed Project Run All the Hills. This was another 10 days of practicing every incline I could get my hands (or feet) on- which culminated with the relay in Door County last weekend. (That fast, flat, Monster Run 5K was stuck in there as well.) Now I've got two solid weeks of taper- with a little bit of speed sharpening tomorrow but otherwise rest, rest, and MOAR REST. I'm definitely not trying to get faster at this point, but rather I'd like to ride this current training cycle out just a little bit farther.
What was I saying? Oh yes, GOALS! Um... the #1 goal is still to Have Fun. Honest to jeebus if that is all that happens on November 9th then I will be nothing less than happy to end the marathon season on a good note. While looking at some pace charts though (and taking into consideration my recovery level) I think that even starting out slower than normal I can still go for a PR.
Here's the thing: I've been shooting for the 3:33 to 3:40 (BQ) range for months, but what is my actual personal best? 3:45.
That's a whole 5 minutes of time I've been forgetting about.
I feel pretty solid about going for that. At Lakefront, once I knew a BQ was sailing away I shut down mentally. It was all or nothing. I shake my head at that nonsense way of thinking now. Tsk.
And if by some freak of nature the hilly course in Madison doesn't fry my legs by mile 18, will I kick it up a notch? Sure. I've met myself before. But if the opposite happens and I end up only being able to muster a slow jog, I'm going to soak up every last shuffle with a hap-hap-happy smile on my face.