Thursday, June 19, 2008

Handycapping the Race - Anchorage Marathon 6/21

Race Goal - Run a good race with whatever I show up with at the startline - put it all out there. Placing in the race seems a possiblity depending on who shows up based on prior results:

-------1st----- 2nd---- 3rd--- Temps
2007 2:30:47 2:38:33 2:40:51 61°F
2006 2:36:21 2:44:35 2:49:07 59°F
2005 2:34:18 2:40:59 2:42:25 54°F Rainy
2004 2:33:50 2:49:57 2:53:07 63°F

Pacing Strategy:

Race breaks up into a few parts:
  • Miles 1-7 - paved bike path - rolling hills a net climb of a couple hundred feet with a couple fast downhills - I'll try the first mile a little slow but not enough to get swallowed up by the crowd on the narrow path - ~6-6:15 mpm - than try for a heartrate target (~162) keeping the HR steady rolling up and down the hills.
  • Miles 8-13 all loose gravel trail Quotes from prior runners ["stay on the winding tire treadmarks" "carefully choosing steps" "watch out to avoid tripping and twisting ankle"] - Grade ranges to +/- 4% but mostly gradual ups/downs. Focus is going to be to protect my ankles - planning to back off the effort slightly here - drop HR target to 158-9.
  • Miles 14-15 Hard Packed Dirt - elevation peaks out about 300' over the start - short steep section 7+% grade and -6% downhill. Keep HR target around 160 but keep fast control on the downhills.
  • Miles 16-25.6 - bike path thru university rolling hills with net down. Drop HR target to around 158 but keep fast control on the downhills - higher HR if it feels ok.
  • Mile 25.6-26.2 - ~100' climb to the finishline - whatever I've got left (That's just wrong to put that hill at the end!!). See what's on the clock.

I plan to avoid looking at pace for the race - just watch HR and effort - that seems to work well for me - pace just seems to be a demoralizer no matter what it reads fast or slow so I'd rather not look at it.

Between the hills and the 8 miles of trail running I'm figuring the course to be ~3-4 minutes slower than flat pavement.

Forecast for the race 8am 57°F, 10:30am 61°F Partly Sunny Dew Point 47°F Wind 4 mph. Weather is looks very much like Boston which I found to be a bit warm for the last 1/3rd of the race so extra focus on hydration for the first part of the race - no aid station from 4 to 7.1 so I'm considering carrying a 16 oz bottle of gatoraid to start so I can just skip the 2 and 4 mile aid stations. After 7.1 aid stations every couple miles should be fine.

Training cycle has gone exactly as planned - no injuries and generally feeling like I can run faster now than I ever have before. Slight worries about how the treadmill running will translate to the road - I've notice I'm a bit more clumsy outside as I've taken the road for granted on the treadmill without watching out for obsticles (got tripped up by a small stick in the road last week and skinned up my hands and knee - minor - no big deal). I've manipulated the temperature of my last few workouts to see if I can turn on the turbo-charge for raceday. I'm expecting to be able to hold around 6 mpm equivalent flat pace so adding the hills and trails factor in that could put me pretty close to my PR - a PR on this course is probably a longshot but not outside the realm of possibility.

I travel up on a 6pm flight tomorrow (first class for reduced anxiety) with one layover arriving in Anchorage around midnight - quick cab ride to a friends house up there and a short nap and on to the race at 8am. 3pm I again fly out of Anchorage down to Yakutat to go fishing for a week - a great way to spend post-marathon.

48.5 hours to go.

Likely I won't have internet access until I get back ~6/27 but feel free to look up how I did:

Mayor's Marathon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As far as the hydration goes, you might to check out this new hydration device called AquaJoe. Instead of lugging heavy liquds( every 1/2 liter 16oz. weighs about a pound!) just take your favorite powder which weighs about an ounce. They sell it at Skinny Raven Sports. Theres a video odf it at