Ok – I couldn’t help it…. with the title being “The Final Countdown” – I couldn’t work on this post without the song playing in my head – aaah the wonders of YouTube!
So I am not just about 36 hours out from my second marathon and I am officially in panic mode. I mean there is the whole “running 26.2 miles” thing – but more so from the aspect that it has been a crazy week here and trying to get packed up and ready to go out of town has been a huge task. Our hope is to be on the road by 10am tomorrow so that we can be in Little Rock by 2pm and over to the expo by no later than 3- 3:30. Thats if all goes well.
So what are the differences between this marathon and my first? Well for starters I have been able to keep my full training schedule. Last marathon the torn meniscus interrupted my training with 5 weeks left and even though I did get to run some before Chicago, I definitely did not feel fully ready when I toed the line. I actually feel like I am about as ready as I am going to be for this marathon. I wont really know until Sunday but I feel like I have given it a pretty good shot at keeping the schedule and level of training up through this point.
Secondly the big difference will be the weather. I have been stalking the weather for Little Rock for about the last two weeks now(even before the 10 day forecast was out). As of right now it appears that Sunday will start in the upper 30s and there should be a high in the upper 60s. That has gone back and forth a couple of times. While my perfect temperature would be highs in the mid 50s, the upper 60s are a huge improvement over the low 80s that I finished in during Chicago. I plan on running in shorts and a short sleeve shirt(even making a debut of the IRC shirt!)
The course itself is a big change as well. Chicago was just about as flat as you can get and Little Rock is, from what I can tell from the elevation map – moderately hilly. I am most worried about the big hill that is shown to be around the 14 mile mark that has about a 200 foot climb and then immediately loses all of that gain in a very short distance. The route I run from my house is moderately hilly so I am hoping that I will be sufficiently ready for the hills.
Finally the group of runners I had planned on running with has drastically changed for Little Rock. In Chicago, I wasn’t sure what kind of pace I would be able to keep and was relatively new to the running group so I kinda shied away from running with anyone I knew. For Little Rock, there are quite a few local runners that are making the trip down. So I had originally thought I would have at least 2 or 3 others that I could lean on to help me maintain a pace. Injuries seem to have been a major issue over the past month or so. In fact there are 3 of the 6 of us that trained together that will either run a different pace than planned in the beginning or not run at all.
So this should pan out to be a pretty different race. At least I really hope so – the wheels came off for me in Chicago and I would really like to make a marked improvement over my first marathon. In any case – it is going to be fun and it should be a great day for the race. Now – I have just got to get everything packed and ready to go… more to come later!