If you thought marathoners were crazy for running 26.2 miles for fun, let me tell you what’s really crazy: Me, the week before the marathon. Especially this marathon…
On Sunday, I’ll run my third 26.2-miler, the Virgin Money London Marathon. I’m hoping to cross the finish line in 3:49:59 or less, which means I must run faster than an 8:45-per-mile pace for 26.2 miles. It’s a stepping stone on the way to a sub-3:45 next year which will get me a London Marathon Good for Age time and a Boston Qualifying time.
This time I know that if all is well on the day I can do it. It might be a bit of a ‘Boom or Bust’ target, taking 14 minutes off my Berlin Marathon PB which was just six months ago but I’d rather hit the wall and miss getting a PB than finish the race just scraping 3:59:58 thinking, “Pants! I could have gone faster!”
Yes, things may not be right on the day (such as the weather) but I’m prepared to change my plan on the day and not worry about it. I have it this time. I know I do. I’ve trained harder than ever. I feel stronger and faster than ever. I’m injury-free and mentally a smarter racer than I was in September at the Berlin Marathon, where I finished in 4:03.
Yet I just want to get on with it. I want my bag packed (which I can’t do until I pick my bag up from the Expo) and I want it to be race day. This hanging around in the week before does drive you crazy, even if the mental wobble hasn’t appeared, yet.
In the meantime I’ll try and keep my head on straight, not drive the family crazy and enjoy the London Marathon Expo on Friday. After all it’s about the experience, isn’t it?