15 Miles To Go

I am sure if I checked any map it would tell me that it was much further than 15 miles to get to Columbus Georgia from where I am now, but if you checked my marathon training plan you would find that 15 miles is exactly the distance left before arriving at Columbus and the Soldier Marathon.

Yesterday I finished off one last harder/faster run when I ran a 4 mile tempo run at a progressive pace.  I ran the first mile at a conservative pace and then kicked it up each mile to finish off the last mile at a 7 minute pace.  The run felt great and it is so nice to see speed after being in marathon training for a while and focusing on distance.

Today marks one week until race day and the first running of the Soldier Marathon.  If you haven't followed before now, this will be my second marathon, following my first marathon exactly one year ago when I ran the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon.  I am really looking forward to this marathon and what it will bring.  Sony Electronics was kind enough to sponsor me in this race and I am really looking forward to wearing my provided shirt since the weather looks like it will be perfect for the sleeveless design..... too bad my suntan isn't designed for the same type of shirt :)

My wife will be going with me and we will be staying the night Friday night so I can start the race well rested unlike last year.  Last year I woke up at 3:40 in the morning and drove 2+ hours to get to the starting line by 7:30.  I am not sure how much that took out of me, but I don't think I want to do that again.  I am not sure I will be able to get her up and ready to see me off at the 7:00 am start, however as long as she is there for the finish I guess that is all that matters.

This week's 15 mile lead up to race day will look like this:
Sunday: 8 miles
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 2 miles
Wednesday: off
Thursday: off
Friday: 2 miles
Saturday: race day!
I am being cautiously optimistic with my goal of 4 hours.  I had thought about trying to go for about 3:50, but the more I think about it the more I am worried that if I try to go 3:50 I will burn myself out and hit the wall again and kill my main goal of sub-4.  I am really leaning on going out at a flat 9 minute pace which would put me right about 3:56.  If I had hit all my training runs and had not been injured part way though I would be more confident on a 3:50, but I am much more focused on 4 hours than anything else at this time.

Wish me luck! :)