I’ve been pretty quiet since Boston. Between trying to regain some footing after a crazy couple of weeks, the end of the semester and post-marathon blues, I haven’t had much to say about running that is appropriate for a blog. Despite the rainy day and a forecast for nine more days of rain, recovery is wrapping up. I’m heading into a very busy race season, with a focus on short, faster races. Before that transition, however, I’m excited to serve as a 4:15 Pacer for the Vermont City Marathon.
Not only do I get to run a beautiful course, I get to engage in the activity I like almost as much as running: talking! I am looking forward to getting to know some new people, to being part of many people’s first marathon and to celebrating a great weekend in Vermont.
Howard, my fellow 4:15-er, and I have been talking a lot about our approach. A 4:15 pace comes out to a 9:45 average pace. However, since Howard and I are slightly imperfect, it is unlikely that we will run a perfectly even race and perfect tangents. Thus, we are planning a 9:35 pace, which allows us a little time for crowds, hills and water stops. We will aim to run almost even splits; banking time is rarely a good idea in a marathon. While you might have a slightly positive split, it’s best to pick a pace you can hold for the entire race and stay there. The hardest places to do this are the beginning, when tapered legs feel amazing and your chosen pace feels like a jog. Resist the urge to go too fast. It will come back to bite you in the last few miles.
Interested in joining a pace group at Vermont City? There’s a whole bunch of us from 3:30 to 5:30. More information available here and at the Expo. We will also be leading two preview runs the day before the marathon, where you have the opportunity to run either the start (great opportunity to practice your patient approach to pacing) or the finish (great mental activity).