Tomorrow is the 16th annual Red Deer Marathon; Woody’s RV World 1/2 and Full Marathon. I have done this race three times before (2010, 2012, 2013) and ran times of 1:54:19, 1:56:06, and 1:47:22, respectively. My race last year smashed my half marathon PR, and I have now broken that a few more times, working down to a 1:38:40.
This year, I am not going for a personal record. I am not going for placing in my age group. I am treating this run as a practice for the Calgary Full Marathon, which is in two short weeks. This is the race that stands between me and Boston.
My goal in Calgary is to run an 8:00 min/mi, which would put me at a 3:30:00 full marathon. In order to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I need to be under a 3:35:00. But, as you know from my post earlier this year, just under your maximum qualifying time doesn’t cut it. My Beef with Boston
By shooting for the 3:30, I am giving myself some qualifying cushion, so to speak. So tomorrow, I am attempting to run even splits, something I used to have a huge struggle with. I am still not perfect when it comes to my splits, but I have gotten them a lot more consistent. I am aiming for a time tomorrow of 1:45:00.
If I can tackle my race tomorrow with consistent splits and finish at 1:45, my mission will be accomplished. I will feel more confident going into Calgary and attempting my BQ. But, in two weeks, a lot can change that I have no control over. Weather is the big thing—there could very well be snow on June 1st in Calgary, but there could also be a heat advisory. While that course is also relatively flat with no major changes in elevation, the starting elevation is close to 3,428 feet above sea level. Now that my body has adjusted to “Rocky Mountain Levels” I am a lot better than I once was when I first moved from Milwaukee, but I still get nervous about racing a full marathon in Calgary. Proof is in past experience—-I ran the Calgary Full Marathon in 2009 with an astounding time of 5:03:37—a personal worst.
I have ran this course and these trails in Red Deer before, so the familiarity is on my side. The whole course is relatively flat, with one bitch of an incline right at the end. This then turns into a rolling hill down to the finish line, so there is a reward. The elevation in Red Deer is 2,805 feet above sea level, which is very comparable to my home base of Lethbridge (2,990 feet). The climate is more humid here in Red Deer, but nothing compared to my hometown of Milwaukee, so race day temps are nothing crazy.
For now, I am going to enjoy this gorgeous May afternoon and go on a 2 mile shakeout run along the river, to keep those joints moving. I’ll head out to our in-laws cabin later to spend time with my nieces, have supper wit the family, then come back to relax. That 6:00 am alarm will be coming soon!
I already went and picked up my race packet yesterday, and while there I was happy to run into the folks from Racepro.ca. Randy and company facilitate all the Runners Soul events back in Lethbridge, and when I checked in for my bib he overheard my name and commented “…I know that name! It’s nice to see a familiar face!” Right back at you Randy!