Race Preparation and Strategy

Last weekend was inspiring. I got to track a ton of my Moms Run This Town friends as they rocked the Twin Cities Marathon. I think just about everyone ran a PR and we even had one qualify for Boston! My BRF Amy ran an amazing race, setting a huge PR. Now she is only 16 seconds away from her own BQ!

I was so proud as I obsessively refreshed my computer screen to see the latest updates. It could have only been better had I been able to get down to actually cheer for them along the course!

Tracking them made me both excited and nervous for this weekend. Excited to be there and wrapped up in this:

Chicago Marathon

(Photo Courtesy of Bank of America Chicago Marathon)

But nervous about my stomach acting up or hitting the wall hard. It probably doesn’t help that I’m still fighting a cold that has been trying to take me down for more than two weeks now. As usual I’m watching the weather like a hawk. The forecast keeps getting warmer and warmer. Currently it’s forecast to be 77 degrees with a low of 63. That is less than ideal for a PR performance. I’m hoping it’s actually a bit cooler when we start but we shall see. I cannot control the weather but I’m trying to keep a positive attitude. I can also try to figure out how to keep my core temperature down. I’m planning on wearing a light colored tank (it will have to be new which is a no no), eating extra salt and making sure one of my water bottles has Nuuns in it. I’m also seriously considering putting my sports bra in the freezer before the race.

This week I’ve also focusing on hydration and of course eating right. I’m avoiding any foods that may upset my stomach. This has lead to a rather bland diet of bananas, toast, turkey sandwiches and chicken/steak with potatoes or rice. I’m ok with that as long as it helps me avoid the misery of the trots mid-race. So far this week everything has been settling just fine.

Let’s talk race strategy. This is a HUGE race. I mean huge. Therefore it will be impossible for me to go out too fast. I know that going out too fast will bite me right in the ass. The course being flat and fast, it will be tempting to gun it. My original plan was to position myself slightly behind the 3:35 pacer. The goal being to keep him in my sights, but still a bit ahead. If I’m feeling good around the half way point, I may inch closer to the pacer. If I need to slow, especially with the heat, I can do so, but I’m going to try not to let the 3:40 pace group pass me. I’ll reassess how I’m feeling around 18-20 miles. If I’m still feeling good, then I’ll speed up again. If not, I’ll try to stay the course or slow if need be. Though I always carry my own water, I’m going to take water at every water stop and use mine for taking my gels.

What are the goals?

  1. Finish the race without an emergency porta-potty visit and a smile on my face.
  2. Set a new PR. Fargo is my current PR which was 3:47 and change. I’ll be happy with anything faster than that.
  3. BQ. Now I don’t really think this is the race where it will happen, especially with the warm temps. It will happen eventually, I know it.

Now I just have to get safely to Chicago, pick up my stuff and show up on race day.

2 thoughts on “Race Preparation and Strategy

  1. Good luck, Jess! I have taken Kaopectate before races before and it helps with the tummy problems. You’ve got this, you are prepared and you have trained hard. Sending you a prayer for good luck and lots of love.

    Aunt Jannie

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