Every marathon has its worries.
This year I am worried because of my past (relatively speaking) failures. So far, the wall has always crashed down on me at some point in the race (last year I knew by mile 10 that I had failed again, the time before that it was closer to mile 19).
Maybe if I carbo-load differently. Maybe if I eat a small amount every mile. Perhaps I need more salt during the race?
I don’t know.
The trouble with fueling for the marathon is that there’s no good way to test. You have to actually race a marathon for the test to be valid, and I can do that, at best, twice a year (assuming no injuries). I need time to recuperate afterward, and then 3 months to train before the next. There may not be enough marathons left in my life to figure out how to eat for one. I could certainly jog through lots of slower marathons, say 3:30 or so, but I wouldn’t need to fuel and so the test wouldn’t be meaningful. So all I can do is try something(s) different from the last times and hope.
My other big worry on this race is THE HILL¹. I’m not really worried about running up it too slowly (though I am a bit), there’s also the worry that I might go up too fast, and ending up at the top with absolutely no energy left and another 2.5 miles to go.
I expect I’ll go up THE HILL at about an 8minute pace. That means I’ll lose about 35~40 seconds off the 6:50 pace I want to average (THE HILL is about half a mile). 35 seconds isn’t too hard to make up. I want to do it before I reach THE HILL as there isn’t much time afterward. I may be able to run 6:30s on the downhill after it, but I don’t want to depend on it…
And there is a certain sadness involved in this race. In the past I have striven to break 2:55, but I’m giving that up now. This year I just want to break 3. I think I’m too old to break 2:55 now (for me to break it, I mean. Better runners can at my age). Ah well.