I am less than 3 weeks away from attending my next marathon. Chasing the Unicorn race is September 13th in Washington’s Crossing, PA. My primary goal is to finish in less than 3 hours. A secondary goal is to beat 3:06. I believe I can accomplish one or both, providing I get a fair shot at it. That’s weather dependent, since our summer heat and the training have been very demanding. It’s been very warm for all of the training since June 1st. The race is on a flat course along the Delaware River. It should be cooler in mid-September in that part of the country. That would make a big difference.
This list summarizes the current state of some of the elements that feed into pursuing a quick finish time.
- I have completed 75 miles of training each of the last four weeks. This week is the fifth and final one of those. Then I’ll draw back and begin two weeks of tapering.
- Some of the miles I’ve added each week I complete off road. The park on the north side of Indiantown Rd, Dyer Park, and the Sandhill Crane Park gravel trail have allowed for increased mileage but not more time spent on hard surfaces.
- I am healthy. I have no points of concern for my legs or anything physical.
- The race is carefully being presented so as to not upset any authorities that would look to find a hole in the strategy of keeping the runners apart from each other and the race volunteers.
- Our flights, made in mid July, were cancelled by JetBlue. We altered our schedule and are now flying on American Airlines on Friday, departing Monday morning.
- I’ve had good company on the training runs – from a group of people not entered in our event. This has added good laughs and support. John Reback, Matt Kakuk, Kyle Smith, Maria Urso, and Janet Gluski have helped make this process very manageable.
- I have alternated shoes for road vs trail running. I went through a pair of 8.5 EE wide Hoka Clifton 6 for road shoes, I’m on a second pair of those. There are no concerns about the running shoes, I have a good fit and my feet feel good. I watch as others tinker with shoes and inserts and such. I’m fortunate to not have any concerns like that.
- Almost like a new marathoner questions his/her ability to complete the distance the first time, I ponder if a significant difference in temperatures will allow me to keep a high pace long enough to finish well. I know and have proven the cooler weather feels great and delivers good results. I’m hoping for that same revelation again in September.
I still have to finalize what I’ll do for nutrition in the race. I can leave things near the Start/Finish line for pickup after one 13.1 mile loop is completed. I have to decide what I’ll carry and what I’ll try to keep in reserve to pickup later during the race.