Calm, patient, relaxed, centered. . . these are words that really need to describe me at the moment but totally do not. I am totally on edge about this marathon on Sunday, which is natural during the final stages of the "taper". I am not questioning my training or my athletic ability, but just hoping that all the logistics go well-- I arrive on time, I don't forget anything, I don't get sick between now and then, etc.
Aside from those elements, the only thing that could possibly stand in the way of my 3:40 Boston Qualifying time is the weather. The first half of the race should be in the 50's and sunny. It's not ideal for me (I prefer overcast) but it's manageable. The temperature will probably hit 60 degrees by the time I get to the 20 mile marker, but with "brilliant" sunshine and no clouds, that will be a real-feel 68, which ends up feeling like 88 when you are running. Ouch.
I ran London and Houston in similar conditions. The temperature never got above 60, but I was still a bit too hot for ideal performance.
As of now, I am anticipating that the heat could slow me down by as much as 3-4 minutes, which are critical when I am trying to reach a lofty goal of 3:40 to begin with. I might have to bank some time in the first half in antipication of the second, although not too much as I need to avoid "bonking". I'll be wearing sunglasses, drinking plenty of water, and possibly running in just a sports bra (no tank).
Looking back on my training, I have all the confidence in the world in my ability to perform well:
You can see the Shamrock Marathon as the first long red vertical bar. Not nearly as much training behind it as what I have now.
My average weekly mileage was 51, excluding the month of September when I was sick. Peak mileage was 56. In my speed sessions, I have been hitting all the proper paces that correspond with a 3:40 marathon, and typically on a treadmill, where it's much more humid than it will be on race day. And a few degrees warmer, too!
If you would like to follow my progress, go to www.rnraz.com on Sunday morning. There will be a link for live tracking. My bib number is 2465. The race starts at 7:40am local time, which is 9:40am Eastern. Splits are given at the 10K, half, 20-mile and finish. I expect my splits to be 52:xx, 1:50, 2:47, 3:40.