The Rocket City Marathon is tomorrow morning. Rick has been hard at work getting the course sentries and all of the stuff that goes along with that. I have the sitter ready to come at 6:45 a.m. so I can leave with plenty of time tomorrow since he will get up at about 4 a.m. to begin his duties (thank you to all the volunteers who work so hard!).
I have already learned a couple of things about pacing as I prepared to pace the 4:15 group for the marathon. First is that actually staying on pace is much more complicated than I thought! Pacers are told that the first couple of miles might be slower than pace due to the crowds at the start. Then, from miles 2-20, we are supposed to run 10-15 seconds faster than pace since we will probably slow a little at the end. Our optimal finishing time is just under the actual pace, so I would be perfectly happy getting a 4:14:59 tomorrow :) We are also supposed to take fluid at every aid station. That is new to me since I usually only take every other at the beginning, then maybe take every one near the end. I have had Rick adjust our Garmin several times, trying to get it to read what I think is the most useful information possible. Mine will show 3 rotating screens: total elapsed pace along with total distance, pace for the current mile, and then overall elapsed time. Along with that, I bought a tattoo of the 4:15 pace. I thought I was all set until Jane pointed out to me that my arm will likely be covered for the race! Oops! These are the things I am learning as I go along. A final word about this is that I have never set a time goal and finished at that time before! I once made my own pacing bracelet out of an index card, safety pin, and some packing tape. And I sometimes will set a pace goal just in my head, then I use my watch to see each split. I am interested to see if the Garmin and tattoo will help keep me more focused. And I am hoping not to let anyone down if I do fall off pace.
I have a work party tonight (not a great night to be up late but we are eating Italian so that is good!) and then Rick and I are hosting a Christmas party tomorrow at 4 p.m. This is such a busy weekend! I am looking forward to the next few weeks when I will have a break from work and also begin my trail running in preparation for Mountain Mist.
Good luck to all of the marathon runners tomorrow!