Runner's World had a great article about it in the November 2011 issue that I read with great interest this week. Understanding the science behind what your body goes through to train and run a marathon is fascinating to me but also hard to understand. I am not sure about gaining four pounds before I run the race like it says you will once you have carbo-loaded. Wouldn't that make you feel heavy and sluggish?
*The weather in Chicago
It is supposed to be warm on race day. Like starting in the 50s and finishing in the 70s. It's a hot topic in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon facebook page. Yes, I've trained in much hotter weather, but I've also seen how the heat affects my times during training. My training long run times were easily a minute off from what I'd expect with cooler temperatures. Plus, I've run marathons in the 70s and hotter (see here and here), and they are tough.
Of course the weather is out of my control, but it's still nice to at least have thought about how this can affect things. On the facebook page, people are suggesting for future races everything from having the race run backwards (they say the first half has more shade and thus would be better run later in the day) to starting earlier (7 rather than 7:30). It's just something we're all going to be thinking about as we run.
*Setting my time goal
See the item above for reasons why I am really, really going to be okay if I don't get my "A" goal. These goals just give me something to think about as I am running.
"A" goal 3:15
"B" goal sub 3:30
"C" goal to finish
Without a Garmin (Rick will be wearing ours), I may have trouble knowing my pace if I fall behind. I am thinking about buying a 3:15 pace tattoo to wear on race day. This will help me stay on track.
Pace is still hard for me to plan. I have never run such a big race before, and I wonder about the crowds. With all of the corrals, is it easy to move with the runners around you since they are all going your pace? I doubt whether my own training can get me the pace I want (I know I shouldn't, but I do). I will try to keep in mind my ultimate goal--to finish this race and check Illinois off the list of states!
To keep myself from feeling let down when the race is over, I am looking ahead to my other events for fall/winter: the Huntsville half marathon (first time to race a 1/2 in years!), the Rocket City marathon (pacing the 3:55 group. Go sub 4 runners!!!), and Mountain Mist 50K 2012 (awesome, awesome race. I think it filled to capacity or close to it already and registration only opened on October 1st!). Having these races in my mind will help me if I start to feel down after Chicago is over.