On the way to the F^3 Half Marathon Saturday, run club buddy Keith shared some valuable advice that I wanted to share (and document so I don’t forget it).
Something you should know about Keith: He’s run 57 marathons, and while his fastest was 3:30, he’ll regularly run marathons back to back and come in within seconds of his standard time. The guy runs. A lot. Consistently.
On the way to the race, we were raw nerves. Even after dozens of races, something about the ritual of getting up early and traveling to run concurrently with a bunch of strangers keys me up. Keith’s sage advice was this:
|For some it was fast, for some it was fun, for all, there was beer|
“There are fun races and there are fast races. But don’t decide a week or a month or even now which one it will be. Decide after the first mile, will this be fun or will this be fast? There’s always going to be another race. You’ll race better if you set out without expectations and see what happens.”
And that, friends, might have been the best race day strategy pep talk I’ve ever heard. It rings true with all my experiences – a mile six of Circular Logic last year, I knew I was toast. Despite all my preparation, it wasn’t going to happen. Then six weeks later at the Vermont City Marathon, I knew by mile two it was happening. I felt strong and started pulling away from my pace group.
How soon do you know if it’s going to be a fast or a fun day?