I thought I would try something a little different for this marathon. This is my 4th marathon this calendar year and I'm not getting the results that I desire. This time I broke down my split times, not to vary more than 2%, start slower, finish faster, and run an overall more balanced marathon. Now the plan:
light stretching before the race. No shakout run the night before to keep so that I don't get into my stored carb. No warm-up run before the race for the same reason. Start slower to get some heat in the legs (7:20). Ramp up the effort to 7:10 over the first four miles. Run 7:10 mpm for the first 22 miles. Figure it out from there. In theory, this should give you a mental boost because you will be passing people at the end of the race. Also, the 'wall' should not be as soon in the race.
Now the race: split times are from my Garmin and I ran long, so they are not exact.
8am start in Witchita (an our behind my local time. It rained most of the night, but has stopped at least for now. I line up with the 3:20 pace group and plan to hold back a little in the beginning. Three weeks ago, my first 9 miles were 6:50 mpm or better. My first mile was 7:17 mpm miles 2, 3, & 4 go as planned 7:09, 7:10, & 7:09. Light rain sets in. Mile 5 the half marathoners split away. My time for 5, 6, 7, & 8 are still as planned 7:07, 7:08, 7:09, 7:10. Mile 9 is a slight uphill (as much as there will be in Kansas) 7:39. I decided to take a gel shot. Mile 10 was a 7:23. I'm thinking, is this the beginning of what is to come. I never expected to fall off of pace at mile 9. Mile 11 is not any better 7:51. The half marathoners join back in. 7:40 for 12. Most of mile 13 is on a brick road 7:51. 14 through 17 was back on a main street and the half marathoner's split once again. 8:13, 8:02, 8:37, 8:12. I see my wife (Heidi) and brother-in-law (Arnie). (Arnie ran the half in 1:29:11) 18 through 25 get to be a little more eventfull. There is an area of the road under water. We had to jump the curb and up into the grass to get around it. There is also a good long stretch on a dirt/sand road. A few block of this through an old downtown area. Mind you, it is raining. Oh, I also missed a turn and went the wrong way around a round-about adding most of my 0.21 miles that I ran long. My splits are not getting any better, 8:55, 9:26, 9:58, 10:13, 9:49, 10:03, 10:29, 10:25. I just want this to be over with by now. I'm able to pick up the pace at the end. Mile 26 9:26 and 3:26 for the last 0.42 miles