Friday, April 15, 2011

Pre-Marathon Thoughts and Expo Review

I've decided that the Salt Lake City Marathon must be the black hole of all marathon Expos. I read about all the cool Expos around the country and the ton of free swag that people get even in the small marathons. So why can Salt Lake City not get a decent Expo? I'm a bit perplexed. They have the participant count to put on a decent show, but it's mediocre. Here's what I picked up at the Expo today and my thoughts on the gear.

  • Shirt: Decent shirts. I rarely wear the shirt on the race, but will use the shirt for day to day running.
  • Bib with chip: The chip is embedded in the bib so I don't have to worry about returning a chip. PLUS
  • Miscellaneous flyers: typical fair for a race
  • Bag for the gear: Looks like they forgot to tell Dick's that if they put in a decent bag, I'd think more of their company. It's a lousy bag that is supposed to double as my drop bag. I'll be bringing something different along.
I think I got more gear at my last 5K...lame.
That's it...not even a sample sun screen, body glide or chap stick. In addition to the High Quality gear, I did pick up the following and what it costed me:

  • Sports bottle by the local Mega Medical Giant IHC (cost me my email address)
  • Shoulder bag from GMC Buick. This is probably the best item at the expo and it only cost me my soul contact information for a local dealer.
  • Timer from Minute Rice. I spun the wheel, won the timer. They asked if I wanted a box of rice instead and I declined feeling the value. 
  • T-shirt from the Cedar City Half Marathon. These people are super nice and gave us a 2 for 1 coupon. The downfall is that their race conflicts with another fall race I have.
In the end, the Expo was lame. I also was looking forward to buying some shorts from Nordic Track, but they sold out of them during the past season and didn't have any available. Guess I'll have to shop around.

Marathon Goals
I've been reading about the marathon and deciding on a race strategy. I'm determined to get a PR out of this race and not just a minute or two minute PR, but a Smashing under 3:40 minute finish PR.

To do this, I must be able to go out strong and steady,  not overly fast yet not too slow. This equates to the following: Mile 1-3: Start slower and maintain my long run/easy run pace of 8:45. Miles 4-20 pick up the pace to 8:15. Miles 21-26.2: Keep going and maintain a 8:30 or faster pace knowing that I'll be feeling the weight of the miles at this point.

I've done a good job of staying hydrated this week and keeping my carb intake at an all-time high respectable but slightly higher amount. 

My taper has not been stellar, but it hasn't been non-existent either. I spent a week sick with a chest cold and only got in a 8.5 mile run on Saturday and a 3 mile run on Tuesday. I've been rolling the shins and stretching daily. I also plan to do a little more warm up than I usually do at the starting line.

I've considered slipping a $20 bill in one of my socks in case I need to pull the "biggest loser marathon" maneuver which would include me bribing the SWAG and feign injury in exchange for them dropping me off 5 miles further down the course. I haven't ever had to do this, but it's good to be prepared.

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