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Garmin Oz Marathon – Pre-Race

The time has come for my next race!

Yep, I’ve been quietly logging my miles over the last year in hopes that this race would “stick”. I’ve kept the fact that I signed up for a marathon pretty quiet for 2 main reasons:

  1. When I signed up areas in the US started surging again and it made me nervous it wasn’t going to happen.

  2. I wasn’t sure if I would feel comfortable running an in-person race when the time came.

But here I am ready to tackle another 26.2 mile journey and let me start with, even just a week ago I wasn’t sure if I was actually excited or not to put my body through the test that is running a marathon. But I type this today totally stoked to run those miles and just feel that marathon in my bones.

Don’t get me wrong, I love racing but we can all agree marathons are just… a lot. The past year and a half has had me reevaluating a lot of things in my life, work, family, home, and, of course, running. I’ve had the Run the Year challenge pushing me along and keep running but this summer was rough. More than one long run had me just giving up mentally and being kind of okay with that. I felt like my heart just wasn’t in it anymore and I couldn’t figure out a way to get over that.

Part of the reason I just wasn’t into running was definitely that I didn’t have a race coming up so motivation was down. Also, a big part was… I hit burnout. I was running a decent volume and not sleeping enough. Throw in the wear and tear of generalized anxiety about the world and I just didn’t have extra mental energy to push. Long runs are all about the mental game and I just had nothing to give them.

Overall, my training going into this race feels pretty middling but I’ve had consistent volume, my 20 milers while not spectacular were completed, and my taper has left me feeling rested and energized. So maybe I have a good shot at running a pretty good race. My last session of 800s, after I started taking recovery more seriously, were strong and consistent which was a big boost to my psyche. So maybe I am ready to crush another marathon?

So with that, let’s jump in to the details of the race!

The race is in Olathe Kansas, a half hour outside Kansas City, and starts and ends at the Garmin Headquarters. The course is a loop with 2 out and back “spurs”. You may be thinking, “Kansas, awesome! So flat you’ll be able to crush it!” but on the contrary there is 700-800 ft of climbing which is a lot for a road race. This is something I’ve been keeping in mind as I set targets and train, and it also helps that I can’t run a mile from my house without climbing about 100ft. Most of my long runs naturally include 900+ ft of climbing.

The expo is Thursday and Friday with the option of morning of pick up but I’m planning to go Friday evening so I don’t have to worry in the morning.

So what are my goals?

Every race I like to set a few goals, this time I have 3 levels of goals:

  1. Sub-3:25: This is my stretch but doable goal, I know I can run 7:45/mile pace but it will take focus and discipline.
  2. Sub-3:30: Again, doable and would give me a 2 min PR. It would also be a BQ but I don’t feel a need to run Boston again yet but it works as a target.
  3. Finish: Just crossing that finish line will feel good after all this time away from racing!

Weather was looking a little cold but has gotten 5ish degrees warmer and should be around 40F at the race start!

Here we go again!

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