I know the destination. I know where the road will take me. I am certain of the suffering - but this time it is different.... I am welcoming the pain. I know there will be a point where my lack of base fitness will reduce my pace, and the sun will beat down upon me, my thoughts will drift BUT this time I am mentally stronger and ready for those moments. This is my choice to be here and my time on Sunday will be the start point for my journey to PB in Melbourne.
In talking with Ben and Brenden this week I have recommitted to rolling the dice and will have a crack at running the first half of the marathon in 1.45. As I have discussed previously there are obvious risks and it is against conventional marathon "pace" plans - but I need to take something out of this race. I can play it safe on a training run, and by that I mean run comfortably hard - but keeping an eye on my pace and vary it to how I am feeling. Sunday isn't a day to play it safe, it's time to see where I am at. I don't have the luxury of a half marathon to run prior to the race to gauge where I am at.
On Sunday Brenden and I will line up with the 3.30 balloons and I plan to stay with them for as long as possible. This might be 15km, 18km or hopefully 21km. I know I can't sustain that for 42km but I need a "jump off" point for my training post Gold Coast.
I feel like I have had a little improvement since the run with Rodney, including a couple of longer runs at close to 5.00 min/km pace. This included a 15k last week and a 10k on Saturday, I then doubled up with a Saturday afternoon run at of 8k at 5.20 pace. I haven't done a "double" run in 20 months, so it felt bad ass to lace up again in the afternoon for a session.
Other than that I really don't have much to report - this taper week has been awesome, I'm feeling fresh and ready for Sunday!
Donald on other hand isn't travelling too well, his foot issues are meaning we are in a hopeless situation where we just relying on pain killers to get through the marathon. Having been there for 2 marathons myself I know the pain of struggle, walking and suffering through the 42k to get that finishers medal. I'm pretty sure I ran Gold Coast in 2010 with a bone broken in my foot, which lead to issues including cramp and a 5.18 marathon finish. It's not fun BUT I can say I learnt a lot about myself on that day. I hope the marathon gods are kind to Donald, I would swap my marathon finish for his if I could. But it doesn't work like that.
I just hope he can get back to the start finish so I can help him get to the end.
Good luck to all of the other runners heading to Gold Coast - hit me up on twitter @RunPexRun if you are keen for karaoke on Sunday night!!