One More Day, a Heat Related Update

The race is tomorrow and I’m pretty nervous, but that is to be expected. Thanks to the Galloway training class I took through Run Wild Missoula, I know for a fact that I can go the distance because I already have. It’s just the heat that worries me.

Due to a rise in temperatures, any loose time goal I may have had is going right out the window. My only goal now is to finish healthy and happy. I’m really glad I signed up for the 5am start!  Our forecast is calling for an overnight low tonight of 57 F (13.88 C) and a high of 97 F (36 C) tomorrow. For some folks those aren’t terribly intense temperatures, but this has been a cool, wet spring & early summer for us, so I am not acclimated.

In a message we received from Jeff Galloway yesterday, he recommends reducing pace by 30 seconds per mile for every 5 degree increase above 60F. Based on my observations over the last few days, I rather expect that the temp will hit 65 around 8:00am, so I should have about 3 hours before I have to slow down.

I am also adjusting my nutrition plan based on the heat. I’ll be taking in more of my honey gels (in water, as always), plenty of gummies and I’ll be bringing some other electrolyte sources along with me in case I feel like I need them. I’ve been hydrating all week, eating pretty well over all, and also eating bananas and drinking coconut water, so I think I’m in good shape.

In a couple of hours I’ll be heading out to the Expo to pick up my race packet and join in the fun. I plan to be in bed around 8:00pm tonight so that I can get some sleep before getting up early enough to leave the house before 4:00am. Since this is my first marathon and my first race, I want to catch the first bus to the start in the morning, to give myself plenty of time to get things figured out without any undue stress.

I’m still planning to tweet some locations to my jinmontana account to help friends keep track of my progress. I don’t have twitter sending anything back to my phone, though, so I won’t see any replies until later. It is likely that I will tweet specifically about the “loop of sadness” at Bonner Park. If you look at the map you’ll see it start at 23.9 miles and end at 24.8.  I call it the “loop of sadness” because when we approach the aid station at 23.9 miles, we can see the 24.8 mile aid station JUST A BLOCK AWAY, right across the park. Some folks, upon realizing that they have to turn away and go south before coming back around to that second aid station, get very sad. I think I’m mentally prepared to make jokes about it rather than be sad.

I’ll talk more about this after the marathon, but in a lot of ways this race is the culmination of 13 months of working to improve my fitness so that I can feel better and live a longer, healthier life. It’s also a huge symbol for me, of how far I’ve come from the bad place I was in this time last year, and just how much better and happier my life is now.

I’ve used the magic of my spreadsheet to adjust my location chart for the heat.  Below you’ll see a 13 minute mile pace version and a 14 minute mile pace version. I’m hoping that the 13 minute mile version is closer to how my race turns out, but as I said above, my goal is to finish healthy and happy and I’m not going to worry about my time during the race.

I have just under 18 hours until the 5:00am start of my first official marathon. I do not plan for it to be my last.

M/pace  13 min          14 min
1      5:00-5:26      5:00-5:28
2      5:26              5:28
3      5:39              5:42
4      5:52              5:56
5      6:05              6:10
6      6:18              6:24
7      6:31              6:38
8      6:44              6:52
9      6:57              7:06
10    7:10              7:20
11    7:23              7:34
12    7:36              7:48
13    7:49              8:02
14    8:02              8:16
15    8:15              8:30
16    8:28              8:44
17    8:41              8:58
18    8:54              9:12
19    9:07              9:26
20    9:20              9:40
21    9:33              9:54
22    9:46              10:08
23    9:59              10:22
24    10:12            10:36
25    10:25            10:50
26    10:38             11:04

See you at the finish line!

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