My 2010 Denver Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Preview

The 2010 Denver Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon is today.

I haven’t posted in a few days mostly because I’ve put together a very minimal set of runs over the past few week.  In fact, I’m not too keen on how I tapered this week.  But that’s in the past and to me, what matters most are the two key weeks I had at the peak of my training, in which I felt pretty good about.

The few runs I had this week had me at marathon pace, and the effort there wasn’t where I expected it to be.  In other words, I felt like it was harder than it should be.  Again, that’s in the past.

So what is my marathon pace?  My goal time?

I’m not setting any Plan B’s or C’s for this race.  It’s only Plan A which is a 3:30 finish.  The math has me at roughly an 8 min/mi pace.  Technically, it’s around 8:01…but who runs exactly 26.2 miles in a marathon, right?  So, if I manage to nail the tangents and run ~26.3 mi, my pace would have to be 7:59… again, roughly 8 min/mi.

Pacing Strategy.
Up until now, I’ve only briefly looked at the elevation map but really if I can hit even splits, that would be best.  The elevation gain is about 200 ft.  Not bad at all.  Key “climbs” I need to watch out for will be at: 3.75 mi, 6, 8, 9.75, 10.5, 14.5 and 23.5.  These are probably no more than 1% grade but I just need to be cognizant of them.  My friend Dave suggested the even splits.  However, I may opt for a negative 13.1 split and try for 1:46 and 1:44 for the halves, which is: 8:05 and 7:56 paces.  7:56 sounds a little fast for me but I’m considering that this is a mildly flat or downhill, especially from mile 15.  The more I think about it, I do not want to do 8’s for the first mile..instead, I want to treat the first mile like a decent hill so going at about 8:05 will do.  After the first mile, go from there, and negative/even it out.

I expect to bonk around mile 22-23, a little sooner than I did at my Colfax Marathon.  The main reason is because during my training run, my base/long runs were off and I wasn’t able to nail them all.  My key run was a 19-miler at 8:15 min/mi…but to be honest, that felt pretty good considering the low fuel I had during the run.  Still, with the increased pace for this race, I’m sure to hit the wall.

It is now 4:22 am and about 42F in Downtown Denver.  Start time is just before 7am which is about 49F then increases to 64F by 11a.  I’m expecting to finish by 1030.  It’s gonna be a chilly start but going with shorts, sleeveless and gloves for this one.

I know quite a few folks running this race: Whitney, George, Scott and a ton of Amy’s friends.  George is running the half with some nice goal times.  He’s going to run the last part of the marathon course with a friend so I hope to spot them out there.  Hopefully, I’ll still look like a stud when I do.

Well, I better get ready.  Good luck to everyone today!