Marathon Palma de Mallorca : The Final Countdown
“Daahhhh, da duh duh duh…dah daahhhh daahhhh…dadadahhh…”
There’s a bit less than 16 hours to go until race time. And I still haven’t shaken this stupid cold. Last night I barely slept, due to the coughing and sniffling. This also meant my girlfriend didn’t sleep much either, so there were two grumpy heads this morning.
Still, onwards and upwards. My race buddy is over from the USA for this race with his girlfriend, so the four of us went for a walk through the old town of Palma de Mallorca to do some sightseeing in between breakfast and lunch, along the way doing our race-pack pickup and timing chip scanning.
As it turns out my friend also has a cold, which started one day earlier than mine. We figure it’s the stress on our bodies from the marathon buildup that weakened our immune system, but I think it’s probably more coincidental. He lives in NYC, I live in London. Two places with less-than-sparkling-clean underground systems, and it is well and truly the start of cold and flue season. We were just unlucky, that’s all.
So, 15 hours and 16 minutes to go until the start. I have between now and then to sort out this cold. I’ve been hydrating and carb-loading so that’s OK. I’ve skipped my shakedown run that I would normally have done in favour of rest – our apartment is about 3km from the start line so we’ll jog 1-2km of that tomorrow morning to combine our shakedown and warm-up. And then we’ll run…
We’ve had a good chat about strategy and as we’re lacking a bit of conditioning due to illness we’ve decided to play-it-by-ear with regards to goal time. The first 10km we will run at 4-hour pace (about 5’32″/km) and decide from there how we feel and whether we push for sub-4 hours or take the foot off the gas and aim for 4:15 (or worst case we are knackered and simply go for a ‘completion’).
We’ve also agreed that after the half-way point we’ll decide if we stay together or split up, depending on how we are individually feeling. Ideally we’d like to cross the line together at 3:59, but it’s important that we’ve discussed and agreed our strategy so that there is no confusion in the race. A marathon is an intensely personal experience, which will change from mile to mile, so agreeing that we will split up if one can’t hang with other BEFORE the race eliminates possible disagreements during the race. The last thing either of us want is feeling like we need to stay with the other, or the other feeling like they are holding the other back. Racing with friends is complicated at the best of times, but the marathon kicks it up a notch…
Now for a siesta, and hopefully I’ll wake up feeling a bit better than I do now!
Has anyone else run a marathon with/just after a cold before? What am I getting myself into?
Happy running everyone! And big ‘ups to everyone else who is racing this weekend!
Get Going, Get Running!