Comment: Almost 5,500 marathoners and 10,000 half-marathoners will line up around the Indiana State Capitol building at the beginning of this year’s Monumental Marathon and Half-Marathon. The rapidly growing organization that is now called Beyond Monumental has been getting recognition as the operator of one of the best marathons in the country, and this year is expanding the field to admit 1,500 more marathoners and 2,000 half-marathoners than last year. The fastest runners will be assigned to several corrals near the starting line, and I’ll take my place with the remaining runners in a semi-organized crowd and begin my race about four minutes after the official 8:00 am start. This year I’ll run the half-marathon and expect to finish around 10:19 am.
Comments: When I registered for the half marathon that is associated with the Monumental Marathon, I submitted a predicted elapsed time of two hours and fifteen minutes. I’m sticking with this prediction and creating a race strategy accordingly, but my strategy will be aggressive and set me up to finish even faster if I’m having a good day. The weather forecast is for good running weather and I had a good training season, so I might surprise myself with some extra speed. I won’t care about my pace in the first mile, as I expect a lot of chaos among mismatched runners until the first water stop. After runners of different abilities get sorted, I’m going to set a pace that is near my 10:15 minutes per mile average of the Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon last spring. If I can maintain that pace throughout the race, I’ll finish with something close to my predicted elapsed time. Around mile 4 or 5 or so, I’ll assess my condition and adjust my pace appropriately, and if I’m feeling strong, I’ll pick up the pace a little.
Raw Data: The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. For some sessions, additional information is included. ** 25-Oct-2016, 3.1 miles, 11.0 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 27-Oct-2016, 3.1 miles, 9.8 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 29-Oct-2016, 6.35 miles, 10:35 minutes per mile, neighborhood to historic former town and back. I’m tapering for the race, and keeping all my runs short, slow, and easy. ** 01-Nov-2016, 3.1 miles, 9.9 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** The total running distance was 15.7 miles for weeks 17 and 18.