Goofy 2012: Predictions

So the Goofy/Dopey Challenge is nearly upon us, with the experience of last year and knowing what to expect, along with more training in my legs, what do I think will happen?

Goofy 2011As per usual, there is the “not sure” disclaimer: Marathon running is not an exact science, so there is no way to guarantee how I will be feeling and perform on the day(s).

What I can say is that my training has gone very well. The last 5 weeks since the Cayman Marathon have been great, it has been like an extended taper so I am feeling the best I have ever done going into a race weekend.

The weather is also set to be perfect for racing with temperatures in the 50’s at start time for all 3 days.

What are my goals?

For the 5K, Sarah wants to get a time under 25 mins, so I have told her I will pace her to try and achieve that. It should mean 3 miles of around 8min pace or just under, this will help with getting an idea of what my heart rate is going to be on Sunday.

The half-marathon is a bit easier to predict. If the weather stays like it says it will then I am planning on running 10M at about 8:45 pace with 3M at 8:00 pace. The three faster miles will be somewhere in the second half, and are there purely to see what my heart-rate gets to. This should give me a finish time of about 1hr53ish, so not too fast, but not excessively slow. It will be interesting to see how close I get to that time!

I picked the 8:45 pace as it is slower than I have been running the last few weeks on my recovery runs, but still not too slow that I will be out on the course for too long. There is a trade off that I need to try and conserve energy by going slowly, but if I were to be out running for 2.5 hours that would probably be worse!

Then comes the “big one” on Sunday. It still does seem silly (on my part) to have this as my main goal for the season and really want to do well, but sabotage myself by running 16M the previous 2 days! Anyway, after last year, I know that I was able to run faster than my legs felt they could manage. So I am going to try and go a bit faster off the start than I did last time. That’s what the purpose behind the 8min/mile paces in the 5K and 1/2 Marathon, once I have an idea what my heart-rate is going to do in the cooler conditions I can run on what I believe to be the upper end of my heart-rate.

The main goal, other than a PB is to finally finish in the top 1000 this time. The last two years I have just missed out, so I figure a couple of minutes faster should help that. According to the pace calculator on the McMillan Running site, if I use the 10K time and the quick half-marathon time from 2 weeks ago, then I get a predicted finish time around 3hr41mins. If I assume that the help that the cooler conditions will give me will be cancelled out by the 16M the previous 2 days then I would say that 3hr41mins is a fair time to aim for. Faster than that would be nice, obviously, but maybe this time my legs will cry “enough” at 20M and run me straight into a wall?

As with the last few races I will be tracking the run using RunKeeper Live, which should post updates to Twitter and Facebook when I start.