Ready or Not?

If you’ve been following along this year or even just the last few weeks, you probably know that a lot of my running this year has been geared towards one race in November.

The Philadelphia Marathon. On November 21st.

But before that comes the Rocky Run, which is this Saturday!

I’ve taken part in both of these events in the past with very different levels of success. Either way, I’m really looking forward to running in both of them.

As we head into the final days before the Rocky Run, I thought it would be good to let you know how and what I’m feeling as these two races approach.

Rocky Run

The Rocky Run, which I have done several years in a row now, is always a fun race. This year, like most of the years I have done this event, I will be doing the Italian Stallion Challenge, which is a 5k at 7:00am followed almost immediately by a 10 mile race starting at 7:45am.

If you like the Rocky movies, then you would enjoy this event, as everything – the music, the race shirt and the medals – is related to the movies.

It’s also a nice route mainly along the Schuykill River in Philadelphia.

Typically, when I run this race, it has been the final race of the year for me so I’m able to chase a personal best in both the 5k and the 10 mile races. However, this year is different with the marathon coming only 8 days later.

On Saturday, my plan is to run the 5k nice and easy, basically using it as a warmup for the 10 mile race. Then, a few minutes later, when the 10 mile run starts, my plan is to run at about 7:20-7:30 per mile, which is a little faster than my intended marathon pace and use it as a final training run before the marathon on the 21st.

My goals for the Rocky Run are simple – have fun and use the 10 mile run as a shortened dress rehearsal for my marathon next weekend.

Philadelphia Marathon

You might remember from my post, D.N.F., that this is the race that I dropped out of at the half way point in 2008. While this definitely isn’t my favorite running memory, it is one that has stuck with me and keeps popping into my mind while I’m running.

I’m your classic overthinker.

And the lead-up to this race has been no different.

As any race approaches, I am constantly calculating what pace I’ll need to maintain or average to get the time I think I am capable of.

I’m calculating this during my training runs, when I’m in the shower, when I’m getting ready to go to sleep.

All the time.

While the main goal for any marathon is just to finish, I’ve got my sights set on a personal best. Currently my personal best is 3:25:51, which I got in Munich in 2019. And even though this will be my first marathon since then, I feel like I can still improve on that time.

For the most part, my training has been really good with several longer runs and more “race pace” miles than I have done in the past. That, combined with the races that I have done in the last couple of months, makes me feel confident of doing well in this race.

My strategy for this race is to start out the first 3-4 miles a little slower than my intended pace to allow myself to warmup and get into a good rhythm. Then, from there I will (hopefully) settle into a pace of around 7:30 per mile for the next 16 miles or so.

If that all goes according to plan, I will be in a really good position to get a personal best with a few minutes banked leading into the final 6.2 miles.

Of course this is all subject to change based on how I feel after the Rocky Run this weekend and as marathon day gets closer!

If you have raced recently or are getting ready to race, do you have a race plan or do you just wing it when it comes to race day?

Let me know in the comments!


More From RunPatRun:

  • Next week: I’ll give my Rocky Run race report and maybe some last minute thoughts on the Philadelphia Marathon as it will only be a few days away by then.
  • With the year quickly coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about your goals for 2022. Check out my post – Setting Yourself Up For Success – when you begin thinking about your goals for the new year!

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