John "lakewood" Fegyveresi

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pocono Marathon Run for the Red - Preview

Well it's that time of year again.  The Annual Pocono Marathon is this coming weekend and I'm taking a second stab at it.  Last year I decided to start running and the Pocono Marathon was the race I picked to train for.  I spent the entire winter and early parts of spring working my way through a Hal Higdon 18 week training routine that culminated on May 4th in Stroudsburg, PA.  I went into the marathon with a very simple goal of "Finishing".  In the back of my mind, I had a secondary goal of trying to break 4 hours.  In all of my training runs, I had managed to maintain a sub 9 minute pace, so I figured unless I completely fell apart towards the end, I should be able to beat a time of 4 hours.
As far as first marathons go, I don't think I could have picked a friendlier course, on a more perfect weather day.  The race was small (Less than 400 people), and the morning was nice and cool with overcast skies.  Throughout the race, I kept a nice even pace, often running for long periods of time with a specific person.  I never let anyone else's pace determine mine (something I was worried about in training).  No matter how much I wanted to speed up, I kept myself in check, and it paid off.  The course was littered with aid stations almost every two miles, and people all around the course were standing at the ends of their driveways chearing for us.  It was a really fun course.  Towards the end of the race, I did hit the proverbial wall (around mile 21), and then the hot sun finally did come out.  I slowed down quite a bit the last 4 miles, but still managed to cross the finish with a final chip time of 3:53:13
All in all, not a bad way to finish up my first marathon!  To this day, that time is still my PR for a marathon.

Coming into the stadium right at mile 26
Crossing the finish in 3:53:38 (3:53:13 Chip)

So this weekend, I will toe the line for what equates to MY second annual Pocono Run for the Red, with the same primary goal I held last year....."To Finish".  This year I'm changing my secondary goal to "Finish in under 3:53:13"  (even if it's only one second faster).

So basically:
1.  Finish
2.  Set a new PR for a Marathon

As far as of today, they are predicting low 60's/high 50's with overcast/rainy conditions.  In other words:  PERFECT running weather.  Woo hoo.  Hope this holds.

Once this race is over, I will do a complete 180, and shift all of my training over to trails (at least as much as I can anyway).

Next Race: Finger Lakes Fifties - July 4th's my first 100:   Vermont 100 - July 17th Weekend


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