Brian, Niko and I and hiked up Rainbow Peak today. I'm feeling really good about Mt. Marathon. It's now just over two weeks away and I have been trying to get in a lot of steep uphill mileage in in the past month.
So here it is. I'm just gonna put it out there, if you don't like it, you can send it right back. I'm going to try and finish the race in 1:30. Last year my time was 1:55. Here's where I can improve.
First, the run to the base of the mountain is key. I need to try to get out in front of the pack. I'll be in the second wave again, so all of the really fast people will be long gone. If you take your time getting to the mountain, you get stuck waiting in line to climb up the cliffs.
Second, I'm a much stronger hiker this year, so naturally the hike to the top will be faster. Third, I will not stop at the top to talk to friends. Sorry guys, see you at the bottom. Fourth, I hate to admit it, but I took the easy way down the cliffs at the bottom. You basically have two choices. You can run/fall/slide/roll down the cliff at the bottom, OR you can sneak over on a trail and run down a series of switchbacks. Last year I ran down the trail for fear of killing myself on the cliff. I slid down the cliff on my practice run, but thought I might hurt myself during the race.
Screw that, I'm goin' down the cliff this year.
Lastly, I had some serious cramping in my calves on the run back to the start on the road. Believe it or not, once you run up and down a really steep mountain, your legs forget how to run on flat ground. I had to shuffle to the finish line. But hopefully I can get some electrolytes in my body early enough to prevent cramping.
That's the plan. It's good to have a plan when it comes to this race. It's really not straightforward. There is no course. You can go up and down anyway you want. There really aren't many rules, except to yell, "Rock!" when you knock stuff down on people. I don't feel the fear and anxiety that I felt in the weeks before last year's race. Just excitement.