The Erie Marathon is just a few days away. All my training is done. And all my training has been done in the Texas heat!  Current forecast is for 50° F on race day. I have no recollection of what that feels like and no idea how fast I’ll be able to run when it’s 20-30° cooler than what I’ve been training in.  That makes pace planning a little tricky.  

At one point, I tried crunching numbers from pace calculators. I toyed with a strategy based on heart rate.  And it’s always tempting to pull a number out of thin air and figure out how many miles you have to run at what pace to hit that number because it sounds nice (whether or not your body is actually capable of performing at that level). 
But then I remembered Matthew 6:27. The runner’s version goes something like this: 
Can all your worries take a single second off your time?

If anything, worrying probably raises cortisol levels, which could negatively impact performance!
So I committed to run happy. 
The plan come race day is to run by feel. If all goes well, I’ll run easy the first 4 miles, moderate the next 20, then push with whatever I have left in the tank the last couple miles. 
To make myself listen to my body rather than my watch, I put one of these on my Garmin:

This way I get all of the data without any of the head games!
I practiced this strategy on a couple of training runs, and the results were very positive. More running and less walking on my last long run, and PR by over a minute on my 10K time from just 3 weeks ago!
Going into Sunday, I’m feeling good. I’m hopeful about a finishing time I can be proud of…but remembering to simly be grateful about getting back to the distance in such a short time. Less than six months ago, I was running ZERO miles. So there’s really no pressure. 
My goals are to run happy and to finish….and rather than stressing over my finishing time, let it be a surprise!  🙂