Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cinco de Julio Cuatro Miler

I'm making a new addition to my race schedule, the Cinco de Julio Cuatro Miler race July 9. Why? It just looks like fun! Plus I get a free entry because I volunteered at Cap City! 

I'm really excited -- my race schedule lines up perfectly with my training schedule!

July 9 there are six miles on the schedule, so I'll do a 2-mile warmup to the 4-mile race.

My share of Hood to Coast is 18 miles. There are 18 miles on the schedule that weekend!

The Hocking Hills Indian Run has a 20K distance, just over 12 miles. That week, I have 12 scheduled!

The only races that don't fit are the Warrior Dash, which I have no intention of taking seriously -- I'm going to do the full seven the day before, and the triathlon relay, which I will have to figure out since I want to run that well. I'm scheduled for 10 the day before. In the relay I'm doing a 5K. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

My fledgling wall of accomplishments

It's cleaning/organizing day in the new apartment, and I finally did something with the small collection of medals from various races, and of course my 1st place plaque from the Nu Race Trial Run

A closeup of the medals: 

Maybe I'll put a small shelf up and display the beer glasses I got from Salt Fork and the Beerathlon! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chronology of shoes

I really can't explain the logic behind my sudden need to line up all of my running shoes and snap a photo. But, while cleaning, I decided to do just that.

From left to right, oldest to newest:

Asics Kayanos: About 350 miles logged on these! They took me through my first 10K and last fall's trail runs. I'm keeping them as trail shoes. 

Blue Mizuno Precisions: 359 miles logged on them. I've read that I should be able to get more life out of them, but every time I run in them my legs hurt, so I've downgraded them to walking shoes. These took me through most of my marathon training, and the 15-miler in Granville! 

Orange Mizuno Prescisions #1: I used these for the 22 miler and my marathon, and the last few weeks of training. 135 miles logged on them so far. Still in use.

Orange Mizuno Precisions #2: Noticing a theme? Hey, when you find something that works, right? Plus they're relatively cheap as running shoes go! Brand new. Didn't quite need them yet but Fleet Feet was having a sale! I think I'll break them in and then start using them right away for long runs only, and use the first ones for weekly training runs. I'll get more life out of both that way! I'll have to get different laces to tell the difference, the new ones won't stay that nice pristine shade of white for long!

In front are the Zoots. I used them for the shortest training runs, just to give the Precisions a break from time to time, and to start getting used to a lighter shoe! 30 miles logged on them. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer is here, and 140 days until Columbus!

MIT, from Fleet Feet's Facebook page
I'm back! Did my first summer/fall training run with MIT this morning and it felt so great to be out there pounding the pavement in the sunshine with the 10:30s.

Who are huge this season, by the way! There are so many of us, it's fantastic! 

And the "long run"... a whopping 6 miles! Remember when I said this? Splits today were: 10:31, 10:14, 10:01, 10:10, 10:26, 9:57. 

Yea, yea, yea, I guess I remember saying this too :)

It's all relative. 

My alarm was buzzing at 6 a.m. and I was up and ready. I made a bagel and burned a CD for the ride since the iPod is still MIA. Getting ready to run in the summer is so much easier -- shorts, tech shirt, garmin, hydration, good to go! (continued)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer lineup

After a week of doing virtually nothing I'm trying to get back in the swing of things. I took the dogs for a good walk with some hills Friday, made like a floundering fish and jumped in the Y pool Saturday and Sunday, and did spinning, some lifting and ran a whopping one mile at a 12 minute pace yesterday. I'm shooting for spinning and lifting today and tomorrow, and then I'm going to jump into the MIT training schedule Saturday with 6 miles.

The good folks at Fleet Feet Sports have another pair of Mizuno Precisions ready for me to pick up Saturday, at 20% off plus a free pair of socks! My ultimate goal is to run the Columbus Marathon Oct. 16 in under 4:20. I'd like to beat a 10:00 pace so that should do it. I'm going to stick with MIT and their training plan, and keep going with the 10:30s.

But until then I have a few other plans. At some point I need to update my Daily Mile upcoming races!

My other goal this summer is to PR in a 5K. My time to beat is 24:27, set Jan. 1 of this year, I'd love to bring it under 24, that's a 7:44 pace.

JUNE 5 Warrior Dash -- I'm really stoked for this one! I'm doing it with my MIT friend Beth, Spark friend Sara and college friend Evelyn, in the 5 p.m. wave Sunday. We need to figure out ... something... costumes, war paint... something! It's in Hocking Hills, a 5K race, but with cargo nets, a mud puddle, a wind tunnel and a scrapyard to climb through, it's safe to say this won't be a PR contender! So instead I'll just toss back a few and have some fun.

Myself, Abbey and Anna.
JULY 17 Greenswell Triathlon relay -- Meet the Manic Mojos, comprised of myself and all-star Newark Advocate reporters Abbey Roy and Anna Sudar. We're doing a short triathalon relay at Alum Creek, women only, for breast cancer research. Since the run is the third leg, I don't know if this would be the best shot for a PR, either, but it will be a good time.

AUG. 26-27 Hood to Coast -- I am a proud member of Coasties and Ghosties of Sparkpeople.com. I'm stoked, and nervous, given that I've never met my 11 teammates before! It will be two days in Oregon, 197 miles starting at the top of Mt. Hood and running to the ocean. It's coming up fast, time to start planning my trip!

SEPT. 17 Hocking Hills Indian Run -- This was my first 10K, and my first trail run, last year, and I am definitely going back. Not sure on the distance yet, probably a 20K or a 40K, I'll compare it to my training schedule later and do what fits.

So, I still need to find a good 5K. I have a free entry for an M3S event, and there's something called the Bull Run in Columbus Aug. 6 that looks fun!

As long as the legs hold up, it's going to be a good summer!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Photos from Cleveland and the MIT celebration!

We are now five days past the marathon and I am mostly recovered. I still feel a little shakiness in the knees. I still feel a little stiffness getting up and sitting down. And most of all I have just been tired.

But more importantly, I have pictures! These are both the Brightroom proofs of the official race pics, and also photos of the wonderful 10:30 gathering on Wednesday at Champps in Columbus.

First the official race photos. Hands down my favorite, I know it was taken during the last .2 miles because I took my earbuds out at the 26th mile marker.

And a nice, blurry procession of me finishing:

MIT Team 10:30 met at Champps on Wednesday to celebrate all of our races! What an amazing group of people and set of accomplishments! I felt naked with only one medal!

This is Coach Randy, me and Kim. Randy ran the Gettysburg North-South Marathon and Kim ran Cap City.

Sarah, who ran the Pittsburgh full and Katie, who ran the Flying Pig and Cap City halves.

Me, Sarah and Kim.

And speaking of medals, Michelle K. from our pace team pointed out a typo on the medal! The Rite Aid logo says 2010 marathon! It's ok, it still says 2011 in large, funky, psychedelic type!

And, for no reason whatsoever, this is the cat that has taken up residence outside my apartment window. I think it gets great pleasure from torturing my dogs.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Marathon coverage from the Plain Dealer

Plain Dealer photo of everyone running down the Shoreway.
This morning, stairs are the enemy. Yesterday was phenomenal, though. See my race report here, my music report here, my expo loot here, and my race plan here.

And here's some coverage from the Plain Dealer:

An excellent piece about the growth of the marathon, and racing in general:

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Running so hot, race is running out of spots

"From his vantage point on the West Coast, Lamppa said Cleveland's recent creation and promotion of an "Experience" also are not to be underestimated. Just as the "Flying Pig" image pays off at the Cincinnati Marathon, so is Cleveland's hippie theme working wonders.
"There's something about that funky, psychedelic look that I personally am drawn towards," he said. Cleveland's found a way to brand its event, and that matters."

Coverage of the event itself

Rain, wind and cold fails to dampen enthusiasm at 34th annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

"What looked like an opaque wall of early morning mist stood between 19,000 runners Sunday morning and a successful 34th running of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.
The mist didn't stand a chance..."

I love reading the stories about why people participate: 

A cool morning on the lakefront brings plenty of great stories

"The 34th annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon brought nearly 19,000 runners and walkers downtown. Thousands more lined the streets to cheer for them. It's a big event, but one comprised of so many little stories..."
Their photo gallery is here. I can't wait to see the official race photos!!
They also have this video of the race starting. It's about 1 minute long. It took me 7 minutes to reach the start line. I was in the middle of the pack. 

I requested today off, so I'm being lazy. My quads hurt the most. Going to use the foam roller and walk the dogs later to work out the lactic acid, and head back to Newark tonight.

Cleveland Marathon 2011 race report


I ran the Cleveland Marathon today in 4:32:50. I was 1,790th of 3,160 full participants, 554th among women and 116th in my division.

My splits were: 10:20, 10:21, 10:19, 10:24, 10:09, 11:31, 10:36, 10:27, 10:53, 10:31, 10:41, 11:26, 10:27, 11:07, 10:49, 10:32, 10:43, 10:47, 10:27, 10:37, 9:31, 9:48, 9:12, 9:10, 9:07, 9:00, 3:46 (.49 per Garmin).

Full Daily Mile data here. 

So I'll just start at the beginning of one crazy day! I'm still reeling, so some edits will likely be necessary tomorrow.

I was up at 5 and downtown by 5:45. The exits were already blocked off so my mom managed to drop me off a few blocks away. The Plain Dealer reported that there were almost 20,000 runners in the various events, it was a madhouse! Check out the photo on the link that has everyone running down the shoreway.

We were in Browns' stadium so I was happy for lots of bathrooms and places to spread out. I warmed up just enough to get the heart rate up, then stretched for a long time. The starting corral was really chaotic and disorganized, I ended up having to walk across the mud to get in the very vicinity of where I needed to be. They got us worked up with "Cleveland Rocks"

Once it starts it takes me 7 minutes to reach the start, so the clocks on the course were worthless, but I had my Garmin. I try my best to stick with the 4:45 pace group but it was difficult. I ended up back with the 5 hour group at the beginning and did some zigzagging to catch up (probably why my Garmin said 26.49 at the end)

I caught up to the 4:45s but lost them quickly. They stopped at every water station (every two miles) so it often took some time to get in step with them after. I only really stopped at 6, 12, 18 and 22. 

Still, the first two miles along the shoreway were a lot of fun, the energy was unreal, I liked being by the lake, and passing Edgewater Park where my high school cross country team used to train. Some complained about the hill as we ran up the on-ramp. I've done much, much worse.  

The first 10K was a breeze. It was really hard restraining myself, I wanted to speed up. 

The second 6 and change took us through Tremont and Carnegie Ave. which was a really phenomenal part of the course. The crowd support was unreal. I ran a lot of this without my iPod because there were bands and people playing music everywhere! 

Just before the halfs turned off, I hit a marathoner's jackpot -- a port-a-john with no line. (The port-a-john lines were another chief complaint I've heard of the event). With the Indians' stadium in sight there were lots of cheers as we bid farewell to the half marathoners. 

Then things started to get real. 

I was back with the pace group at this point, and as we headed down Euclid Ave. toward the east side I was really glad for it. As we got through the CSU campus and left downtown things got really quiet. I started to get tired. The pace group started to get chatty. That helped. 

Miles 13-19 were definitely the hardest. At one point I got ahead of the group and ended up stopping to stretch my knees and ankles while they caught up. I see my mom around Mile 15, which gave me a boost. Miles 16-19 I went for all the peppy, make me smile songs on my iPod. Usually these make me speed up, but in between my exhaustion and the pace team I stuck to 10-11 min miles. 

I think the double caffeine Gu kicked in at Mile 19 because at this point I found some new energy. Around 19.5 I realized the pace group was behind me. I told myself I'd stick with them for the first 20 -- close enough. I kick it up to 9-9:30. I turned off the fast pace alert set to 10:00. My iPod, set to shuffle on the 12-hour playlist was all about the classic rock, which was perfect. 

At this point every single muscle was screaming. My legs feel so numb. I'm soaking wet and hardly notice. But I'm passing people. This part of the course was really pretty. We turned onto a bike path as we went through several parks and along Lake Erie. I watched waves of the lovely brown waters splash against the breakers. I watched a bird eat a dead fish. I saw these people, I think they're from DetermiNation (photo from the Cap City race... the CLE signs were similar). Any distraction was a welcome distraction. I'm keeping a sub 10 pace. 

Every mile marker gave me new energy. I was going for it and was going to finish. I didn't care what my watch said. I ran the way my legs wanted to carry me. Kali, who ran the half and blogs about her running ventures, was there around Mile 24. Another boost. I passed Mile 25. I'm exhausted, dying, but I'm going to make it. 

I can't touch my iPod at this point -- the battery is dying, and my hands were so slimy, so I just took what the shuffle function gave me. First I hear Fleetwood Mac's Don't Stop. Then, the Beatles' The Long and Winding Road. Then I see Mile 26 and hear cheering and music. I tuck my headphones in my FuelBelt and start sprinting. 

I cross and the first person I see is my good friend Theresa Edwards, who was volunteering and handed me my medal. I'm exhausted. Once I stop running I can barely walk but I stumble through the chute, catch up with an MIT friend. 

I remember high-fiving the guy at Mile 8 with a sign that said "18 miles til beer". I had a free drink ticket and beer was the last thing I wanted. I'm delirious. I am soaking wet. My mom brought me dry clothes. Changing was painful. 

So, after you run 26.2 miles, you eat what you please. I had yet to try Five Guys before, delicious! Then for dinner we went out for Mexican. 

At that point, I was happy for this:

And, of course, this:

I'm all signed up for the next session of MIT. I'm going to train for the Columbus full!

I know I haven't held a lot of affection for my hometown (and I know this is in my last post too), but it is only fitting that I end this post on this note:

My favorite songs from my Cleveland Marathon playlist

Race recap coming! But one of the best things I did was ask my Facebook friends for suggestions for my race playlist. I posted my full playlist (12 hours, more than I needed) yesterday. Here are some of my favorites:

Beatles -- The Long and Winding Road: This will forever be attached to the Cleveland Marathon. As the song was ending, I saw the finish line.

Queen -- Somebody to Love: This, hands down, has become my favorite song to run with. Funny thing -- I had adjusted the volume on all my old music but not the stuff I downloaded yesterday. So, while I was running, some were really loud and some were really quiet. And after the first half it was impossible to control my iPod because my hands were wet and sweaty. So, around mile 16 this song comes on, this guy starts running right next to me, and says "thanks for the Queen, it helps", yea, that was one of the loud ones.

Cleveland Rocks: How could I leave this off initially? This is what they started us off with, though it took me 7 minutes to even get to the starting line!! AND!!! Drew Carey ran his first half marathon today! How awesome is that???

Beatles -- Hey Jude: What I always play when I need to slow down!

Creed -- Rain: This has been the song of the week given the lovely weather, and was only fitting to start out with! I think it rained the entire time. I hardly noticed. 

Shakira -- Waka Waka: Suggested by Jessica F, addicting, great beat! And it's still in my head.

My Chemical Romance -- Welcome to the Black Parade, and Sing: The former was suggested by Malia R., the latter is played in spin all the time and I just love it!

P!nk -- So What: Another Malia R. suggestion! And Raise Your Glass, also a great pick-me-up!

Me First and the Gimme Gimmies -- I believe I can fly: Original version suggested by Rohit J., punk rock cover by Kyle W. Sorry, Rohit, I went the punk rock route!

Florence and the Machine -- The Dog Days are Over: Jamie K. reminded me of this one days before my race, I love it!

Fleetwood Mac -- Don't Stop: Suggested by Kerensa P. Classic! Came on toward the end, it helped push me through.

Arcade Fire -- We Used to Wait: I was running a marathon in a big city. It just fit.

Dave Matthews Band -- Grey Street: Always loved it. 

Journey -- Don't Stop Believin': Do I need to explain why? Suggested by many.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The marathon playlist

I'm sleepy but can't sleep... presenting the playlist, one big mess of songs 12 hours long... only the first one is deliberately placed... hopefully I won't need to hear them all! Thanks to all who made suggestions!

The "I'm in Cleveland and my marathon is tomorrow" post

I'm in Cleveland and my marathon is tomorrow!!

I was up at 6 to watch Theresa Edwards rock her first 5K. Then I made my way over to the expo in Euclid and got all kinds of cool stuff. Then I went home, made some sweet potatoes for my dad's 60th birthday party, tried to sleep, couldn't, so I've pretty much been playing on Facebook for the past few hours. Perhaps it was a bad time to sign up for text alerts, all day my phone has been blowing up with well wishers, suggestions for my playlist, and other incessant ramblings.

Vote in my Facebook poll if you want to help me decide which headband to wear! The choices are in my previous post.

The playlist, it's almost done! I'll post screenshots later tonight.

This is a pic I took last night of all the stuff I packed:

I just need to get a few things from target -- mainly rain gear. My alarm is set for 5 am, I'm being very good about what I'm eating and drinking, and I'm ready to rock this thing!

I'm really excited for everyone racing tomorrow!

Expo time!

I'll do my "I'm in Cleveland and it's the day before race day" post in a sec, but first I have some cool stuff to show off from the expo in Cleveland today! 

As an added bonus I met up at the expo with Carl and Deb, two online friends from the Daily Mile, always weird meeting people you know online in person for the first time, but that's just the new world order of things!

Here's my race number and shirt, I love how they have both mens and womens' shirts: 

If you didn't look closely enough, they know exactly what runners will want after the race: 

I probably didn't need to buy 4 Bondi Bands, but I did: (see my Facebook question if you would like to help me select which one to wear!)

They forgot to mail it to me, but I finally got my race belt for registering early.

After tomorrow, I will have earned the right to put the oval on my car. And I just like the keychain. 

I plan on following the 4:45 pacer for the first half. This is my wristband:

The swag was somewhat disappointing (and yes, that sample does in fact say "anti-monkey butt").

I sampled these energy bars and they were very yummy, so I bought a box.

13 hours...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

2011 Cleveland Marathon plan

Now, I'm just excited for race day.

I volunteered at the Capital City Half Marathon Saturday and really got caught up in the atmosphere. I was working a water station at Mile 12 and it was really exciting to see a lot of the people I've been training with this spring come through.

My goal for Cleveland is to finish in 4:45, that's a 10:53 pace. Here's a video of the course from the Plain Dealer:

I'll post screenshots of my playlists when I get them done. I'm feeling more confident now, I ran 8 Saturday after the race and it felt really easy. This is in stark contrast to earlier in the week where every step felt like a struggle. This week the mileage is really light, 3 tomorrow, 5 Tuesday, 3 Wednesday and 2 Friday. I'm going to do as much of it as I can on the treadmill to save the legs. I'll probably still spin Tuesday but take it easy. I'll do all the runs in the older Mizunos (which still have plenty of life left) and the Zoots to keep the new ones plenty of rest.

I spent some time tonight on the Cleveland Marathon website. There's a 4:45 pacer, so I'm going to follow them for the first half, then I hope to speed up. I'm going to try to be at the 5 mile mark at 49:15, 10 miles at 1:42:40, and the half at 2:16:42. I'll bring my iPod, but won't wear it at the start. I'll wear my FuelBelt, and also run with it a few times this week to get used to it. In addition to the two 8 oz bottles the FuelBelt pockets will hold: my cell phone, 3 Gus (plus there will be two on the course), Pepto in a small baggie, and Clif shotbloks, cash and my ID (for alcohol at the finish). I really wish I didn't have to carry my cell phone but I'll need it, if anything for some serious texting once I'm at the finish line, and a call for a ride home.

And I'll have my Garmin, of course, and maybe write some of the times, splits, landmarks on my arm (or on a small piece of paper in the fuelbelt.)

I'm kind of bummed, it looks like there is not runner tracking.

I've decided to wear my white MIT shirt and compression pants. I can't decide where I'm going to pin my race bib. I want it to be visible for the photos, and I'll probably go through a throwaway layer since the race starts at 8 am.

The race starts at 7. I'm going to get there an hour to an hour and a half early so I'll have plenty of time to warm up, stretch and get acclimated.

There are water stops every 2 miles, so my plan is to stop every six. Just a quick pause, take a drink and Gu, then kick it back up. I'm really glad there will be Gu and Powerade on the course since that's what I've been training with.

I'm going to try and leave work as early as I can Friday, hopefully by 2 or 3. If I leave right from work I can get to Cleveland by six and pick up my race packet that night. If not I'll hit the expo in the morning. I have to be downtown at 8 am Saturday to watch a friend run a 5K, but then I hope to relax for the rest of the day.

This week I'm going to stick to brown rice and chicken for dinner, and chicken pasta salad for lunch. Anything high-fiber is going to stay in the cabinets.

The metals are really awesome, can't wait to hang one on my wall! And get one of those cool 26.2 stickers for the Fit!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cap City tomorrow

Good luck to all those running the Capital City half marathon tomorrow! I've made so many good friends through MIT and I'm so excited for everyone running their first half! It will be my turn next week.

Good luck, especially, to the Phythyon family.

(Ack, can't figure out how to embed the video... so just click here

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ramblings as race day approaches

10 days until my first marathon, and to say I'm terrified would be a vast understatement. All the crazy what-ifs are running through my head.

I have race bib # 1724.

(Warning: Whiny, rambling, most likely incoherent post ahead)

Here's what killed my confidence... I'm ashamed to say it but I dropped the ball on my training. Last week I finally got into my new apartment (which is wonderful) but it also meant that I didn't run for five days. The whole moving process was just so taxing and exhausting. Wednesday and Thursday were spent packing up the old place, Friday doing the physical move, Saturday asleep (literally, I could not move), Sunday cleaning the old place, Monday unpacking the new place. I'm messy and cluttered by nature, but on the same token I can't stand not knowing where things are (like my Garmin cable... arg!) So that has added a whole new layer of stress to my day to day routine. My rule is to spend one hour each day -- no more, no less -- working on the new place. It's a bit discouraging because while I'm making slow progress, and the essentials are done, there is still so much more to do.

My diet really suffered during the move too, I think I spent a total of five days without cooking a single meal. I lived off Lucky Bamboo, Wendy's salads and Chipotle.

I didn't have much choice but to move when I did. I actually lucked out -- for awhile it was looking like it would happen this coming weekend. Still, I wish I had eeked out a mile or two during the move. I'm sure there was some athletic value to basically being on my feet for 4 days, but still it killed the momentum I had from the 22-miler.

In general 2011 thus far has been a whirlwind of major changes (I think I like peanut butter now, for one, thank you Trader Joe's). My dogs, Gigi and Lizzie, are staying with my parents for another week -- they couldn't handle the stress of the move, so running has become my constant. Thus, a lot hinges on it, and when it goes, my sanity quickly follows.

And, oh, my apartment is going to be so awesome when it's complete! It's going to be a long process. I can't wait to get some cool curtains, have a dining room table I can actually eat at, a real TV hooked up to a Roku box, to actually hang my various wall hangings on my walls, maybe I'll even paint my walls something other than white, maybe I'll even get a new living room set. I'm going to love it, but the process is a slow one. I even have a little room off my living room that I can keep the few pieces of workout equipment I have. I'm thinking about getting the Insanity series -- I hear that's awesome for agility which would be great for fall trail races. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

So, to summarize: Last week I was a mess, but it was a means to a positive end. I'm doing much, much better this week. Monday I ran 4 and went to spin class. I felt like hell. Tuesday I did 5 on the treadmill and also did spin class. I felt great. They say to drop the cross training as race day approaches, but I find the spinning really helps my knees. I took today off, tomorrow is 6 and Friday is 4. I think I'm going to do my 8 on Sunday, then I'll look at the final week.

If there's one thing Jeff Henderson and Randy Olson have drilled into our brains this year in MIT it's to have a plan for race day and race weekend. So here it is (oh dear gawd it starts a week from tomorrow):

Thursday: Pack everything I can possibly think I might even need. Be ready to grab my stuff and go after work Friday.
Friday: Get off work, drive to Cleveland.
Saturday: Take it easy. Maybe get a massage. Hang out with the family. Watch Theresa Edwards run her first 5K, pick up my packet and race bib 1724, enjoy the expo.
Ok, that was the easy part.
Sunday: How early should I arrive? Ack, I don't know, the race starts at 7!!! At any rate, wake up at hotel Mom and Dad and awake one of the loving cab drivers for a ride downtown.
What I'm going to wear: My orange Mizunos, non-cotton socks, Under Armour compression tights, one of my good sports bras, pink tank top. One or two throwaway layers depending on the weather. I need to go to Fleet Feet to get something that says MIT on it that's not a shirt. If it's a hat, then I'll wear that, if not then I'll wear my Pearl Izumi visor. Headband. My Garmin and HRM.
What I'll bring: My Fuel Belt for the pockets, and my Amphipod water bottle. I'm going to bring 4 Gus, though I don't know if I'll need all of them. I'm going to Gu every hour, with maybe an extra if it's warm out. I'll keep my cell phone in the FuelBelt pocket -- normally I prefer not to run with it but I'll have some texting to do immediately after.
The strategy: It's a flat course, and I have hill trained, so I'm not worried about inclines. I want to finish in 4:45 or less. That's a 10:53 pace. I have trained at 10:30, but I need to consider that breaks are considered in the final time. I'm going to do the first six at an 11:00 pace, then speed up from there.
Breaks: I'll break every 4 miles for water, Gu and whatever else I need. Water stops are every 2 miles.
After: Find Gatorade. Find beer and an apocalyptic supply of any food I might be craving. Call cab Mom or Dad for a ride home. Sleep lots.

After the marathon: Do nothing for a week. I mean nothing. No activity beyond walking the animals. Recover completely. Eat liberally. The week after I'll start back lightly.

If I gain five pounds those weeks, I gain five pounds, plenty of time to work it off when MIT starts up again May 28 and I start training for Columbus :)

It's amazing how an hour's worth of blogging, Facebook chatting, 2 glasses of White Zin and oven fries can really change your outlook! I've got this! I'll sing my ode to MIT and all the other wonderful people racing May 15 in another post.