With the NJ Marathon 2 weeks from today, I decided against running 18 0r 20 this morning. I settled on just over 14 in Saddle River County Park. I wanted to keep the terrain flat so that I wouldn't injure myself on any uphills or downhills. Also, I had some running podcasts to catch up on so I needed someplace safe to run.
The purpose of today's run was to practice my nutrition and hydration strategies. Through trial and error, I've found that alternating water and Gatorade starting at mile 4 and taking a gel every 6 miles works best for me. That's what I did today. I took some Gatorade at mile 4. At mile 6, I took my first gel and washed it down with water. I then alternated water and Gatorade for the rest of the run. According to the information on the NJM website, there will be fluid stations every 2 miles so I hope to follow this strategy on race day. I had all sorts of problems at Marine Corps because the fluid stations were not evenly spaced.
Overall it was a good run. My legs felt fresh and I did not experience any calf pain. Pacing-wise, I ran faster than I will on May 3. I don't think I can maintain a 8:09 pace for 26.2. I haven't really thought about my goals for this marathon. Quite honestly, I'm feeling a but undertrained for this race. I've completed one 20 miler, and one 19 miler. If all went according to plan, I would have ran at least 2 20 milers, maybe 3. There's not much I can do about it now so LET THE TAPER BEGIN!