For some reason I seem to always do something slightly unwise and risky just before a Marathon - this time is no exception as I decided to try out my new Vibram Spyridons without wearing any socks. I'm not sure why I am so set on trying to run without socks, perhaps it's because I generally have little time for anything I consider to be superfluous. Only that the socks wouldn't have been superfluous - after the run I had a few "hot spots" on the sides and tops of my feet and a tiny patch of raw skin. Luckily, nothing to worry about! Other than not being able to run in them sockless, so far I am liking them a lot and I feel much more confident running on stony trails with them (I'm unlikely to trip over in these).
My training has gone exactly to plan and I have hit all the pace targets I set myself, based on a Marathon pace of 4 minutes per kilometre, which would be a sub 2:50 time. That doesn't of course mean I will necessarily manage to run a sub 2 hour 50 Marathon but I certainly believe that I can do it. I believe that I have addressed what I think was my limiting factor in the last Marathon I ran (apart from the non-ideal preparation due to interruption by the Sandy Super Storm) namely "training the last kilometres of a Marathon". I've also done very well in managing my weight since Christmas and I am a fairly skinny 82 kilos at the moment! That will change over the next few days in which I plan to eat pasta and a few energy rich snacks. Even the weather looks as though it will be on my side with the forecast a sunny day with lower temperatures on the Sunday than the rest of the week (a maximum of 14 degrees, apparently, when last year I remember seeing temperatures of 18 degrees).
The good thing about having broken the 3 hour barrier is that I now feel that I haven't got anything to lose. I'm going to risk ending up running a crap Marathon by pushing the envelope just a little bit further to see if I can knock off 5 minutes from my time last year. If everything goes to plan then it is perfectly doable; if I have neglected one of the many "limiters" then at least I will find out what it is and be able to work on it for next time.