So here we are the night before my 2nd marathon and I'm trying to assemble some sensible thoughts from the maelstrom of nerves in my mind...
It's gone ok. I had some illness and injury at the start, so when I wanted to be starting with a base of 10 mile+ long runs, I actually had to start with a 5 mile long run. But since then it's gone pretty well, and I've run consistently 4 runs every week. I've done 2x 20 mile runs as my longest, which is one less than last time. My taper has been strictly adhered to, and in fact I've run less than planned over the last 2 weeks, so I hope I'm going to feel fresh, rather than out of practice.
This year has seen the coldest March since records began in the UK, and I've done all my training in gloves, long tights and a jacket. Needless to say that's set to change tomorrow! The temperatures have risen recently, and we are forecast around 10-12 degrees C - much more comfortable than the heatwave of my last marathon. It should be mostly dry, with a chance of showers, but there's going to be a strong crosswind. Hopefully we shouldn't be running into the wind too much, but we'll see. There's nothing I can do about it, but I hope it's dry for the spectators (including Pete and the kids) at least.
My only previous marathon was hard-going as I struggled with really hot weather. I finished in a slightly disappointing 4h59m, having hoped for around 4h45m. That was 3 years ago when I had only been running for a couple of years, and only finished 1 half-marathon. So clearly I'm hoping for something better. As a minimum, I intend to beat my previous time. Preferably, I'd like to get under 4h40m. In a perfect world, I'd love to go sub 4h30m, but that will depend on that wind, my legs, and my mental state. I'll need everything to go really well to be faster than 4h30, but that's my dream goal and the one I'll be going for!
So my bag is packed, I've got my train ticket, I know my fueling strategy and my pace, and I've almost decided what clothes to wear (can't decide between long and short sleeves...). Bring on the marathon!