The next race on my schedule is the ES20 on March 29th. A 20 mile race is odd enough. A race that runs through 3 states (Maine, New Hampshire and Massachussetts) and 7 towns (Kittery, Portsmouth, Rye, North Hampton, Hampton, Seabrook and Salisbury) makes it interesting for me to run it (again).
The first and only time I ran this race was in 2002. I had one comment in my running log: "Headwinds for nearly all 20 miles". At the time it was the longest I had ever run and I finished in 2:21:38. I still remember those winds. I hate wind, more than hills. I guess that's the risk with a point to point race that runs along the coast. The course is almost entirely along Rt 1a and is a gorgeous stretch of road along New Hampshire's seacoast. I love this road but it is totally exposed. Please, please, please let there be a tailwind this year!
Technically I attempted to run this race one other time in 2006. I was sick but I had already signed up. I started the race but really had no plans of running the whole thing, deciding to run 10 miles and call it a day. I actually had a decent run (avg 6:40's) but 10 was all that I had in me that day. Looking back this was a sickness that affected me for nearly the next month, forcing me to scratch my Boston Marathon (in a year that had some of the BEST running weather ever). Ah, memories.....don't they suck sometimes?
The only goal I have is to run steady, consistent miles. I'd like to settle into a nice comfortable pace and hold it the entire way without fading. That's the goal. The key is to figure out what pace to run. McMillan's Running Calculator predicts I could run 2:06 (6:20 pace) based on my recent half marathon time. Me thinks that is a bit aggressive Mr. McMillan. Maybe something closer to 6:30's (unless we have 20 miles of headwinds).
Just for fun I looked up the long term weather outlook for next Sunday: Low 40's and rain. I hope these weather guys suck as much on the long term stuff as they do on predicting tomorrows weather.