This was my fourth running of the Hartford Marathon. I was determined to improve over 2014 for two reasons. Last year I didn't train well because of a heel injury and I started off way too fast even though I know better. This year I was injury free and focused on pace during the first 5 miles.
My pre-race routine is solid now with a small breakfast of cereal, a banana, and coffee. I drink some UCAN about an hour before the start and I carry NUNN in my handheld bottle. I also have a power bar of some sort just prior to the start. My goal was to maintain a 10:00-10:30 pace throughout. I had done that consistently on long training runs so it wasn't going to be a problem. As I started I purposely ran as slow as I could without walking. Non-runners would never understand that even with an intentional "slow" effort, I was running my fast 5K pace. Yes...I was in the 8:00/mile range so I had to really force myself to slow down. I did just that. My goal was achieved as after 1 mile I was comfortably maintaining a 10:00 pace. Everything was working and that pace was easy. After 19 miles the pace was the same. At mile 21 I hit the wall. Longer distance than in the past which was very encouraging. Yeah, I struggled in the last 5 miles but overall a good race. I was elated at the finish line which shows in the pictures everyone took.
In the end my time was 4:40 which was my fastest time in two years. I felt good and more positive about future marathons.