Sunday, April 24, 2011

The weather in Big Sur

With any luck, by precisely one week from now I will have finished my first marathon. The Big Sur Marathon starts at 6:45 a.m. on May 1, so if I run a 3:30 marathon, I'll finish somewhere between 10:15 and 10:20, depending on how long it takes me to make my way across the starting line. That's around 1:15 Eastern Time, or about an hour ago as I write this.

While here in Davidson it's currently about 80 degrees and very humid, in Carmel, California, where the race starts and ends, the temperature is a much more manageable 50 degrees. now has the forecast all the way out to race day; here's how it looks:

If this is what we get on race day, I'll absolutely take it. Sure, it's a bit warmer than I'd like (though I imagine it might only be around 57 or 58 when I finish), but there's very little wind, and I'd rather have a bright sunny day to enjoy the views by than a cooler, cloudy or rainy day.

My main concern is actually the wind. I've read many race reports describing 20- to 30-mph winds at Big Sur. The number one piece of advice for runners in the wind: Get behind a big guy. That's a problem when you're the big guy!

I've been following the weather in Big Sur for the past couple of weeks and the main thing I've noticed is that it's very consistent; usually in the upper 40s overnight and around 60 during the day. What changes the most is the wind. The other concern for runners is the cool mornings. Because we all have to be bussed to the start, we'll be arriving 1.5 to 3 hours early, and it could be in the 40s. While that's a great temperature to run in, it's rather cold for standing / sitting around. I'm going to bring an old pair of sweats to wear to the race, and be prepared to just throw them away once the run starts. In my past races, however, I've found that as the start-time approaches, I'm usually warm enough just from adrenaline, so I can safely check my sweats and still have plenty of time to get to the start.

I'll keep my eye on the weather as race day approaches, but for now, things are looking great. I can't wait!

Details of today's workout are below

Today I was scheduled to do a 5-mile recovery run. Normally the full DART group meets on Sundays, but this being Easter, most of us had already run yesterday. However, Todd, who'll be running Big Sur with me, raced yesterday and wanted to get in a recovery run himself. We wanted to run 9-10 minute miles, but it was hard to contain our enthusiasm as we chatted about our exciting upcoming trip. In the end, we ran 6.36 miles at an 8:30 pace, but the run was still easy and relaxing, which is the point of a recovery run. With the exception of a Wednesday race-pace preview, the rest of the week will be more of the same: Nice, easy recovery runs.

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