The folks over at the Cox Sports Marathon finally released the elevation profile for the new course, and it definitely looks like the race is going to be a little easier this year than it was last year.

I resized, rescaled, and merged together the split elevation profile that they are providing so that you can see a side by side comparison between last year’s course and this year’s course:

You can click on the image for the full size version for comparison.

This year I expect to do a bit better than last year. I am confident that I’ll run faster than 6 minutes per mile for my average pace, although I fully expect to run a few minutes faster than that even.

As I mentioned earlier, I hadn’t done any racing to see what sort of marathon shape I was in until last week’s half marathon.

I felt pretty comfortable with a long warmup (4½ miles) and then a couple of quick miles at the start before settling into what will be my marathon pace. I picked it up again for the last mile or so and then did a 4½-5 mile cool down. This gives me a lot of confidence going into the Cox Sports Marathon in 3 weeks.

Yesterday I followed up last week’s run with a little over 20 miles continuous. I ran 10½ miles on the hills trying to keep it between 7-7:30 pace (which I managed for the first 9 miles then I snuck under 7 minute pace finishing that loop), and followed that up with another 10+ miles at sub-7:00 pace. I had 1 mile sub-6 and would have had 2 except I was halfway through mile 18 before I remembered I needed to pick it up so that one was only a 6:10. Good enough.

I think I’m ready. The 50 miler gave me a great base, and I’ve had some good training since recovering from it. My mileage each week has been consistently higher than last year, and I avoided getting sick at the beginning of April:

Now the trick is not doing anything stupid in the next 3 weeks. I plan on doing more of the same over the next couple of weeks except with shorter long runs. I’ll probably be around 60 miles the next two weeks and maybe run 45-55 the week of the marathon (race included.)

If you are going to be running the Cox Sports Marathon, Half Marathon, or 5k, then good luck and I hope that I see you there!