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March 01, 2010

Napa Valley Marathon (3/7/10) Jeff’s Final Pre-Race Entry!

Written by Dena Evans

This is my last update before the race, which means that it’s getting so close that my thoughts are invaded by preparation details all day, every day. The excitement is definitely building and with it, has come the nervousness that goes along with doing anything that I really care about. But, I’ve learned to focus that nervousness into planning, so that I don’t question what I need to do when the time comes.


I now have plans set out for race day attire, hydration, and fueling. I’m still working on nailing down a race morning timeline that will get me to the start-line shuttle buses well before dawn ready to put forth the best performance I can.

But, the biggest thing I still have to determine is an appropriate race pacing strategy to best achieve my goals. These are my primary goals:

1) Arrive at the start line uninjured (I know this doesn’t depend on pacing, but it will still be a major achievement for me)

2) Complete the race with a Boston Qualifying time (Everything after this is really just gravy – or icing, depending on your preference)

3) Enjoy the thrill of testing my body and will against the marathon distance.

One of the many things I really like about training using the Focus-n-Fly program is the support and availability of coaching. For a big goal race like this I really like the fact that I can bounce my plans off an experienced coach. It not only prevents me from being unrealistic and overzealous at times, but it also gives me confidence that my training and racing strategy are solid and give me my best shot at achieving my goals. So, hopefully, Tom will have a half hour sometime this week to review this with me (I figured putting him on the spot here would make it a sure thing).

So, with just 3 runs left before the big one it feels like I’m really going to make it to the starting line this time! I’ve been running my track workouts with relative ease the couple of weeks, so I feel that I’m ready for the race. But, I also know that anything can happen. That’s why I’ll be focusing the next six days on staying healthy, getting plenty of rest, and preparing for anything that might try to derail me from racing.

I look forward to writing one more time with great details about a successful experience up in Napa.

Last modified on October 10, 2010
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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