We are less than 24 hours away and the weather for Fargo looks a bit challenging, temps heading towards the mid 70's with winds in the mid 20's with gusts to 40 mph. So all things considered this will be a wonderful opportunity to test out a few things.
One change Karyn and I have made is to switch from Clif Shot Electrolyte to HEED sports drink. Clif Shot Electrolyte has worked well but it is hard to find in stores and no races ever use it. I ended up trying HEED at McNaughton after 25 miles when my Clif Shot wasn't tasting too good and although I wouldn't describe it as flavorful, it seemed to work fine. So Fargo will be the test, can we drink HEED for 4 to 5 hours with no stomach issues. Another thing we are changing is we both plan on taking an S cap every half hour so this will be another test, does my hand swelling and stomach hold together. I sure hope so.
We are also going to try and monitor our initial pace a bit more carefully than Lincoln. Probably go out a bit slower (15-30 secs/mile) and more carefully monitor our fluids which should helps us keep the dehydration beast away. With regards to the wind, about the only thing we can do is have Karyn tuck in behind me and do some drafting. I have learned through the years that I am a pretty good wind block.
So if all goes as planned meaning we nail the hydration, the wind is not a huge negative and we manage the heat, I think Karyn can get her PR, if nothing else we can beat Lincoln by having a better day regardless of the final finishing time (of course beating the time from Lincoln is still the secondary goal). For me, this is my last long run weekend before FANS, running a smart conservative race is what I want to do so this will be great training for that especially if I can manage the heat and the hand swelling. Add in that we get to stay a couple of blocks from the start line, listen to Dean Karnazes and run another marathon together, I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend except to make it a trail race :-).