My first attempt was this past July and I DNFed in glorious fashion: https://www.thebarefootrunners.org/threads/maah-daah-hey-100-my-first-marathon-trail-run-dnf.20685/ I really have no excuse to finish this one: * Cool, October weather * 100% paved * Better prepared * Actual experience to call on I've also been sticking as best I can to Paleo eating for the last few months and have really seen the positive effects of teaching my body to use fat-as-fuel. I couldn't believe it when I ran 15 miles in a fasted state and wasn't feeling any hunger pains or symptoms of bonking. Now I'm starting to load up on carbs for the first time in a while and my whole body is just jittery with energy. If you don't already know: yes, you do still carbo load before a race if you've been training in a low-carb state. From what I understand I will finally be able to use the full spectrum of fuel Sunday with my fat reserves as the majority of my fuel and metered doses of sugar, carbs and electrolytes as a supplement. This is as opposed to before when I knew I was heavily carb-dependent and if I didn't take in enough during a long run I'd bonk: going from feeling absolutely fine to suddenly struggling to just walk. Thanks to all that experience in bonking I'm trying not to psyche myself out thinking that's going to happen Sunday. I know, logically, that shouldn't happen and I will finish and my main worry should be about my 4:20 time goal. I'm going to try the whole thing unshod but just in case I get unlucky I'll take my Xero DIY sandals with me. My left foot in particular has a habit of developing a sore spot right in the middle of the forefoot pad. I'm actually expecting that will happen no matter what but if it is worse than normal I'll slip on the sandals so I can finish. Depending on how the marathon goes I'll see if I really want to keep doing them in the future or not. I'm finding that any distance past 15 miles begins to stop being fun for me and I haven't done that much speed work. I ran XC and track back in HS and I'm curious what I can achieve for a 5K time in my mid-40s. While I'm at it I might as well work on my 10K and even my 1/2 marathon times. In my opinion too many people apply a singular metric to their running achievements: beginners try to finish a 5K. Then what typically comes after that is finishing a 10K. Then finishing a 1/2 and finally finishing a marathon. I've still got that old XC and track racing habit, though, and I don't want to just set goals for finishing. On top of that I'm committed to keeping my running enjoyable and I'm not sold on marathons being "enjoyable" running for me. We'll see, though. Anybody else gonna be in Mankato Sunday?