Running Warehouse connected me with VFuel and they sent me out some samples to try, so I went with their Peach Cobbler gels for the race. Mixed three gels in a Hydrapak Soft-Flask, then filled up the remainder of the space Nike Air Max 97 Damen with water to thin it out. This has been my practice in my last several marathons and it works really well for me. I hand-hold the flask (it’s small) and take small sips through the first half of the race, and when the flask is empty it packs down small into a little belt pouch that I use to carry a few additional gels. I find it much easier to sip watered down gels than to take them straight from the pouch while running (though VFuel is a bit thinner out of the pouch than most gels). The peach VFuel tastes good, and I had no stomach distress at all during the race. Very happy with how it Nike Air VaporMax Dámské performed (Running Warehouse recently posted a group review of VFuel as well). Took one additional GU from an aid station around mile 14. No gels after that – just Gatorade from some of the aid stations, a slice of orange, and a slice of Nike Air Max 90 Dámské Černá watermelon.Had two bananas and a bagel with peanut butter and cream cheese for breakfast, all finished at least 1.5 hours before race start. One cup of regular coffee, some OJ, couple sips of water. Went real easy on the pre-race hydration given my past issues with overhydrating. Had one mini Clif-bar right before the race started.Everyone who ran VCM in 2013 will remember it for the cold, rain, and wind. The temperature was in the low 40s Fahrenheit at the start, with the wind making it feel much cooler. Light drizzle alternated with steady rain throughout, though it eased up toward the end of the race. I actually felt like the weather was more Nike Air Max 2017 Femme of a positive than a negative as nearly all of my race PR’s have come in cold weather.My plan going into the race was to go easy for the first few miles, then settle into a comfortable pace and Nike Air Max 90 Damen see where it took me. The big challenge in any race is to not go out too fast, and in the marathon this is absolutely critical. I didn’t get a chance to do any kind of warmup, and my legs were cold at the start. Pushing the pace from the start would have been dangerous, so I remained disciplined and held back when the gun went off. Let everyone go, then catch as many as possible later on was the plan. I skipped the first few water stops, again part of my plan to go easy on hydration.I was feeling really tight for the first few miles, but I knew from experience that it would take at least a few miles to warm up the legs, and that this would probably be prolonged a bit more by the rain and cold. Sure enough, around mile three I started to Nike Air Max 95 Homme loosen up and the roughly 7:45/mile pace I had settled into was feeling smooth. Made a brief pit stop during mile 5 (apparently I was still plenty hydrated despite my limited intake of liquids prior to the race!), and did a good job resisting the urge to cruise on the long downhill from miles 3-7.Between miles 7-8 I ran for a bit with a female barefoot runner who was moving along really well. We chatted for a few miles, then she took off when we reached the top of the hill back in town and I never saw her again (looks like she beat me by about 5 minutes!)I started to feel a little tightness in my calves around mile 8, and was worried that maybe the zero drop Virratas were a bad choice. Fortunately the soreness never progressed to pain, and the tightness subsided a bit later in the race.My goal as I approached the halfway point was to be consistent and to stay disciplined about my pacing. I was running more by Nike Air Max 95 Femme consistent effort than consistent pace, so I’d speed up just a bit down hills, and slow a bit on the ups. Pace continually Nike Air Vapormax Mujer hovered around 7:45/mile and it was still feeling smooth. Mile 15 remained in the forefront of my mind – Battery hill crushed me twice before, and I was determined to not let it beat me again.