I am a pro at race day planning. I plan everything. From each minute between when I wake up and cross the start line, to exactly what pace I would like to run every mile, having taken into consideration the elevation delta of each one. It's all part of the preparation and focus leading up to the event. Make no mistake, I do have every intention of executing the plan, but I enjoy the planning as a mental exercise foremost.
The last race I ran I did NOT make a race day plan or a list of things I wanted to take with me and I didn't prepare mentally for the paces I wanted to hit. I still made a goal and I laid out my clothes the night before. But I failed to research the weather so I was freezing at the start. I forgot my hat so I had to wear sunglasses (which I never do when I run). Neither of these were a big deal, but this wasn't a goal race either.
The last trail race I did in Los Angeles I planned meticulously the goal pace of each mile. I did this by taking someone else's Strava results (from the same race course) and adding (i think) 1 minute to each mile. I basically used her results to judge the difficulty of each mile and then just adjusted to what I thought would work for me. It was brilliant. And I ended up doing even better than I thought I would and having superb confidence throughout.
So for the Sedona marathon, I'm going to try it again! This time, the only Strava results I could find for the full marathon the guy's average pace was 6:25 for a finish time of 2:48. CLEARLY that's a few minutes faster than I can move, but the concept is the same. I added 2:55 to each mile, and an extra 12 seconds to the first mile (so I can warm up more slowly). My plan has me finishing in 4:06 and I have a little pace chart ready to go.
I did a "dress rehearsal" this afternoon to solidify my outfit/shoes/insoles/socks/gear choices and had a super confidence-boosting six miles. Woot.
The next part of planning is a morning-of itinerary and a list of race day essentials!