As those of you that have been around for the last 15 weeks or longer, I've trained smarter and harder this cycle than I ever have. I know in two and half weeks or so, I'll be toeing the line for my 8th marathon as prepared as I could possibly be. It's a good feeling, but at the same time, I know I need to stay focused and realize that I still need things to go my way on the 11th for me to hit my goal. As the saying goes and a few people have told me, the hay is the barn.
Speaking of goals, there is one goal for the 11th. 3:10. That's it. Anything slower than that will be a disappointment. As I mentioned back in May, I know the jump from a 3:29 to 3:10 is huge. But I have hit every goal that I set back then and everyting points to me being able to hit my goal. Here are the goals I set back in May:
- Train my ass off
- Get down to 165 pounds
- Run 6 days per week
- A sub 40 minute 10K
- A 1:30 Half
I know it may be a tad early to talk of strategy, but I think that will help me focus on the task at hand and get me through these next couple of weeks without going crazy. I have about 55-58 miles planned for this week after hitting 66 last week.
Last week was kind of a jumbled mess as life threw the ole' running schedule a curve ball. I recovered pretty well, but did have to a run 10 miler on Saturday and my final 20 miler on Sunday. The original plan was to run the second half of the 2o miler at goal marathon pace, but I found myself running upstream into a few thousand runners after I hit my turnaround point.
This group of runners was participating in the Chicago Area Runners Association's Ready to Run 20 Miler. It's really kind of ridiculous. I can appreciate a Gatorade and water supported final 2o miler run, but signing up (which cost a good chunk of money - as much as $50 - for a training run) doesn't give you a license to run wherever you want. The lakefront path in Chicago is pretty congested as it is. Add to that groups of runners running as many as 7 and 8 wide in spots. I really was afraid I was going to bump shoulders and get knocked into the lake between Oak St. and Ohio. Anyway, I ended up getting away from them with 7.5 miles left and turned it on for those miles. I ran all of the first 7 miles in the 7:11-7:17 range, so I was pretty happy with my last really long run. I still have a 17 miler on tap for this coming weekend.
I did manage to take a few pictures on the first half of Sunday's run. Here they are: