Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Calm Before the...?

I am strangely zen about my training right now. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm totally pumped to attempt another PR in two and half weeks, but recently something switched in my head and I went from "I have no idea if I'll be ready to race another marathon hard" to "Relax, everything's gonna be cool, man."

You know, kinda like this guy:

I was feeling a little out in No-Mans's Land because I hadn't run any races all summer where I could gauge my fitness.  But lo:

Oh hey, it looks like I finally beat my 5K PR from over FOUR YEARS AGO. It's cool. I've only barely come within maybe 30 seconds of it in the last half dozen 5Ks I've run. So I do this one in the middle of my peak week for Lakefront Marathon and BOOM. Won my age group too! So happy.

The best part is that Jason came down and did the race as well. His second 5K this summer:

We totally do races together now. It's a thing we do.
Then, two and a half days later I tackled my last 20 mile workout of training. Some long runs I do a "whatever feels good" pace and other long runs I consider "workouts," meaning that I have something specific I try to accomplish during the run (usually a fast finish or intervals.) This one was an interval workout:

5 mile warmup
3 miles at GMP (Goal Marathon Pace)
1 recovery mile
3 miles at GMP
1 recovery mile
3 miles at GMP
4 easy miles to get to 20.

My goal marathon pace this time around is 8:15 but I seemed to settle in at about 8:05-8:10 for my faster intervals. It just felt good. (Or, as good as running 20 miles fairly aggressively can be expected to feel.) The point is that I didn't feel terrible and I was able to hang on and hit that speed for all of the (9 total) goal pace miles. Woo! Plus I got to go to Soldier Field and eat nachos and drink beer afterward. The high of nailing this run almost took the sting out of the Bears loss that day. Almost.

To top everything off, yesterday I did a speed workout where I managed to run every one of my half mile repeats in the 6s, Sure they were all 6:5X but dammit if they weren't under 7!

Pretty graph.
Anyway, all bragging aside, I'm feeling pretty chilled out right now about my chances of lowering my BQ time on October 4th. I'm sure I'll go through few dozen more ups and downs before race day but right now I'm going to ride this feeling for as long as I can:

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