After tomorrow's run, I'll be halfway through my 18-week training program for the Big Sur Marathon.
As Mainers pointed out on his blog last Wednesday, this is one of those points in the training schedule where things feel a bit futile, but you're actually making major improvements. On Wednesday I ran 15 miles at an 8:38 pace, but on Friday, for 13 miles, I could only muster an 8:53 pace. Despite the wind, warmth, and hills on Friday, that feels like a bit of a letdown. But pushing through is still probably the best thing to do, and with any luck it will pay off big when I'm looking for a bit of extra mojo in Mile 22 at Big Sur.
Over these 9 weeks, I've only come short of my target mileage on two or three days. I haven't run my goal pace every day, but I've generally come close, only dropping off on the last couple miles, if at all. I've run farther and harder than I ever have in my life. I was probably a little faster when I was in college, but I've never put in anywhere close to the effort I'm expending right now. I'm pushing the limits of what my 44-year-old body can achieve.
After tomorrow's 16-miler, I'll have logged 500 miles training for Big Sur, averaging over 55 miles per week. This graph shows how well I've done relative to my weekly goals:
As you can see, I beat my weekly goal every week save two: The week of January 16 when we had a horrible ice storm and I was attending a professional conference, and last week, when I was extremely ill on the first scheduled running day. Overall, however, my goal was to run 494 miles over that period, so I beat it by six miles!
Today's run was an easy 7 miler, plus 6 X 100 meter strides. Davidson College's track is finally open again, so it was nice to be able to run the strides on a good rubberized track close to home. As always, the details are below.