I should have known this was gonna be a good week when my "Seeking Boston Marathon" blog stickers came in the mail.
When I first fill out my 16-18 week training plan, it looks rather ominous with all those blank cells and with the miles completed at zero and the miles to go over 600 miles. As I whittle away at the runs and the weeks, I enter my runs on DailyMile, but also in my plan spreadsheet. Little by little, the miles completed and miles to go build and shrink respectively. Today marks the 30 day countdown to the Boston Marathon next month. Is it finally within reach? WOW!
I feel a little bit like the Christmas store near my house that's open year round, but dormant nine months a year. The excitement builds as the date approaches. I am such a kid in a man's body. If you've followed my blog and training, you know there's been a fair amount of bad and ugly, but not much good with this training session. Sensing something wasn't quite right, I went in for a VO2Max study and walked out with a blood test instead. Overtrained was the diagnosis and under my normal iron levels = anemic & tired. Eight days off--brutal. I've eased back into it the last two weeks.
This week was the first week after the layoff that I put a full effort into it which culminated with today's long run. I "waffled" on whether to run 16 or 20. I had already logged three 20+ runs and considering I was essentially overtrained, I went out thinking I'll run 16, but see how it goes. I've induced my diet with more iron this last week and as the run progressed, I decided to go with 20. My pace was conservative, and at a conversation pace (around 8:20-8:30 per mile.)
Running with my normal Saturday running group (Runner's Edge of the Rockies) gave me a boost as did the phenomenal scenery on the Louisville (just outside the Boulder Flatirons) course. The final tally; 20 miles in 2:46:05 (8:16 avg moving pace,) but most important, I felt GREAT! This was two days after one of my worst runs. Ahhh...the ups and downs of running.
The course eased up towards the foothills with over 900' of climb and descent on the "out and back" course. Despite some friends who questioned my sanity trying 20 today, I felt like I needed one more twenty and the confidence to go with it. My plan is 16 next Saturday, then I go into a three week taper. I've found that the three week works better for me than two. Aren't there a lot of things that are better in threes?
I plan to update here on my blog and daily on my Facebook page as I wind down the training and wind up for Boston. A confidence builder for sure today.