Thanks everyone for all your insightful comments on my last post. It’s fun to compare running with cycling and judging from the lively discussion, I think you all like it too. I have other thoughts on running vs cycling as athletic pursuits but will save them for a later date when I run out of fun topics to discuss.
Well, today is the first day of October. This means that the big race (NYCM) is exactly one month away. To be honest, I’m not really sure how I feel about that. On the surface, just based on numbers, I have NOTHING to complain about. September was another stellar month of training. I accumulated 241 miles on my feet, totaling 29 hours and 51 minutes of running at an average of 7:26 min/mi. I ran two 20+ milers and completed a half marathon (Queens) during the month. I ran 21 days and took off 9 days for rest and recovery. I averaged 5 days a week of running and 11.5 miles per run. These are the fun numbers – the ones that prove I’ve been diligent and consistent during training. But then there are the bad numbers – the ones that show I didn’t do any speedwork whatsoever for the first two weeks of September because I was sick and when I got back, my tempo speed was severely lacking. Out of the past two tempo runs that called for 6 and 7 miles at tempo pace the past two weeks, I have yet to finish a single one of them (calling quits after the fifth mile in both cases due to poor speed conditioning, I surmise. The latest defeat a couple of days ago left me questioning whether my goal was still achievable. Although the inquiry is a bit rhetorical, since I don’t believe in running marathons without a goal in mind, I am disappointed that my speed game isn’t where I expected it to be this late into training.
I have two opportunities to prove to myself that I still have a legitimate shot at sub-3 in a month. First comes Grete’s Gallop half marathon this weekend and then the Staten Island Half Marathon next weekend. My plan is to run this weekend at marathon pace and race next weekend for a PR. My lower extremities will be a bit worn down in both cases since I am doing my 18 and 22 mile long runs mid–week on my way to the two highest mileage weeks of the entire training cycle. In essence, I’m peaking mileage-wise even as I’m not feeling so hot about the running. Go figure! I’m hoping at some point – after the race, after the last 20 miler, or during the taper – it will all turn around and I 'll start feeling the excitement of the marathon once again. Until then, I’ll continue to keep putting one foot in front of the other, just hoping that each step I take will be proven purposeful on November 1st.