I think I'm feeling under the weather. Not sure, but these signs point it out. 1) i'm pretty
burnt out by the past six weeks -- working on elections has taken its toll on my sleep 2)
because i'm not getting full rest, I feel like my body's immune system is not recovery very well 3) Well, i'm achy, exhausted, and feeling the first bit of a cold.
Of course, like any runner, I combat colds with a run, so I did my prescribed last longish run of 12 miles (Garmin details). 12 miles in 1:39 is pretty darned good. I was trying to just give myself a nice cardio workout but I could tell that I didn't want to give any miles below the 8 minute mile. My right knee is a little achy and the hamstring problem, though not getting in the way of general aerobic running, could start to fire up in a race effort.
So, it's a week before Marine Corps Marathon and it's just about decision time. My underlying fitness, especially if I can quickly recover from this cold and it doesn't leave me with respiratory problems, is good. If my hamstring/knee heals up nicely in the last week of a major taper, I could see myself going for 3:15 or even run the first half in 3:10 pace.
But there's another part of me yearning just to keep it easy. It's the part of myself that says, 'Hey, you've run quite a few miles this year, no need to go for a personal best in a week in your state.' That part is also saying to myself that my goal this year was to go sub 3:20, which I've done twice. Making the first 3:10 attempt was a result of the confidence gleaned by the May marathon. I'm happy I did it and I am set for my next training cycle. And that part of myself is telling myself to enjoy a marathon at a slower pace. Enjoy the big city crowd, enjoy the sights, enjoy the finish with a massive smile.
So, I'm still unresolved but starting to eye splits for a 3:30 marathon. It's well within my grasp, in fact, my past three marathons has been 3:18 to 3:24. 3:30 would allow me to run it at a more comfortable pace -- but believe me, it's still not 'easy'. A 3:45 isn't a bad idea either in that respect.
Who knows, I want to see where this cold leaves me in a few days time. I'm ready to take it as it comes.