I used to take out the whole marathon program, the literal calendar, and see where I am on any given day. Today's LT work or track session would be in view with the entire 18 week program all visible in one page.
It's now been about 6.5 weeks since I've started this program. It's felt a lot longer and in fact it has. I ran my last marathon on May 10, took it easy for a bit but then tried to ramp up back to high mileage in anticipation of this 70 mile a week program. Man, it is a tough one, even with my time off. Here's how the last marathon to now mileage:
Marathon and post-marathon
May 4-10: 38 miles (including marathon)
May 11-17: 24 miles
May 18 - 24: 31 miles
May 25 - May 31: 35 miles
Ramp up to marathon training (getting mileage near 50 miles)
June 1 - 7: 45 miles
June 8 - 14: 42 miles
June 15 - 21: 55 miles
June 22 - 28: 56 miles
June 29 - July 5: 59 miles
July 6 - 12: 28 miles (Got sick that week)
July 13 - 19: 43 miles
July 20 - 26: 63 miles
July 27 to Aug 2: 73 miles
By the end of the week, I'll have another 11 weeks to go till the marathon. Geez, that's a whack of time!
I've learned to put a bit of trust in the program and try not to overthink it. I know the principles behind the runs and I'm staying true to the overall mileage while trying to keep up with the quality work.
But, of course, life gets in the way. I'm flying back to Toronto tomorrow and doing my long run in the afternoon to take advantage of the cooler weather and also because I have weekend plans that will take me away.
The last few days in DC have been a reality check in my overall fitness. This morning's 5K run told me I need to take my recovery seriously, so I'm due for some real rest days. Yesterday's 14 miles in the a.m. was not run at a strong pace but for the fact that I got through it in the heat and added another 4 miles in the evening tells me I'm recovering faster.
I think I have fitness and endurance is getting up there. I have key LT runs over the next three weeks I'm going to make time to get them in. They're hard, but they are necessary. I also have a 30K road race in a few weeks and I would love to nail the pace down, especially if the weather cooperates. If not, then I'll try to do pace work for the majority of the run, maybe ramp up to it instead of hitting it right away and fading.
There's a lot to be said about marathon training becoming like work after awhile. This is my fourth year in training for my seventh marathon and I guess it was on a group run with Heather from Trials of Training and the DC Capital Striders that I realized that I've become a lot more relaxed about my training.
We started the run in the Mall and by the time we were looping near Jefferson Memorial, I got to running with 'Pete', who dabbles in running just as he trail runs, cycles and does other sports. He usually runs 30 minutes a day and we knew that 5 miles would be a wee bit longer than he's used to. We talked about his work at an NGO, but the conversation naturally ended up on running. He was using trail runners so I suggested a few models that would work with his flat feet. We then started to talk about mileage and I told him a bit about my marathon training, including my 21 miler the other day. It was a great time to just talk about other things and the run flew by. Another run in the long view of the marathon training, but it flew by, just like the last 100 metres of every run I do. 11.5 weeks to go till marathon day.