It's really October kids. My big race of the year is Sunday. Almost hard to believe that I committed to this date back in April. The weather forecast shows mostly cloudy 53F at the race start and 58F when we finish. Wind from the southwest at 12MPH. Can you tell I have been obsessing during taper?
I have had close to a perfect cycle. Back in June, I was worried about getting injured as I upped the mileage into the mid sixties per week. I did it slowly. Half as fast as the 18/70 plan would ask me to and by Week 6 or 7, I finally matched the mileage of the plan. Before taper I averaged 64-65 mpw for 9 weeks. I took some of my LR's to softer surfaces. Before, I would bang them all out on asphalt. My longest run of 22m was around Lake Geneva with mostly dirt, grass and even some stairs! I made sure my club runs on Saturdays were at marathon pace or better. 13 to 15m mid week runs became routine. I just needed to get up earlier. If you want something bad enough you just need to make time right? I also felt I needed more protein in my diet. I take Lipitor as a genetic disposition to higher cholesterol. It's a small dose but adding more meat protein was a concern that might affect it. I allowed myself to eat just a little more red meat this cycle. Previously, I would avoid it like the plague unless it was bison. I think it helped me gain muscle mass. I have not gained any weight (163#) and feel my body fat has decreased. I walked into my running store two weeks ago and was shocked to hear them tell me how in shape I looked. I must have looked like crap before huh.
Running expert friends have been consulted and I've plugged my recent 10k race time in the most reliable calculator as provided by Greg Maclin. Everything points to a 3:25 on good day. It looks like that day might happen. It will be possible to Boston qualify on marathon number eight by five minutes.
It will be weird not running Chicago this year but switching to a smaller race on a fast unknown course may be just what I need. I knew every inch of the Chicago course that might hurt. I keep telling myself to enjoy the pain that might come late. The most reassuring thing is that I have never trained harder. If I was able to run a shade over 3:30:25 two years ago, the extra mileage gives me the confidence that five minutes better is doable.