Yes, I know it's Blind Man's "Buff". Bear with me for a minute.
Another week of marathon training is done, and all systems are still running smoothly.
Monday was an easy 7 the day after my 10K. A little stiff, but felt better than expected.
Tuesday was gym day, and then I did 11 and 9 on Wed-Thur. A nice mid-week double that was no problem. My body is really getting used to the extra miles. I rested Friday because my first 20 was coming on Saturday.
My pattern (for years) has been to run my long runs too fast. I ease into the first five miles on the wood chip trail, gradually speed up, and then hit the beach bike path for the rest and drop down to marathon pace. I just can't help it, although I know I should be going slower. But I also love the feedback that tells me I can run this fast for that long.
So this week I decided to change my Garmin settings so I couldn't see my pace. All I could see was distance and cadence. I hoped it would let me just relax and run. Then I could check my splits when I got home. (Because I couldn't just leave the watch at home. Don't be silly.) Normally I totally am a slave to my splits. Those perfect negative splits aren't accidental, as much as I may lie to myself. And with 98 strava followers...yeah, it motivates me every day.
So I planned to be a "blind man" and just run. So I went out easy on a perfect overcast morning, temps in the 50s. As I approached mile one I realized that the Garmin was still on auto-lap. So it would buzz and show me my split at the end of each mile. Aargh! Of course I could just refuse to look at it for those few seconds...
Hahaha! That wasn't possible. I looked. It was 9:02. About what I expected. Actually a little faster. During mile two I considered my options. Not looking. Turning off auto-lap. But I decided to go ahead and check each mile. I still wouldn't know the pace during the mile, so it was a little different than normal. But not too much. So I was bluffing. About the blind man thing...
Anyway, the run went basically like all my long runs. The splits were very close to what I expected, because I can pretty much tell how fast I'm running. The first 5 on trail were 902, 845, 832, 826, 815. The sixth mile over the hill was 825. And then on the beach I did this.
803, 806, 750, 751, 739, 750, 748, 753, 755, 800, 755, 756, 752, 800.
It was awesome. I was cruising, not pushing. Felt pretty fatigued the last five, but worked on keeping my form and pace consistent. I must say I did make a little extra effort hoping to keep those splits under 8:00 all the way through 20. If I was watch-less, would I have run that fast? I think so.
Sunday I went out for another six on tired legs, and left the watch the same. Still ran my usual negative splits. Tired, but ran my usual pace for easy days. Finished up a 53.1 mile week, which is my biggest week since 1981. I am now at higher mileage than any previous marathon cycles, and injury-free, so I'm feeling pretty confident and hopeful. But then I said the same thing last year and Boston didn't work out. So I plan to keep on adding miles for two more weeks before a 3-week taper.
Life is good.