Sitting here, wondering how this past summer managed to seem so, so long. Common wisdom and my own experience says that time goes by faster the older you get. But, I have to say that it sure seems like it has literally crawled since the end of May. Looking back, I can see that it was as full as ever with trips, challenges, running (of course), work and all the other things that make life what it is. Vermont was only four months ago? Feels like four years.
Over 750 miles run on the plan, most of it in pretty uncomfortable heat and humidity. I will never move to Texas or Florida. In fact, anything south of Toledo is probably off my list of retirement communities, unless there's enough altitude or an ocean breeze to counter the heat. This is obvious to anyone who runs, but it's harder to run. I'm willing to slog through it - also obviously. The worst part is how much it messes with my head. So many questions that the training can't answer this time. So many tempo runs when I couldn't hold the pace for the whole run. Legs so tired on the easy runs that none of them were easy. And then let's talk about race day. What's a manageable pace for 26 miles? Is another BQ in reach? Am I even in shape for a marathon? I don't even know.
Last week I thought the tide had turned in favor of autumn. Had some encouraging runs and solid workouts. Maybe now I could get an idea of where I really am for this weekend. Oops. The first two days of this week summer was back and my head plunged right back into the toilet.
Now, it's too late to make up any shortfalls. Too late to try a few long runs and test out the pace. All I can do is remember that I've worked really, really hard for four months and cross my fingers that my muscles will respond to all that work.
Wednesday - 2 x 3200 w/ 800 recovery, 1-1/2 w/u & c/d. 75o with a stiff, 20 mph wind. Most of the intervals were north/south on the bike path which also is on the lee side of the slope and behind buildings and trees, so the wind didn't play too much into it. Climbs about 90 feet in mile 2 of interval #1. 7:57 and 7:46. Interval #2 (back the other way) was 7:25 and 7:31. Guess it'll do.
Thursday - 8 miles @ 9:00 minute pace. That's 9:00+ going out (and up 200 ft) and 8:10-50 coming back. Few degrees cooler than Wednesday, which was nice.
Friday - 8 more @ 8:50. Heading west on Seven Mile I watched a big mess of clouds coming in, wandered through a neighborhood on the north side, then came back and was looping up around the shopping center where the LRS is when it started to sprinkle. Then to drizzle. Then to pour. I ducked into the store. I like being in a running store, but I don't shop too often, and I'd feel bad about just dropping by very much without buying something. Anyway, the two kids working there were very nice. Gave me a small bottle of water and some paper towels while we chatted about running and their school. The guy runs at a local university where a friend is the XC coach (he worked with my boys back in the 00's). The girl is two years out of college with an exercise science BS, getting some retail experience while she tries to get on with a shoe company. As it happens, an old Loopster works for Brooks in Seattle. Like a lot of the old crew, he's not active here and only occasionally on fb, but I sent her info on to him. If he contacts her and she ends up working for Brooks like her dream is, it'd be nice to be part of that success story. The rain finally let up enough for me to venture out and finish my run.
Saturday - 10 miles. 65o, 1B% humidity. I wanted to get in some miles at GMP, but the legs weren't really on board with it. So this was just a run. The last couple were quick enough I guess. Went in the morning, but the humidity still kicked my tail. Drove down to Toledo to watch the BYU Cougars play the Rockets. Fun, exciting game, but the home team won, so that was disappointing. Connor had driven up for the weekend so it was nice to spend time with him. He's still looking for work in Public Health with his shiny new Masters degree.
Monday - The final tempo run. Summer came back, apparently believing that it was still August. 77o. Sunny. Oppressive. Supposed to be 8 with 6 at tempo pace. The pace was pretty good (7:51, 8:09, 8:02, 8:01, 8:01, 7:54), but it was a 2 x 3 interval run instead of a 6 mile tempo. Had to stop at the top to catch my breath for a few minutes before I felt like struggling back. Mis-timed stop lights made most of the 6 miles sort of messy on top of that, so this wasn't my best run. Not that this has been my best summer to begin with. But, it's done.
Tuesday - 3 miles. 88o. At least it was cloudy. If there was ever a sucky 3 miles run, this was it. Felt like 10 hard ones, and not in a good way.
For this afternoon, there's a little 2 x 2400 waiting as the last interval set. It's cool and raining, so maybe I'll do it on Mrs. Dave's new treadmill, which she still hasn't ever used. Then we're on the road to Bristol (NH) for Saturday's marathon #20. Sometimes I think I'm out of my mind. Sometimes I know.