...It aint no workout. But it's what we do all those cute little 8-10 mile tempos to get ready for. That's really all a competitive marathon is...you grab a pace that's about 95% of your anaerobic threshold (tempo pace) and hope like hell you can hold it for 26.2 miles.
This has been arguably my worst pre-marathon buildup yet. Since January I've pounded some big miles, but have been sick 3 times and have a nagging foot injury that I just can't seem to find a solution for. Despite being more focused than any other time since the trials, my workouts really never got to the level I'd like to see them and my races have done little to quash my unease. But then again, my training leading up to Boston last year was beautiful...and I ran the worst marathon of my career. Also, before I ran my PR a few years back, my training was less than perfect as well. So, the quality of the journey doesn't always dictate the essence of the result. Fortunately, starting about four and half weeks ago I had a couple glimmers of hope. I had a two week span where I didn't crush my workouts, but I at least ran what I had written on paper. The first workout was a 2M warm, a 4M tempo in 20:55, a 9M run in 60 minutes, and another 4M tempo in 20:46. Considering I was running solo and it was a breezy night at the track that's not too bad, for me. A week later I ran 5x2mile averaging 10:21 with 2' rest. Also not bad for a solo effort on a windy night. Unfortunately, almost as quickly as I started to feel fit I fell ill with a respiratory and throat virus that forced me to start my taper a week early. I've been in taper mode for about 2 1/2 weeks now and just tonight started to feel like things may be coming together. I've done most everything within my control to get ready for my 26M tempo. I fly out to Boston tomorrow morning. All that is left is to get some rest and get to the line in Hopkinton for my tempo to bean-town. 2:18 or bust.