This is the part during marathon training where I start to question myself a bit. Granted, a lot of people question my sanity before, during and after, but that's not what I'm talking about.
You see, marathon runners do something that less than one tenth of one percent of the earth's population does. Seriously. Look it up in Runner's World or google it or something. We are know our sanity is worth questioning. That's not really the point.
However, every marathon runner inevitably raises personal questions about his or her self while training for the next race. Sometimes it's terribly introspective, and other times it's simpler things like the training plan.
Mine is always about preparation. At this point, I've put in close to two months of preparation. I still have a little over 2 months more to go. I've done this before, and I know that I'm not supposed to feel prepared right now and that I probably will closer to race day.
But this is where I always start to question. I wonder if my training plan is sufficient. Granted, I'm following the same one I used to set a 26 minute PR with last year other than a few alterations (namely running a marathon before I run a marathon). My question this year revolves around if I'm really doing enough. Last year I had already run a marathon just a few months before starting to train for the next. This year? I had only run a few halfs.
Ultimately, I know not to be concerned. I'm training hard. I'm trying to put good things in my body like water and fruit and vegetables and the occasional chocolate decadent dessert (come on, it's good for you and you know it). I'm getting excited about the cooler weather because I know I run better in it. I've got a great training plan.
The questions usually linger for about a week, and then I find my "second half of training second wind." I remember the 3 marathons I've already done. I realize I'm knocking out long runs like there's no tomorrow. I find that sense of knowing I'll reach my goal again on race day.
For example? I ran 10 1/4-mile repeats yesterday at an 8:00 m/m pace (which is hella fast for me these days). I killed it. That treadmill didn't know what hit it, and neither did the guy next to me who seemed really bewildered that every 2 minutes I'd slow down and walk on 3.8 and then kick it back up to 7.5 again.
AND I went to yoga class. It was a little tougher this week because my hamstrings are totally taking a beating with all the running. All the more reason to get to yoga.
Tomorrow morning calls for a 16-miler. The weather should be around 61-64 the whole time with only 10% humidity. This excites me! It's only 1.5 miles longer than the longest run I've done, so I think it's going to be a good one. I also got my new Mikado tank in the mail today, so I'm looking forward to hitting the pavement in it (and shorts.. can't forget the shorts).
I hope everyone has a happy weekend, and to my fellow runners I wish you well in whatever milegage your training has you cover this weekend. We can all do it!