Every marathon training cycle has its strange and difficult moments. This past week was one of mine.
I had planned to run a half-marathon as a warm-up race to see how well I could execute a race strategy. However, Hurricane Matthew forced postponement of the race for two weeks, and given the degree of flooding in Kinston it may have to be cancelled. I looked forward to the race, but you take what the weather gives you.
On the bright side, as we dried out on Sunday I got to watch the Chicago Marathon. I felt happy for those running but I also felt a little jealous. Not because they were running a great course on a beautiful day, but because I still have five weeks of training until my fall marathon and the thought of wrapping it up and taking a break sounded appealing.
The thought quickly passed, though. As tired as I am I appreciate the journey that marathon training provides and know I can’t short change my preparation. The runners in Chicago put in their weeks of training, and I have to put in mine.
To that end, I had a good week of training. My key workouts went well; I hit my pace targets in both the strength and tempo runs and felt good completing them. I didn’t hit my target in the long run, but I came close on a harder route and didn’t bonk like I did the last time out. Only one more hard week left, so I know I am about to head into the final stretch with fall weather arriving to help me along.
Aside from staying strong through the last week’s of training, I need to turn to my mental training. Up to this point in the cycle my mental effort has centered on getting through tough runs. I’m starting to feel nerves about race day, though, so I am working on managing those and planning how to handle the race itself. Next week I am hoping to begin settling on my target paces to help with this.