Big apologies for my whiney post yesterday. I imagine all of us marathoners (or half marathoners) towards the end of an intense training season are allowed to have at least one post where everything feels like the end, like the race will fail, etc. Right? I hope so!
Actually, I spent a while last night on google reading about a bad long run at the end of training. One of the most interesting things I read was that some big coach of many elite runners once said there is a big difference between elite and average runners when it comes to bad runs: elites can shake it off and know they are still great whereas average runners tend to dwell on those bad runs. Guilty as charged!
Also, one of the philosophies of the Hansons training is that long runs are simply mental. The problem with non-elite runners doing so many long runs is that they are essentially putting all of their eggs into one basket for one run each week or two. Therefore, they are discounting all the work of the shorter and tempo runs, which are even more important. Fair enough.
Furthermore, I am sure my legs felt so bad because of running on fresh snow. My pace was faster than it needed to be for a long run and the effort was greater. The end.
Today was redemption. I woke up and barely felt sore at all! I headed out for an easy 6 mile recovery run. I felt fantastic! I tried to keep myself at a slow pace. My goal for the marathon is to run the first 5-10 miles at a slow (9:30 to 9:40-ish) pace. I tried to see what that felt like today. My first 5 miles were closer to 9:15 or 9:20. At least that was progress. My sixth mile, inexplicably, was 8:24. I did not even feel like I was pushing the pace there at all. I think that was my body's way of telling me I can do this. After all, I did run the equivalent of a marathon between yesterday and today.
With 3 weeks until ATX marathon, LET THE TAPER BEGIN!