I have one week to go until the California International Marathon. In one week, in fact, I will be finished with it, for better or worse.
Last "Long" Run: Yesterday I did my last long run, 90 minutes with a harder 1/2 hour thrown in in the middle. It was a lousy run as confidence-boosters go. I managed to stay at what I have been hoping will be race pace (8:30/mile) for about the first 15 minutes of the "harder" part. After that, my heart rate, which was supposed to stay between 155-165, began to wig out on me, and I had to slow down. The final 30 minutes, in which I was supposed to stay below 150, actually required some walking to do that. I don't think I can blame the Garmin this time. I think my body just wasn't having it. Soon after, I had to find a bathroom pronto. Let's hope neither of these things (slowing down and gut issues) happen next Sunday. Maybe I can blame two days of Thanksgiving food??? :^)
Heart rate training can be a real heart-breaker (no pun intended) because there's no way to avoid the bluntness of it on bad days. When you start to exceed requirements, you just have to slow down, or there's no point in doing it at all.
That said, it's not the first time I've had a bad run a week before a marathon. Does this happen to anyone else?
Conversation with Dan:
I bored my husband even more than usual about CIM this weekend, but I figure he has only a few more days of putting up with it. On Friday night over some two-handed bridge, I asked him if he thought I could do it (meaning qualify for Boston). Dan is always honest with me. He's a scientist, very rational and practical, and while he's also very kind, he wasn't going to be all sunshine and sparkles if he really didn't think it possible.
So I was happy when this is what he had to say on the subject: "The only question for me is your endurance. Did you do enough long runs? You clearly have the speed."
So he didn't say NO (and the long run issue is the one on my mind, too). Which is encouraging!
I'm normally a huge scatterbrain when it comes to meal-planning, but not this week. Here's what's for dinner in my house through Thursday:
Tonight: Pasta w/ Dan's tomato sauce and mushrooms
Monday: Leftover pasta (last speed workout Tuesday morning--4x1 miles at marathon pace--requires bland food)
Tuesday: Egg, chili and cheese burrito (recovering from said hard workout while working late)
Wednesday: Chicken, green salad and green beans
Thursday: Pasta w/ Dan's tomato sauce (again; hey, don't stray from what works, right?)
I've ordered pace bands from Races2Remember. They are for 3:50 (which would be a PR but not a BQ), 3:45 (the Golden Threshold and my A goal) and 3:40 (the Moonshot).
How I'm Feeling:
Yesterday afternoon I sat down with Darren for a half hour to talk about the race and our plan for it. That plan is not final, because some of it depends on how Tuesday's 4x1 mile workout goes, so I'll be including the details of the conversation in my goals post later this week.
But right now, a day after the conversation on another beautiful day in Colorado, I'm feeling pretty optimistic, even with the way yesterday's run went. I'm not going to say "I know I will BQ." I'm not an "if you believe it, it will come" person. But if it's a good weather day in Sacramento, if I approach the marathon with the proper humility and concentration, if I execute the plan Darren laid out for me, and if I can find the zone I ran in in Detroit, I think I CAN BQ. And after the year I've had, that's such an exhilarating mindset to be in!