So, fresh from a week-long vacation in Northern Florida, I ran a huge weekly mileage PR (for reasons to be detailed below). The past two weeks ended up like this:
- Monday - 8.2M in nasty, cold rain
- Tuesday - AM: 5.1M easy; PM: 7.8, with 4x400m & 2x800m (first running club track workout of the season)
- Wednesday - AM: 7.4M; PM: 6.7M
- Thursday - 10.1M progression run
- Friday - 11.1M, with 3M @ HMP, 0.5M recovery & 2M @ HMP
- Saturday - 7.2M (travel day)
- Sunday - 9.75M; had to scrap LR due to family schedule
- Monday - 20+M into relentless headwind, with last 3M @ goal MP
- Tuesday - AM: 6+M; PM: 4.7M
- Wednesday - 12+M progression run
- Thursday - 12M, with 6M @ HMP (between 6:40-6:45/mile)
- Friday - AM: 7+M; PM: 5+M
- Saturday - 6+M
- Sunday - 22+M, with about 8M @ goal MP (or faster); 2000 feet elevation gain
Without putting too fine a point on it, I'll admit that last week was really the first time during this entire training cycle where some of the runs felt like a chore, especially since the wind in Florida was a constant nuisance. That said, though, as befits the experienced, more Zen-like runner which I've become [ ;-) ], I did not let the need to move things around derail or unsettle me. I've put in the miles. I've done the quality work. I'm injury-free (knock wood), save for a couple of nagging aches. And all of that comes on the heels of a consistent year in 2009. The average weekly mileage for my 13 weeks pre-taper should come out to 72.2 miles. My peak week last year? 72 miles.
So, having hit an unexpected peak week, it's time to dial it down. Plan is to do 70 miles this week, then start the official taper with weeks of 50 and 30 before toeing the line in Beantown.
At this point, the lingering unknown is what my Boston goal will be. Some well-intentioned running friends are suggesting that I should go for sub-3:00 at Boston. To quote George H.W. Bush, "Not. Gonna. Happen." As I've said before, I'm not going to run too close to my limits in my first Boston. I just don't want to repeat the "death march" finish of my first three marathons.
Of course, it'd be somewhat disingenuous of me to claim that I'm going to line up on April 19th, and "see what the day brings", but that's going to be at least part of the plan. For those who simply must know, I figure that a realistic target would be somewhere between 3:05 and 3:10. Weather conditions will play a huge role in determining what I try to do in Boston, but the best thing about being this close with no goal, is that I have nothing about which to be disappointed. Yet.
Yup, we'll all have to find out together. ;-)