Monday morning - 13 more mornings until race day. It's taper time and I'm comfortable with the training I've put in. I've got a gameplan for the marathon and will spend a lot of time visualizing how I expect it to play out (the final 10 miles more so than the first 16). For instance, there's a nice 3-4 mile gradual downhill just after mile 16 that I used to back off the pace a little last year when I'm thinking I should have done the opposite. This year I'll use that bit to stretch out my legs and bank a few seconds. Can't say I had a bad race last year but there's always room for improvement.
I squeezed in two great workouts over the weekend. Saturday night after the babies were asleep and Teresa was home from work, I did 8x800 meters (the culmination of the Yasso 800 buildup) with each 800 < 2:55. Send-offs ended up being closer to 4:00 because I was running from one end of my development to the other which, surprisingly, is pretty darn close to 800 meters on the nose. Final 800 in 2:49.
My long run this morning wasn't quite as long as I was hoping. I started 15 minutes late and had to take a couple pit stops (hope that issue resolves itself in the next two weeks!). In all, I did 17 miles at 7:25 pace with a 6:36 final mile. Strangely enough, my final mile felt as easy, if not easier, than the rest and it was then that I felt "warmed up". I wonder if holding back from my natural pace is causing me to work harder. Hmm, something else to ponder over the next 13 days.
I think my 3-year old iPod shuffle played it's last tune this morning... hopefully it's just the headphones.