I just finished the best week of training of my short running career! I am pysched. Bring on the 26.2 baby.
I ran 10 miles at anticipated marathon pace one morning just at daybreak. The nearly full moon was hanging just above the mountains, the birds were singing, I ran well, it was beautiful. Another morning I went out with a couple guys from work and we ran 6x1600. We've never run that many, it was work no doubt, but I wasn't wrecked afterwards. The old "good tired". And even with the hills on #s 2, 3, and 4 I still managed to average 8:06/mile for the 6. I ran my fastest 1600 ever at 7:30 as well.
A few weeks ago I ran 20 miles. I wouldn't classify what happened as hitting the wall, but I wasn't happy with my energy level and ability to hold pace the last 4 miles. I was questioning whether my anticipated pace was realistic. I did suspect that maybe I had not eaten enough the day before that run though. So this week I put that to the test. On Saturday I ate not only carbohydrate heavy, but also ate more than I normally would. I ate lunch then ate an extra sandwich, I ate dinner then had an extra burger and extra half potato, and also snacked more than normal. The result, near perfection. I ran 22 miles! and held close to my anticipated pace the whole way. And miles 16-22 were the strongest six I ran. And all things considered, I felt awesome afterwards. I am very confident I have figured out the trick to eating right the day(s) before, and it is to eat and eat (and maybe eat more). Fig Newtons and Gatorade as long run fuel are also still treating me well. They say that training for a marathon is no time to lose weight. While I've dropped 15+ during this training, I understand what that saying means now - you can't skimp on food before or during a run of that magnitude. Which makes perfect sense if you think of it as a 3100 calorie run - that's more than I eat in a typical day.
It's been awhile since I threw in a picture, here's one of me glowing after my 22 miler.