They say that once you get in a groove the next two steps are the rut, followed by the grave. I'm not buying that. A little less than seven weeks out from the Napa Valley Marathon and I'm in a groove. Every run is so much easier than a month ago. Paces that were tempo-ish are now easy, longer runs are focused and relaxed.
I mentioned this a few weeks ago while discussing levels ( http://runspittle.blogspot.com/2011/01/levels.html ). And while I choose to enjoy a move upward, I certainly know that doesn't eliminate my responsibility to train carefully and wisely.
This will be the third week in my penultimate training block before Napa. 60 miles went to 67 and this week to 72. Next week will be a back-off/recovery week before three more good weeks followed by a two week taper. I've been aided greatly by some typically mild January Denver temps. No injuries - limited aches and pains. No complaints.
It's been eleven years since I ran 3:10:34 at the Flying Pig and ten since my last marathon (Boston 2001 - we won't talk about the time but it was SLOWER by alot). I have no aspiration to be anywhere close to a time like that in March. My first and most important goal is to get from Calistoga to Napa and have a fun time doing it. Then I can begin to focus on whittling down both my time and my body.
So far I've lost 18 pounds on this Napa training excursion. There's still 7 weeks to go to lose another 10-15 (I read somewhere that 20 pounds to a guy my size can translate to 17 minutes. I'd like to believe that)! I certainly have a long way to go to be the 3:10 guy again but I can actually see some remnants of him in the mirror (yes, there is a six pack under all that padding. Well, maybe).