With a week to go until the Napa Valley Marathon, I did a bit of a final equipment check today, wearing everything I'm going to wear. All systems were go in that arena. The plan today was to run eleven miles, consisting of one easy, four paced, one easy, four paced, one down.
Everything went off without a single problem. The first mile was 10:10, the next four around 9:30 ish, the middle easy mile at 11:01 (that included a "discussion" with a cyclist who seemed to forget his manners), four at 9:20 ish, and the cool down at 10:43. Ten years ago, these paces would have been three minutes faster per. But I try not to think about that (it's also the punishment for letting myself go for eight years - but I'm on the road back and I'll get there!). Other than being a little sore from a heavy strength and core session last night, it was very easy. Caps the week at 50 miles.
There are enough things to do this week to keep my mind occupied. Mostly this week will be about taking it easy, keeping my runs short and easy and relaxing. I leave on Friday.
It dawned on me today, I don't really think about it much, that I am coming down to run at sea level for Napa. I think I'm liking that. I'll take a 3-4% boost if you know what I mean....
Looking forward to watching some of my favorite races on the DVD player this week to get me further psyched. Moses Tanui's 1998 Boston win, Gelindo Bordin's 1988 Olympic triumph, Khalid Khannouchi's world record at Chicago and Meb's New York win. Those, along with The Spirit of the Marathon and John Parker's book, Once A Runner and I AM READY!
The last seventeen weeks have been excellent. I rolled through my training blocks pretty much as planned and have set myself up for some serious training following Napa. This eighteenth week is to be enjoyed. So pass the enjoyment!