Ohhh man. I keep having waves of nervousness over me when I think about the marathon. It feels "so close, but yet so far." As in, too close for comfort but so far away that I still have tons of crap to do/get through before it. Yikes. And, I'm working at the bakery 5am-10am Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday before teaching 11am-5pm (yes, true story I have to teach again.) Which stinks cuz I miss out on pre-marathon week sleep. But is good because I need to make up for the 12+ hour shift I am missing this week by not being at the market Saturday. Thus is life.
Today was a GREAT run though. It was my last 'quality' work before the marathon and my last 'long' run, ie: 10 miles. After a long day yesterday at the market and a long sleep last night in my freezing cold room (hell yeah I sleep with the window open when it is 35 degrees overnight) I awoke feeling hyper and ready to get 'er done. I drove to a neighboring town to do a new route on the roads before visiting my friend at the town's farmer's market. Let me tell you: this route was exactly my style. Mostly flat except for one uphill, and all on sidewalks along the main road. I could just look ahead and see sidewalk stretching ahead of me for a mile and attack it! Love it.
I started off and immediately felt good. I decided to just go with it and see how it went. I was going directly into the wind for the first mile or so, but knew since my route was a big rectangle that it would get better. And so I went. I could tell it was fast, but honestly it felt good! The temps were in the 40s, the sidewalk was open and I let my legs go. I decided at mile 6 to push the last 2 slightly, then relax on the last two. Mile 7 = 7:22. Mile 8 = 7:16! Overall = 8 miles at 7:26 pace. My fastest training run in this cycle. And my splits were close (for me!) too. Everything between 7:16 - 7:37 (uphill mile). I feel happy that my 'slow' mile was still only seconds off GMP. Then I did 2 miles easy. Totally a confidence building run. I'm not saying that I feel less worried/doubtful/revising my goals about Chicago, but this was the best run that I have had in a long time. I'm hoping I'll be even more ready after 1 final week of hard core taper.
Speaking of which, tomorrow I rest. I sleep in, teach, prep, and go to bed. That is the plan. Taper is madness to me, one who took about 3 rest days during this cycle. But it is a madness I will endure to get my legs primed and ready at the line next Sunday. Plus, I have to actually focus on my job this week. Imagine that. Lots of young minds to mold in the areas of 7th grade science, Physics, and Chemistry. Let the good times roll. :)