I’ve been avoiding thinking about this for the last few weeks.
Thirteen weeks ago, I laid out my Gansett training plan – to use the term loosely:
I don’t really have a training plan; I’m basically going to do what I did when I trained for CIM, just a little farther and a little faster. Because 3:29 is fantastic, but I think I might be able to do a little better.
Well, I ran neither further nor faster in the weeks that followed. And I do think that I might be able to do better someday, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this Saturday.
The thing is, I’ve just been rather disinterested in marathoning this spring. I wouldn’t say burned out, exactly – just ho-hum. Like, I don’t really feel like I’ve been tapering these last couple of weeks, although my mileage has definitely dropped…
…but I don’t feel antsy about it. No taper tantrums, no annoying Taperworm nagging at me. I’m just running less, and that suits me just fine because I feel like I have a million things I’d rather be doing.
That may sound like a good thing, but I also feel out of shape. And I never had that build-up where I felt like I was really putting the work in. The whole training cycle has just been…meh. Forgettable, mediocre, et cetera.
I remember last fall, when I hit 70 MPW for the first time…it felt awesome. I really did want to get back there this spring, because as backwards as it sounds, I think that I actually start feeling better when I hit a certain training volume. I’m not sure whether that number is 60 or 70 weekly miles, but I do know that I definitely did not get there this time around.
Like just about anything else, higher volume running can be broken down in to a series of small decisions. To get there, you have to get your butt out the door that many more times each week.
And I guess that’s what it comes down to, for me, this training cycle: I didn’t. I ran almost every day, I logged forty-mile weeks, and I put my requisite long runs in…but when it came time to sack up for a mid-week long run or a double, I shrugged and declined.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure I’ll get across the finish line. But I don’t think the 3:25 mark that I had in my head last January is a realistic possibility.
So about that goal. Let’s call it 3:35. Over the years, I’ve run many marathons in the 3:40s and 3:50s on worse training than what I’ve done here this spring, so I should at least be able to do a little better than that. Assuming I don’t f*&k up.
Sounds reasonable, right?