Training, February 13 - 19

Monday: 7 AM - 5 miles easy.
7 PM - 6 miles easy; GS.

Tuesday: 7 AM - 5 miles easy.

Wednesday: 7 PM - 10 miles easy.
Planned on working out tonight, but I didn't get enough sleep last night and my legs weren't ready for it, so I pushed it to tomorrow. 

Thursday: 8 PM - 7 miles moderate (~6:10 pace) straight into 12 miles alternating halves to avg. MP - 2:28, (2:44), 2:29, (2:46), 2:31, (2:44), 2:28, (2:45), 2:25, (2:48), 2:27, (2:48), 2:31, (2:44), 2:30, (2:44), 2:29, (2:49), 2:33, (2:48), 2:33, (2:49), 2:29, (2:48) = 63:20 or 5:16 pace - 3 mile cooldown very slow, legs were thrashed (22 miles total). 
Unfortunate that I had to work out so late due to work; it can be tough to do a long, hard session under such circumstances.  Felt good, not great.  Had I felt a little better, I think I could have maintained the pace I had going for the first 8 or 9 reps, but my legs were a bit heavy tonight, and I ended up tightening up / slowing up a bit on reps 10 and 11 in particular.  Didn't fall apart though... I thought about calling it at 11, but during the recovery stretch, I mentally prepared myself for some serious pain, and then pushed through mile 12.  The ability to finish sessions like this is absolutely key to the ability to hold up muscularly at the end of a hard marathon.  (Good mental practice too.)  Thrilled with the workout as a whole; it bodes very well for Albany.  My PR for the half marathon, while admittedly a bit weak, is 5:15 pace.  When you're almost PR-ing in a workout (and not a steady paced workout, at that), you know you're ready to roll.

Friday: 7 AM - 5 miles easy.
PM - Dinner plans, so no run, but got a nice 8 miles or so of cycling in around the city (I pretty much always hammer on the bike), so got a little neuromuscular stimulus to help recovery—almost better than running after a super hard effort like yesterday's.  You see Canova have his guys do some cycling sometimes as recovery.  

Saturday: 4 PM - 7 miles easy; GS.

Sunday: 3 PM - 10 miles moderate.

Summary: 70 miles, 2x GS
Generally an OK week, even though I only did one workout.  I wanted to get in one longer run yet, with some marathon-specific work incorporated, but we'll see if I get it in.  The job's been kind of intrusive of late.  I had pushed Wednesday's workout to Thursday, so I knew Sunday's originally planned workout would be iffy.  Got out there, and could tell my legs didn't have it in them on the day.  With only 12 days to the race (as of Monday, as I write), doing any really hard efforts is getting risky.  It's time to shift into taper mode, so I need to be careful not to overstep my bounds here. 

I was comparing my specific phase for Albany—which has certainly been far from an ideal buildup—with my specific phase for Grandma's, and honestly, this one is probably a bit better.  Due to a variety of issues before Grandma's, I ran significantly less mileage in that buildup and also probably had even fewer quality specific workouts.  Just goes to show that the buildup can be pretty far from ideal and still lead to a good performance.  Quality, extensive marathon-specific work can go a long way, even if you only do half as much as you'd like.  I'll get a little more quality in during the coming week, but by and large, the work has already been done.

"I reckon I can teach a runner what I know by the time he's 18, and then he's on his own.  He can come to me for advice but he must think for himself.  I want the lads to be self-sufficient."
     —Stan Long (coach of the Gateshead Harriers back in the 70s and earlier)