11 things: Baltimore Marathon edition

I know for the second straight month that I'm getting away from my goal of "11 things" posts, but with the Baltimore Marathon just days away, I made a promise to myself the other day to do some reflecting. There's no better way to reflect than an 11 things posts. Here are 11 things that have happened during training, lessons I've learned, things I never posted and other random thoughts.

1. I listened to this song a lot on my long runs in the last month or so. To hear it when the sun is coming up often gave me a sense of peace and helped me find strength when I needed it most.

2. I'm pretty sure I experienced the biggest variety of weather this time around. With a majority of mid-week runs in the middle of the day, I had the hottest conditions I've ever run in, with temperatures often near 90 or slightly above. These past two weekends, it's been half that at the start.

3. In a 16-week span, I ran 456.7 miles, which is 51.9 more miles than the 16 weeks prior to the Richmond Marathon last year.

4. I've been much more diligent about recovery runs this year with running a couple of miles or so the day after big runs.

5. I have walked 117 miles since the beginning of July 1. That’s just walking miles logged on Daily Mile. That's miles I've walked at work and family walks on Sunday; actual mileage is probably a bit higher. I've also hiked a few times too. I wrote a long time ago about walking more and how it would impact training, and I have nothing but great things to say about it. All this walking silently pushed me over 1,000 exercise miles for the year recently.

Baltimore Marathon weather6. As a weather junkie (see No. 2 above), I've been looking at long-range forecasts for this weekend as soon as they were available. Accuweather's 15-day forecast and the Weather Channel's 10-day forecast have surprisingly stayed consistent. Saturday is looking good right now, but I know things can change. After seeing hot weather for Chicago return this past weekend, I'm mentally preparing myself for the worse.

7. I've never once doubted setting my 3:45 goal. In fact, it was one of the best decisions I've made in training. It made my training much more intentional and focused with every run. Whether all this pays off Saturday is obviously to be determined, but I like heading to the start line in this mind frame.

8. I took my first ice bath after one of my long runs. I can't bring myself to ice bath No. 2.

9. I stretch after all my runs -- sometimes it's just a few minutes for short runs, often it's about 10 minutes after a long run. I rarely stretched before.

10. I ran 148 miles on Saturdays. That's more than Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays combined. The lowest day was Monday, with 37.4 miles. In August, I stopped running on Mondays (besides 8.3 on Labor Day) when that became a regular core day.

11. I talk a lot about having fun and encourage people to always have fun on a race or run. In looking back at the past 16 weeks, I can honestly say I had fun. From the sunrises, to seeing families of deer, to laughing with co-workers on lunch runs, this has been an awesome experience.