No. 564

Tomorrow marks exactly a month until the Richmond Marathon. I've been thinking about this day since I signed up for it almost a year ago. I guess technically I've been thinking about it since I crossed the finish line of my one and only marathon nearly 3 years ago. It's tough to put into words what's going on in my head right now, and it's one reason my blog posts have slowed a bit. I'm just trying to stay calm, focused and healthy. So that being said, here are some bullet items with things I'm thinking about right now: * I will hit 900 miles for the year sometime this week. I've done some numbers crunching and it's possible I'll hit 1,000 miles before the marathon gets here. Some of it depends on my taper and how cutting back goes. Keep in mind that 1/5 of the final 100 miles will come on a long run and I still have a couple of weeks of what I consider high mileage. So ... who knows. It's awesome to know that hitting 1,000 miles is now a matter of "when" and not "if" it will happen.

* While I'm jazzed up about the mileage milestone, I have to admit that I completely forced a 5-plus mile run last night. It's completely out of character for me to do that. Usually if I don't feel like running I'll take a rest day or just cut my run short and readjust for the week. But I didn't. And, as odd as it sounds, I'm so glad that I moved forward with it. By getting out of my comfort zone on a normal run will only help a month from now.

* With the marathon a month away, I'm thinking a lot about my goals for my 26.2-mile journey. Three years ago I realized how unimportant a time goal was, but this time around I'm really wrapping my ahead around beating 4 hours. I've talked to a couple of running friends of mine who seem to think I'll easily beat that based on race times from earlier this year and the fact that I train on crazy hills all the time when the marathon is considerably flatter. I sure hope they're right.

Most of my training runs have been about 20 seconds faster or slower than that sub 4-hour goal, so I'm happy with that. Honestly, I need to get out and do my second 20-mile run to gain more confidence in setting a solid goal. I know that no matter what, I'm going to be thrilled to do this a second time.