Not by the numbers
Somewhere along the path to this year’s Richmond Marathon, I stopped focusing on numbers.
No big celebrations of mileage milestones, no overall mileage goals, no major focus on breaking PRs, no countdowns.
What a relief.
Unless I sit down with my calculator or spreadsheet that I update every couple of weeks, I can’t tell you exactly how many miles I've run this year, month, or week.
I’ve been doing more speedwork, but I can’t tell you much about my tempo run I did on Monday other than it was 4 of my 6 miles. It was faster than marathon pace, and faster than my PR for that race distance from 4 years ago.
If it wasn't for Facebook and Twitter reminders this week, I probably would have never noticed that yesterday marked the 1-month-to-go mark to the Richmond Marathon.
That fact, though, kept me awake as I was trying to sleep in yesterday, and I ended up heading out for 4 miles.
Moving away from freaking out about it or questioning my training, I’m approaching these last few weeks of training with confidence.
Instead of dwelling on still never getting to mileage I want, I know that I’ve been running stronger over the past couple of months.
This training cycle has focused on quality over quantity. The quantity part takes care of itself by the fact that I've logged more mileage in this calendar year than I ever have to date; my previous 12-month total far exceeds any other 12-month span.
The base I've built since being injured 2 years ago has lead to being able to focus on faster and stronger runs, and less focus on numbers.
Will I run a second 20-miler this weekend? Will I hit 1,000 miles for 2012 next week?
I don't know, and I’m having fun not really worrying about answering those questions.
The big question is will all this pay off for a marathon between 3:40 and 3:45 on Nov. 10?