My 11 things post on Saturday didn't exactly reflect how things went on my 20-miler. Now that I've had a few days to let it sink in, as well as a short recovery run Sunday and a nice 8:30ish pace run today, I'm very pleased with how it went and how my body has reacted. To say it was awesome or great is a drastic overstatement. It was good -- while I had a moment or two that just felt weird, I also moments that I totally felt in the groove.
I used the run to concentrate on not falling apart in the second half of the run; I felt like I took a lot of mental notes to apply for the next 20-miler next weekend, and a few things I can use in the Baltimore Marathon.
In looking back at the end of last year's training cycle for the Richmond Marathon, I realize more and more how I just settled into the last month of training as "just running." It was like I just let it fall into place without effort, which may have contributed to the injury. Now is the time to fine-tune things.
Today's run, for example, was a solid run in some surprise heat. A year ago I would have slowed it down and settled for the mileage. If I'm going to get anywhere close to 3:45 in Baltimore, I have to do than just log miles.
For my next 20-miler I am pretty sure that I am going to go somewhere flatter and focus on getting the overall pace down just a tad. This past weekend's run was 15 minutes faster than my two 20-milers last year; while that is awesome progress, I want some practice in my long run getting closer to marathon goal pace. I've had some faster, solid long runs this year, but I want one final dress rehearsal.
32 days to go ...