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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Two Weeks Out

Well, I slept in again today, and by the time I woke up, I would not have time to get in my run and make my appointment. So it goes.

It did give me a little time, though, to think about the upcoming race.

I was thinking back to my last marathon, so I decided to check out my posting from two weeks before that race. This is something I hope to do from now on, and it makes me even happier to be taking notes like this as I go. It helps to learn from where I've been.

That old post (Confidence) was surprisingly positive. I remember being in a lot of pain as I neared the last race, but I clearly did not want to express that when I wrote the post. Two things in particular stood out for me. First, I was running a 20-miler only two weeks before the race, and I'm glad that I'm not doing that this time around, especially with the heat being the way it is. I'll go into Seattle knowing that I've had more rest and recovery than last time, which gives me the ability to go farther, faster.

The other thing that hit me was that my 20-mile run was significantly faster last season than this year. This would concern me were it not for the heat here in Texas. Part of me wonders whether I'm just using that as an excuse, but I really believe that it is holding me back.

As much as I want to be completely confident, there's always a nagging fear every time I run that somehow I won't be up to my own standards. Next season, for the first time, I'll really start trying to push my speed. Though I currently don't have any speed work scheduled (because it'll be in the dead of summer), I'm going to focus on doing my longer runs on a more focused pace from the beginning.

More importantly, I don't want to miss a single run next season. I've let myself stray from my schedule often this season. Some of it was legitimate concern for an injury, and I don't regret that time off at all, as my performance since has made it clear how necessary the rest was. Still, there were many miles, in particular many long runs, that I never made up in those couple weeks, and I think this contributed heavily to my ineffectual long runs late in the season. Next season, I will complete them all.

And now I look to the next fourteen days. Complete the miles, stay healthy, and I'm convinced that I'll be fine. My latest runs have shown me that starting out at a certain pace leaves me stronger and more consistent late in the game. I will find a pace and stick with it for as long as I can.

I'm stronger, I'm faster.

And in two weeks, I plan to run the best marathon of my life.

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